Cooperstown Chronicles – Ralph Houk
I thought I was done with my Cooperstown Chronicles, but I’ve changed my mind. I can’t think of any other players I feel should be in, but there are some managers. One of those manager is Ralph Houk. It’s not an easy task to replace a legend. He did that when he took over for Casey Stengel. He had the “misfortune” of having his success early. Not many people would complain about winning back-to-back World Series titles, but had they come at the end of his managing career they would likely be the cherry on top of a Hall of Fame career. As it stands, Ralph is still on the outside looking in.
He currently ranks 14th on the all-time wins list for managers with 1619, ahead of Hall of Famers like Dick Williams, Tommy Lasorda, and others. He winning percentage was .514, which included twelve seasons over .500. He had a bad run in the middle of his career with the Detroit Tigers, but he was solid for both the Yankees (.525) and the Red Sox (.539). Had they awarded Manager of the Year in the 60′s, he would have likely won three straight from 1961-1963. Just because his success came early, doesn’t diminish what he did. 1600 wins and a pair or World Series titles are enough for me.
Houk with Yogi, The Mick, and Joltin’ Joe
Buck O’Neill & Minnie Minoso
Shoeless Joe Jackson