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Marty Marion

Marty Marion

Position(s):
SS, 3B
Nicknames:
Slats, The Octopus
Born:
December 1, 1917
Bats:
Right
Throws:
Right
Height:
6' 2"
Weight:
170 lbs
Major League Debut:
4-16-1940 with SLN
Allstar Selections:
1944 ML, 1944 MVP

"Marty Marion was a great guy and I really liked him. My first year up, he was the regular shortstop and then he became manager... He worked with me at shortstop and tried to help me every way that he could. He was a likable person and he did everything to help me feel comfortable at that position. Needless to say, I could never fill his shoes. I believe he should be in the Hall of Fame. I can’t believe that he’s not. He was a great guy to play ball for and a great instructor. He was just somebody that I admired very much." — Solly Hemus, Cardinal infielder in the early 1950s

Marion was the premier defensive NL shortstop of his day, named to seven successive NL All-Star squads. With Marion at SS, the Cardinals won four pennants, three World Championships, and, from 1941 through 1949, never finished lower than second. Nicknamed "Slats" by Burt Shotton, who managed him in the minors, the 6'2" 170-lb Marion disproved the theory that shortstops had to be small men. His unusually long arms, which reached for ground balls like tentacles, prompted writers to dub him "The Octopus."

Marion was a consistent hitter who generally batted toward the bottom of the order. His 38 doubles led the NL in 1942. Deferred from military service because of a trick knee, he was the NL MVP in 1944, when he helped the Cardinals to a World Championship with his glove, winning his first of four fielding titles.

A back injury cut Marion's career short, and he managed the Cardinals from the bench in 1951, finishing third. Replaced by Eddie Stanky, he moved crosstown to the Browns, and took over for manager Rogers Hornsby early in the 1952 season. He played 67 games that season, three the next, and was let go after a last-place finish in 1953. He managed the White Sox for two-plus seasons, always coming in third. His brother, John "Red" Marion, played briefly for the 1935 and 1943 Senators.

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Tagged:
1944 World Series, Marty Marion, NL MVP 1944, Shortstop, St. Louis Cardinals
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