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Les Mann

Les Mann

Les Mann

Position(s):
OF, SS
Nicknames:
Major
Born:
November 18, 1892
Bats:
Right
Throws:
Right
Height:
5' 9"
Weight:
172 lbs
Major League Debut:
4-30-1913 with BSN

Mann was platooned in the outfield of the 1914 World Champion Braves; the next year he jumped to the Federal League and led that circuit with 19 triples. He headed a player revolt for better shares in the 1918 WS as a member of the pennant-winning Cubs. He batted over .300 six times, mostly as a reserve; in his three seasons with the Cardinals (1921-23), he hit .328, .347, and .371. He turned in Giant pitcher Phil Douglas for writing him a letter inviting a bribe in 1922. After his playing days, Mann formed the National Amateur Baseball Association. In 1936, he persuaded the World Olympic Committee to add baseball as an exhibition event; two American teams puzzled a throng of Germans, who formed a larger crowd than had ever attended a World Series game.

 

Early years

Born in Lincoln, Nebraska, Mann attended the Y.M.C.A. College in [[Springfield, Massachusetts]. He played both football and basketball at Springfield and was regarded as "one of the best football players the training school ever had."

Major League Baseball player

Mann later became a professional baseball player. From 1913 to 1928, he played for the Boston Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, New York Giants, and Chicago Cubs. He was a member of the 1914 "Miracle" Braves team that went from last place to first place in two months, becoming the first team to win a pennant after being in last place on the Fourth of July. The team then went on to defeat Connie Mack's heavily favored Philadelphia Athletics in the 1914 World Series.

Coaching career

Mann also worked for many years as a college football and basketball coach. From 1914 to 1916, he was a basketball coach at Amherst College In 1919, he became a coach at Rice Institute in Houston. In February 1922, Mann was hired as an assistant football coach at Indiana. He also coached the Indiana Hoosiers men's basketball team during the 1922-1923 and 1923-1924 seasons. Starting in 1924, Mann was hired as the head basketball coach and assistant football coach at Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Later years

After retiring as a player and coach, Mann became an advocate for baseball as an international sport. He founded the U.S.A. Baseball Congress, and organized a 20 game tour of Japan in 1935.

Through his efforts, baseball was selected as a demonstration sport in the 1936 Summer Olympics played in Berlin. Originally, the United States team was scheduled to play a Japanese team, but the Japanese withdrew. The American team was separated into two squads who competed against each other in a single game. The "World Champions" lineup beat the "U. S. Olympics" lineup by a score of 6-5 before a crowd of 90,000 people on August 12, 1936.

Mann went on to found the International Baseball Federation, which organized an international championship in England in 1938. The English team, composed mainly of Canadian college players, won 4 out of 5 games against an amateur American team. He also organized subsequent championships in Cuba in 1939 and Puerto Rico in 1941. World War II brought Mann's efforts to an end.

He died in Pasadena, California.

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Tagged:
1914 World Series, Boston Braves, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Les Mann, New York Giants, Olympic Baseball, St, St. Louis Cardinals

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