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Whitey Lockman Biography by The Baseball Page

Whitey Lockman Biography by The Baseball Page

Carroll Walter Lockman

    * Bats Left, Throws Right
    * Height 6' 1", Weight 175 lb.

    * Debut July 5, 1945
    * Final Game June 24, 1960
    * Born July 25, 1926 in Lowell, NC USA
    * Died March 17, 2009 in Scottsdale, AZ USA

Whitey Lockman was an outfielder/first baseman 18 years (1943-1960), 15 in the Majors (1945; 1947-1960) and three in the minors (1943-1945), losing one year to the Military. Lockman was born on Sunday, 25 July 1926, in Lowell, NC. At age 18, he was less than one month shy of age 19 when he made his M.L. debut in 1945.

Signed by scout Bill Pierre of the New York Giants as an amateur free agent in 1943 at age 16, he played for Springfield in the Eastern League (1943) and the Jersey City Giants in the International League (1943-1945) when, at 18 years of age, he broke into the big leagues on 5 July 1945, with New York. He played for the Giants in 1945 when he entered the Merchant Marines, where he served until 1947 when he returned to the Giants, only to miss the year when he broke his ankle in an exhibition game.

He married Shirley Conner on 19 July 1950. He played for the Giants (1945-1956); St. Louis Cardinals (1956); New York Giants (1957); San Francisco Giants (1958); Baltimore Orioles (1959); and Cincinnati Reds (1959-1960), where he played his final game on 24 June 1960 at age 33.

He coached the Reds (1960); the Giants (1961-1964); the Chicago Cubs (1965-1966); and then managed in the minors unitl 1972 when he managed the Cubs (1972-1974). He then moved to the front office for the Cubs, Montreal Expos and Florida Marlins where he stayed until his retirement in 2001.

Lockman is a retired player, coach, manager and front office executive, mostly in the National League. Lockman homered in his first MLB at-bat, 5 July 1945 and once led off consecutive games with home runs, but he was never a feared power hitter. He batted .341 in limited duty his first season. He hit a career-high 18 homers in 1948, his first full season, and had his only other .300 season in 1949. He was a regular in the Giant lineup from 1948 through June of 1956, when he was traded to the Cardinals. His exile was brief, however, as the Redbirds sent him back to the Giants after the end of the season.

He was a member of the Giants' last New York team, and their first San Francisco outfit, when the club moved West in 1958. Appearing in 1,666 games, Lockman had a .279 career batting average with 114 home runs and 563 RBI. In the 1951 World Series, won in six games by the New York Yankees, Lockman hit .240 with a home run. Three years later, he batted only .111 in the 1954 Fall Classic, but the Giants swept the Cleveland Indians to win the world championship.

Playing for the pennant winning 1951 and 1954 Giants, he usually batted leadoff. He was a consistent contributor and one of the hardest men to double up in MLB history, hitting into a double play only once every 87 at-bats. In the Giants-Dodgers playoff series in 1951, his ninth-inning double drove Don Newcombe from the game and set the stage for Bobby Thomson's famous home run off Ralph Branca. (FK) From the 1945-1955, Lockman was a workhorse for the Giants, making over 600 official plate appearance seven times. An outstanding contact hitter, he struck out only 19 times in 502 official plate appearances in 1957.

Post-Season Appearances: 1951 World Series; 1954 World Series; 1952 All-Star Game (starting NL first baseman).

Lockman's coaching career began immediately after his playing days ended, as he joined the Reds' staff in 1960 under skipper Fred Hutchinson. In 1961, when his old mate, Alvin Dark, became manager of the Giants, Lockman became his third base coach, serving through 1964. Lockman then joined the Chicago Cubs as a minor league manager, coach and Director of Player Development. In July 1972, he succeeded his old mentor, Leo Durocher, as Cubs' manager and the revitalized Cubbies won 39 of 65 games to improve two places in the standings.

Lockman managed the Cubs with owner Phil Wrigley hellbent on dismantling the team. Nonetheless Lockman brought on young talent such as Burt Hooton, Rick Reuschel and Bill Madlock and kept the team in contention. But losing marks in 1973 and into 1974 cost Lockman his job; he was relieved of his duties 24 July 1974 and moved back into the Chicago front office. He finished with a career major league managing record of 157-162 (.492).

Lockman later was Chicago’s Player Development Supervisor (1971); Assistant to Vice President/Director of Player Development (1972-1974; Vice President, Director of Player Development (1975); and Vice President/Director of Player Development 1976-1989). He was then with the Montreal Expos as a Senior Consultant, Player Personnel/ Special Assistant to the GM (1990-1992) and the Florida Marlins in various advisory/consultant capacities (1993-2001).

He retired after the 2001 season, rounding out a 59 year baseball career. He had blond hair and blue eyes, his ancestry was German and his principal hobby was golf.

 

Notable Achievements

    * NL All-Star (1952)
    * 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 1 (1948)
    * Won a World Series with the New York Giants in 1954

Career Highlights

    * Led International League outfielders in Assists (tied) (21) and Errors (tied) (12), 1944
    * Hit home run in first at bat in MLB, 5 July 1945
    * Once led off consecutive games with home runs (7/18-7/19 1953)
    * Led National League outfielders in putouts, 1948 (388)
    * Led National League first basemen in Putouts (1,435) and Double Plays, 1952
    * Led National League first basemen in Errors (tied) (16), 1954

Quotes

    * Campanella hits two homers, but sustains an injury the 9th inning when Lockman crashes into him: "The hardest I've ever been hit in a ball game." -- Roy Campanella
    * When asked, “What was the problem with the Cubs?,” he answered “Maybe it was the manager,” steadfasdtly declining to put any of the blame on owner Wrigley.
    * Said Lockman, who has touched all the bases upon approaching his 60th season in the grand old game: "Only God can make a great hitter!"

 

Chronology

    * 1926: born on 25 July 1926, in Lowell, NC.
    * Before 1943 Season: Signed by scout Bill Pierre of the New York Giants as an amateur free agent and began career in organized baseball.
    * 1945: Broke into the big leagues on 5 July, with the New York Giants at 18.345 years of age. Only 23 younger players had hit home runs up to that point.
    * 1946: Entered the Merchant Marine
    * 1947: Misses his second year when he breaks his ankle in an exhibition game sliding into second base on a double play against the Cleveland Indians in Sheffield, AL on 8 April. He will miss all of the season, except for two pinch hitting appearances in September.
    * 1948: On 15 August, in the first game of a doubleheader at Philadelphia, Ken Heintzelman tosses a one-hitter to beat the Giants 8–1. The only hit is Lockman's seventh inning triple.
    * 1950: He marries Shirley Conner m. on 19 July.
    * 1951:
          o On 6 May, the Cincinnati Reds and Giants split a pair at the Polo Grounds, with the Reds taking the opener, 4–3, in 10 innings. Reds second baseman Connie Ryan nabs Lockman in the tenth with the hidden ball trick, the 2nd time in two years that he's pulled it off against New York.
          o On 26 June, fresh from a doubleheader loss on the 24th at Forbes Field, the Dodgers get further bad news at the Polo Grounds. Sal Maglie shuts out Brooklyn on three hits, and Preacher Roe takes his first loss after ten wins. Eddie Stanky and Lockman hit homers.
          o On 9 August, with possible baseball commissioner General Douglas MacArthur looking on, the Dodgers top the Giants again, 6–5, for their 12th win in 15 games between the two rivals. The two teams combine for a National League record 24 walks. Roy Campanella hits two homers, but sustains an injury in the ninth inning when Lockman crashes into him. Campy will miss four days but the bone chips will hamper him the rest of the season.
          o On 13 August, the Giants keep pace with a 5–2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. Larry Jansen, pitching for the first time in eight days, wins his 15th. Lockman hits a 3-run homer.
          o On 14 August, in a night game at the Polo Grounds — the last of 14 night games that year — the Giants righty George Spencer beats the Dodgers, 4–2. Erv Palica takes the loss, as the Giants jump on him early. Alvin Dark doubles and comes home on Don Mueller's homer. An out later, Lockman homers and Palica doesn't make the second inning. The Dodgers score in the 8th on successive homers by Billy Cox and Duke Snider.
          o On 22 August at the Polo Grounds, the Giants win their 11th straight, again coming from behind to top the Reds, 4–3. Monte Irvin homers in the 2nd off Ewell Blackwell, but it is Lockman's double in the eighth that wins it for reliever Sheldon Jones.
          o On 1 September, Mueller hits three home runs in an 8–1 Giants' win over the Dodgers. His first homer comes against Ralph Branca, coming off two consecutive shutouts, and Mueller hits his third home run, a two-run shot off Phil Haugstad. Maglie is the winner, giving up seven singles and hits Jackie Robinson on the wrist in the third to force home the only Dodger run. Lockman gets plunked twice for New York. Dark and Stanky combine with Lockman in the 5th on a triple play off a liner by Pee Wee Reese. The Dodgers' lead over the Giants is now down to six games.
    * 1951 postseason:
          o On 2 October Andy Pafko makes a leaping catch of Bobby Thomson's liner and throws to Pee Wee Reese to double Whitey Lockman off second.
          o On 3 October, the Giants' Bobby Thomson hits the most famous home run in history, off Ralph Branca. His "shot heard ‘round the world" with two runners on and trailing 4–2 in the bottom of the 9th defeats Brooklyn 5–4 and sends the jubilant Giants into the World Series. For Branca, it is his 6th loss of the season against the Giants, who have now hit 11 home runs off him this year. Lockman sets up Thomson's blast by hitting a double off Don Newcombe with Dark on third and Mueller on first. Mueller breaks his ankle sliding into third base and is carried off the field, to be replaced by pinch runner Clint Hartung. Veteran New York Giant announcer Russ Hodges describes the moment to millions mesmerized at their radios that October afternoon: "Bobby Thomson up there swinging.... Bobby batting at .292. Branca pitches and Bobby takes a strike call on the inside corner. Lockman without too big of a lead at second but he'll be running like the wind if Thomson hits one. "Branca throws ... there's a long drive...it's gonna be, I believe. . .' The precise moment was 3:58 P.M., 3 October 1951. "... the Giants win the pennant!" Hodges screams the words at the top of his voice, all semblance of journalistic objectivity gone. "The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!" Hodges bellows it out eight times - and then bedlam breaks loose.
          o On 6 October, back at the Polo Grounds in the World Series, the Giants win 6–2, as Lockman homers with two on in the fifth. The Giants score five in the inning after Stanky kicks the ball out of Phil Rizzuto's glove on a tag play at second base.
    * 1952: The 19th annual All-Star Game is held at Shibe Park in Philadelphia. The National League wins the game by the score of 3-2. Due to rain, this exhibition lasts for five innings and is the third consecutive win for the National League. The number of fans assembled is about 32,785. The American League is leading by a score of 2-1 in the fourth when a two-run homer by Hank Sauer of the Cubs gives the victory margin to the National League team. A spectacular display in the fifth is given by Bobby Shantz, who strikes out Lockman, Jackie Robinson and Stan Musial.
    * 1953:
          o On 18 July, Lockman, Hank Thompson and Thomson hit first inning home runs, as the Giants beat the Cubs 12-7 to move into fourth place.
          o On 19 July Lockman leads off the game with a home run for the second day in a row, as the Giants whip the Braves 7-5.
          o On 4 September, despite consecutive home runs by Wes Westrum, Al Corwin, and Lockman in the third, the Giants lose to the Dodgers 8-6 in a game marred by beanballs and disagreements on calls. Following a Clem Labine brushback on Bobby Hofman, Larry Jansen throws at Snider and Campanella in the eighth.
    * 1954:
          o On 24 April, Marv Grissom and the Giants shut out the Phillies 1-0, at the Polo Grounds. Lockman's 300-foot home run off Robin Roberts is the only score.
          o On 2 May, Stan Musial hits five home runs in a doubleheader with the Giants in St. Louis. In the first game, the Cards hit five homers while the Giants hit three, including back-to-back blows by Westrum and Lockman.
          o On 25 May at New York, the Giants explode for 11 runs in the 8th inning to overwhelm the Pittsburgh Pirates, 21–4. The Bucs score three in the top of the eighth for a National League record for the frame (14). Led by Lockman's grand slam, the Giants score five in the 7th, then collect eight hits in the 8th, including two homers. Johnny Antonelli has his 6th win and hits his first MLB homerun. Davey Williams has a single and home run in the 8th.
          o On 28 May, at the Polo Grounds, the Giants whip the Dodgers 17–6 with a six home run barrage. Four of the home runs come in the eighth as Davey Williams, Dark, Irvin, and Billy Gardner connect off Ben Wade. Lockman, in the first, and Willie Mays, in the second, account for the other two.
          o On 30 May, Gil Hodges is given a second chance when Lockman drops his foul pop and belts a three-run inside-the-park homer in the first to lead the Dodgers to a 5–3 victory over the host Giants.
          o On 11 July, Giants outfielder Mueller hits for the cycle, getting his hits off four different pitchers in a 13-7 rout of the Pirates. Five other home runs are added, three in the third as Irvin, Lockman, and Dark connect.
    * 1955:
          o On 1 May, in the Giants' 2–1 win over the Redlegs, the two teams toil 16 innings while combining for a record-tying 10 double plays. The only other time ten were turned was 30 years before, when the Reds and Braves made 10 double plays in 12 innings. An alert Mueller starts the rally in the 16th when the Reds are trying to intentionally walk him. He hits an outside fourth-ball pitch for a pop single, sending Lockman to 3B. Antonelli pitches all 16 innings for the win.
          o In the final game of the 1955 season, the New York Giants ended their season by hitting into a triple play. The game is the second game of a doubleheader at the Polo Grounds on 25 September against the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phils are leading 3-1 when the Giants come to bat in the bottom of the ninth. Jack Meyer relieves starting Phils pitcher Curt Simmons. Joey Amalfitano leads off by singling to left. He goes to second on a wild pitch. Lockman walks. Bobby Hofman lines out to shortstop Ted Kazanski who throws to second baseman Bobby Morgan for the out on Amalfitano, and the relay to first baseman Marv Blaylock is in time to get Lockman. Interestingly, the Giants hd hit into inning-ending double plays in the seventh and eighth innings too!
    * 1956:
          o On 2 May, 25 Giants and 23 Cubs appear — an MLB record — in a 17-inning marathon finally won by the visiting Giants 6–5. The two teams combine to intentionally walk 11 batters, a record, with the Cubs contributing seven of the free passes. Losing pitcher Jim Brosnan chips in with four walks, all intentional. Cub 3B Don Hoak is not one of the strollers, whiffing a National League record six times — all against different pitchers -, while Ernie Banks, Mays and Westrum are twice walked intentionally. Lockman starts in left field, goes to first base, returns to left field, and finishes at first base. Ex-Giant Monte Irvin is 0-for-5 against five pitchers. The game is six minutes shy of the 5:19 record set by the Dodgers-Braves in 20 innings in 1940.
          o Re: greatest throw. Here's a candidate: Sixth inning, NY Giants at Brooklyn. Al Worthington on the mound for the Giants. Two outs, Carl Furillo on first as a result of a walk. Dodger hitter lines a shot into left-center. Lockman catches up with it but is in no position to throw; instead he flips the ball to Mays who spins and fires it home in time to tag out Furillo. The play is largely overlooked because the Dodger hitter, Carl Erskine, throws a no-hitter against the Giants that day - - 12 May 1956
          o On 14 June, Lockman is traded by the New York Giants with Alvin Dark, Ray Katt and Don Liddle to the Cardinals for a player to be named later, Dick Littlefield, Jackie Brandt, Red Schoendienst and Bill Sarni. St. Louis sent Gordon Jones (1 October 1956) to the Giants to complete the trade.
          o The 1956 Cardinals boast nine players who would become MLB Managers: Ken Boyer, Dark, Cobra Joe Frazier, Alex Grammas, Solly Hemus, Lockman, Schoendienst and Bill Virdon
    * 1957:
          o On 26 February, the Giants ship knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm to the Cardinals and reacquire Lockman, who had gone to St. Louis in June 1956.
          o On 29 September, the end comes - just five days after the Dodgers have played their final game at Ebbets Field - the New York Giants broing their history to a close. The crowd of 11,606 that turns out for the final game isn't large considering that it is the final game of the New York Giants as well as what many presumed would be the last baseball game for the Polo Grounds. However, it is still well above what the Giants have been averaging that season, and it includes a number of special guests. Blanche McGraw, widow of the Giants' legendary manager John McGraw, shows up, as does former New York players Rube Marquard, George "Hooks" Wiltse, Moose McCormick, George "Kiddo" Davis, Rosy Ryan, Carl Hubbell, Red Murray, Hans Lobert, Willard Marshall, Sid Gordon, Prince Hal Schumacher, Billy Jurges, Monte Irvin, Buddy Kerr, and 86-year-old Jack Doyle, who played for and managed the Giants in the 1890s. Another octogenarian, George Levy, is on hand to repeat his earlier practice from the pre-electronic era of announcing the lineups through a megaphone. Manager Bill Rigney shows a nostalgic side by loading his lineup with players from the pennant-winning teams of 1951 and 1954. Don Mueller, Willie Mays, Dusty Rhodes, Bobby Thomson, Whitey Lockman, Wes Westrum and Johnny Antonelli are among the starters for New York. The opponents, the Pittsburgh Pirates, aren't as sentimental about the event as they pound the Giants, 9-1. The game, and a rich slice of history, comes to an end at 4:35 P.M. when Rhodes - one of the heroes of the 1954 World Series - grounds out to Pirates shortstop Dick Groat. Before Groat's throw has even settled into the glove of first baseman Frank Thomas, fans are leaping over fences and pouring onto the field.
    * 1958: On 1 September, in San Francisco, the Giants sweep a doubleheader from the Dodgers (and five of six in the Labor Day series) by taking the first in an A.M.-P.M. doubleheader, 3–2. Mays is 5-for-5 with two doubles and a home run. The nitecap is a memorable four hour, 35 minute marathon. The Giants tie it in the 9th on Bob Schmidt's homer, and the Dodgers go ahead, 5–4, in the 16th on Carl Furillo's RBI. Lockman's home run in the bottom of the 16th ties it, then a bunt single by Ray Jablonski is followed by another bunt by Ruben Gomez. Errors by John Roseboro and Furillo follow, allowing Jabbo to score the winning run. Mays is 11-for-20 for the series, with four homers.
    * 1959: On 14 February, the Baltimore Orioles purchase Lockman from the Giants, then trade him to the Redlegs in June for Walt Dropo. On 25 November, he is released by the Cincinnati Redlegs.
    * 1960: Signs as a Free Agent with the Cincinnati Reds. Plays his final MLB game on 24 June 1960 at age 33. On 1 July he is released by the Cincinnati Reds.
    * 1962: The Giants, to a man, completely support third base coach Lockman's decision to stop Matty Alou at third in the 9th inning of Game 7 of the World Series. Dark, Alou, Mays all thought that Matty would have been an easy out at the plate. Descriptions of the play say that Bobby Richardson already had the ball and was facing home by the time Matty reached third. Lockman preferred to have runners on second and third with two outs with a chance for Willie McCovey to win the game with a single rather than the alternative, which he thought would have been having Alou thrown out at the plate to end the game. And if Alou had been thrown out, Lockman would likely have become the 1960s version of Milt Stock.
    * 1972: On 25 July, Cubs GM John Holland announces that Leo Durocher has stepped down as manager in favor of Lockman. Leo contends he was not fired, but has "stepped aside." On 27 July, marking the debut of manager Lockman, Fergie Jenkins allows one hit in the Cubs 4–0 win over the Phillies. Willie Montanez's fourth inning double is the only hit. Reliever Jack Aker falters in the nitecap, and the Phils win, 4–1.
    * 1973: On 8 May, Cubs manager Lockman is ejected during a 12-inning 3–2 win over the Padres. Coach Ernie Banks fills in for the last few innings, technically becoming MLB’s first black manager. Cub Bob Locker pitches in his 500th game: all have been in relief, an MLB record.
    * 1974: On 24 July, Cubs manager Lockman steps aside to become director of player development and is replaced by third base coach Jim Marshall. The Cubs will still finish last.

Sources

Principal sources for Whitey Lockman include newspaper obituaries (OB), government Veteran records (VA,CM,CW), Stars & Stripes (S&S), Sporting Life (SL), The Sporting News (TSN), The Sports Encyclopedia:Baseball 2006 by David Neft & Richard Cohen (N&C), old Who's Who in Baseballs (NONE) (WW), old Baseball Registers (NONE) (BR) , old Daguerreotypes by TSN (none) (DAG), Stars&Stripes (S&S), The Baseball Necrology by Bill Lee (BN), Pat Doyle's Professional Ballplayer DataBase (PD), The Baseball Library (BL), Baseball in World War II Europe by Gary Bedingfield (GB) A Biographical Dictionary of Major League Baseball Managers by John C. Skipper and independent research by Walter Kephart (WK) and Frank Russo (FR) and others.

By BR Bullpen

 

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Tagged:
1951 World Series, 1954 World Series, All-Star, Baltimore Orioles, Baseball Executive, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Coach, Director of player development, Florida Marlins, Lee DeMontreville, Manager, New York Giants, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals

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