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Heinie Manush

Heinie Manush

Position(s):
OF, 1B
Born:
July 20, 1901
Bats:
Left
Throws:
Left
Height:
6' 1"
Weight:
200 lbs
Major League Debut:
4-20-1923 with DET
Hall of Fame:
1964

Alabama-native Heinie Manush was a dead-ball era hitter who came to the big leagues as the home run was gaining favor in the 1920s. Despite his unfortunate timing, he was very successful – posting a .330 career batting average. He won a batting title on the final day of the season, and lost a batting title on the final day of the season. Manush's line-drive swing benefited from the teachings of Ty Cobb, who was his first manager in the big leagues.


Biography

Manush arrived in Detroit in 1923 to a crowded outfield filled with hitters. Ty Cobb, Bobby Veach, and Harry Heilmann were the starters, and Manush had to contend with Bob Fothergill and Babe Herman as well. The Tigers ended up platooning Manush with the aging Veach, and the rookie left-handed hitter responded with a .334 average. The next season, Manush struggled and found himself battling Fothergill and Ivy Wingo for playing time into 1925.

Finally in 1926, Manush won the starting job – batting .378 to lead the American League. He went into the season’s final day trailing Babe Ruth, Fothergill, and Heilmann, but six hits in nine at-bats during a doubleheader won the title for him. It was one of five times Manush would finish in the top five in batting.

In 1927, Cobb was replaced as manager by George Moriarty, a man who could seemingly appreciate the "old era" hitting style of Manush. But Heinie never took to Moriarty – he was a loyal Cobb devotee, and after the season the Tigers (prompted by their new manager), traded him to the St. Louis Browns along with first baseman Lu Blue, for Harry Rice, Elam Vangilder, and Chick Galloway.

Immediately in 1928 Manush made the Tigers pay for their mistaken deal. He battled Goose Goslin all season for the batting title. On the final day of the season, Manush watched from left field as Goslin singled in his final at-bat to take the crown. Manush finished at .378 with a league-high 241 hits and 47 doubles. He would top the AL in two-baggers again in 1929, but in 1930 he was traded to Washington for Goslin, one of the many times the two men crossed each other’s path. After their battle for the 1928 batting crown, Manush and Goslin playfully made an annual bet on who would record the higher batting average. The loser would have to pay the winner $50 and buy him a new suit. Manush collected on the bet five times, with Goslin besting him three times.

On June 13, 1930, Manush and Goslin were traded for each other, with Manush landing in Washington, and Goslin going to the Browns. Manush responded well to the swap, batting .362 in 88 games for his new team. In 1931, Manush slumped to .307, but he bounced back to hit at a .342 clip wiuth 214 hits, in 1932. In 1933, with Goslin back in Washington as his teammate, Manush batted in 33 straight games and finished second to batting champ Jimmie Foxx, with a mark of .336. That season the Senators won their third and final pennant, but Heinie managed just two singles in the Series loss to the Giants. He also became the second man (along with Ray Schalk in 1919) to be ejected from a World Series game, when he verbally berated umpire Charlie Moran and grabbed his bow tie in Game Three.

In 1934, Manush appeared in his only All-Star game, drawing a walk from Carl Hubbell in the first inning, right before the Giant hurler proceeded to strike out Ruth, Gehrig, Foxx, Al Simmons and Joe Cronin in succession.

After spending a few seasons with Boston, Pittsburgh, and Brooklyn, Manush retired in 1938. He managed in the minor leagues for several years before taking scouting jobs with the Senators in the 1950s. His last job in baseball was as an advance scout for the new expansion Washington Senators in 1961-1962. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1964, four years before Goslin made it.

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Tagged:
1964 Hall of Fame, Baseball History, Heinie Manush

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