- 3B, 1B, 2B, SS, OF
- March 14, 1900
- 5' 10"
- 160 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 9-26-1920 with SLA
Signed by famed St. Louis scout Pat Monahan for $5,000, Marty McManus blossomed into a star for the Browns in the 1920s. Playing primarily second base, McManus packed punch in his right-handed bat, hitting in the middle of the lineup and proving to be a run producer. He displayed a cocky swagger on the field, but was humble off the diamond, except when it came to contract time, when he often butted heads with management. He batted .289 in his 15-year career.
After high school, McManus took a business course and landed a job as an accountant with Carson, Pirie and Scott in Chicago. He volunteered for the Army when the U.S. entered World War I, and served in the 133rd Infnatry, stationed in the Panama Canal Zone. It was in the Canal Zone where McManus took up baseball. When he returned to the U.S. he played semi-pro ball in Chicago before signing his first professional contract, with Tulsa, in 1919. McManus also managed in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in 1944.
The Browns inserted Oscar "Ski" Melillo at second base in 1926, moving McManus to third. His last starting job was at second base for the Braves in 1934. After he was released, Boston played Les Mallon there in 1935.
This doesn't have anything to do with his best season, but in 1930, at the age of 30, McManus led the American League in stolen bases. He had never been much of a basestealer before that. I presume that I might get away with the statement that I am faster than ever before," McManus explained. "Or I might tell you that I had some muscles taken from a jackrabbit or deer and parked in my legs. The fact is that I became tired of being like "Old Man River Just Rolling Along." ... Then George Moriarty, who used to be one of the great baserunners of the game, gave me some valuable tips."
In 1951, retired from the game, but still involved in business, Marty McManus approached the AFL in Chicago and suggested they unionize minor league baseball players. AFL officials refused, believing that ballplayers would never formally bind together in a union.
January 15, 1927: Traded by the St. Louis Browns with Pinky Hargrave and Bobby LaMotte to the Detroit Tigers for Lefty Stewart, Frank O'Rourke, Billy Mullen, and Otto Miller. August 31, 1931: Traded by the Detroit Tigers to the Boston Red Sox for Muddy Ruel. Prior to the 1926 season, many newspapers had McManus going to the Yankees. Yankee skipper Miller Huggins made no attempts to conceal the fact that he wanted McManus for the middle of his infield, to fill a hole at second base. But by late January, the Browns had dispelled the rumors. "I wish to state emphatically that there has been no sale or trade of any description contemplated," Browns' owner Phil Ball stated. "McManus' services are not for sale or trade, and all this propaganda being put out by unknow parties has nothing to it except to fill space." Almost exactly one year later, Ball traded McManus to the Tigers.
His throwing arm, until an injury sometime in the mid-1920s, and his ability to hit for power. Had he played his home games in Fenway Park during his prime, McManus probably could have hit 25-30 homers.
He was a poor basestealer: from 1922-1928, essentially his prime, McManus swiped 65 bases, and was thrown out 63 times.
"Blue eyes, black hair, high cheek bones and a firmly-set jaw. Can ignite your asbestos pantaloons with a few select expletives if he is in the mood." &$151 Daguerreotypes
Prior to both the 1924 and 1925 seasons, McManus held out well into the spring in salary fights with St. Louis owner Phil Ball.
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