Cooperstown Chronicles – Billy Martin

Feb 17, 2008

First, I’m going to do my part to help Save the Hall of Fame Game.   If you think a tradition that dates back seventy years is important, then Sign the Petition. OK, on to the matter at hand.

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Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI 

Billy Martin will forever be associated with being fired by George Steinbrenner and his habit of kicking dirt at umpires when he was mad. What he should be remembered for is his ability to win.  He won division titles with four different teams (Minnesota, Detroit, the Yankees, and Oakland).  He won the A.L. pennant in 1976.  He won back-to-back World Series titles with the Yankees in 1977 & 1978.  He ranks 31st on the all-time managerial wins list with 1253.  His winning percentage was .553.  He was named the manager of the year four times. 

He even had a few good seasons as a player, winning the Babe Ruth Award (World Series MVP – he went 12 for 24 with 5 runs, 1 double, 2 triples, 2 home runs, and 8 RBI) and making the All Star team in 1956.  In all, he won four World Series titles as a player.  His fiery temper and drinking hurt him both as a player and a manager.  His behavior led to him being traded from the Yankees to the Royals.  The Yankees thought he was a bad influence on Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford.  Despite his successes as a manager, he would let his words or his fists get out of line, which led to his dismissal.  He wasn’t a model citizen or a good role model, but he was a winner.  I don’t hold his drinking against him.  He obviously had a problem with it.  What he did as a player and a manger merit a spot in Cooperstown. 

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Casey Stengel, Phil Rizzuto, Billy Martin, Mickey Mantle, and Yogi Bera
Photo courtesy of Icon SMI

References
Baseball-Reference.com
ESPN Classic
Baseball Library

Past Chronicles
Bert Byleven
Andre Dawson
Dale Murphy
Mark McGwire
Bobby Matthews
Tommy John
Buck O’Neill & Minnie Minoso
Jim Rice
Ted Simmons
Lee Smith
Jack Morris
Al Oliver
Steve Garvey
Jim Kaat
Pete Ro$e
Shoeless Joe Jackson
Dave Concepcion
Lou Whitaker
Alan Trammell
Ron Santo
Ron Guidry
Gil Hodges
Dave Parker
Tony Mullane
Keith Hernandez
Don Mattingly
Dwight Evans
Ralph Houk (Manager)
Jimmie Dykes (Player/Manager)
Charlie Grimm (Player/Manager)

Posted by | Categories: Cooperstown Chronicles, MLB |
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8 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Larry Novak
    March 1st, 2008 at 7:15 pm #

    I didn’t see this one till I saw it on your TSN page.
    Combining his playing and manageing (sp) he should be in.
    Oh by the way. I think he was traded to the K.C. A’s. The Royals came into the AL in 1969.

  2. 2009 MLB Hall of Fame Ballot | Fantasy Sports Blog
    December 8th, 2008 at 9:16 am #

    [...] Freddie Lindstrom* Mickey Lolich Ernie Lombardi* Fred Lynn Sherry Magee Roger Maris Rube Marquard* Billy Martin (Player/Manager) Dennis Martinez Edgar Martinez Bobby Matthews Don Mattingly Gene Mauch (Manager) [...]

  3. Cooperstown Chronicles - Stan Coveleski :: Elites TV
    May 13th, 2009 at 1:02 pm #

    [...] Freddie Lindstrom* Mickey Lolich Ernie Lombardi* Fred Lynn Sherry Magee Roger Maris Rube Marquard* Billy Martin (Player/Manager) Dennis Martinez Edgar Martinez Bobby Matthews Don Mattingly Gene Mauch (Manager) [...]

  4. Cooperstown Chronicles - Waite Hoyt | 1800blogger
    May 20th, 2009 at 2:05 pm #

    [...] Freddie Lindstrom* Mickey Lolich Ernie Lombardi* Fred Lynn Sherry Magee Roger Maris Rube Marquard* Billy Martin (Player/Manager) Dennis Martinez Edgar Martinez Bobby Matthews Don Mattingly Gene Mauch (Manager) [...]

  5. Cooperstown Chronicles - Kiki Cuyler | Fantasy Sports Blog
    May 28th, 2009 at 7:51 am #

    [...] Freddie Lindstrom* Mickey Lolich Ernie Lombardi* Fred Lynn Sherry Magee Roger Maris Rube Marquard* Billy Martin (Player/Manager) Dennis Martinez Edgar Martinez Bobby Matthews Don Mattingly Gene Mauch (Manager) [...]

  6. Cooperstown Chronicles - Kiki Cuyler | 1800blogger
    May 28th, 2009 at 7:54 am #

    [...] Freddie Lindstrom* Mickey Lolich Ernie Lombardi* Fred Lynn Sherry Magee Roger Maris Rube Marquard* Billy Martin (Player/Manager) Dennis Martinez Edgar Martinez Bobby Matthews Don Mattingly Gene Mauch (Manager) [...]

  7. Rowan Campbell
    November 13th, 2009 at 11:20 am #

    I think Billy Martin should be elected to the hall of fame.
    He was a terrific manager who 1253 games including 5 division titles, 2 penants and a world series title he lost 1013 and had a great winning pct of 553 in 16 seasons.
    He lead the Twins, Tigers , Yankees and A’s to the playoffs.
    He also won 90 or more games 6 times.
    He knew how to turn teams around and make them winners.
    He is one of the best managers ever.
    He deserves to be elected.

  8. LestersLegends
    November 13th, 2009 at 11:21 am #

    Agree.

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