A lifetime .284 hitter, Charles Dillon Stengel is best remembered as one of the top managers of all-time. Born in Kansas City, Missouri he picked up his nickname of Casey, which was derived from his hometown of K.C., while playing in the minors in Kankakee, Illinois. Possessing first class speed, Stengel was an excellent fielding outfielder and a speedy base runner. He stole 131 career-bases, hit 182 doubles, lined more triples than homers - 89-to-60, and scored over 100 runs seven times in his 14-year major league career, including 141 runs for Brooklyn in 1919. A tough hitter to strike out, he drew 437 career walks and struck out just 453 times in 4,288 at-bats, spanning 1,277 games.
Casey Stengel's playing career was winding down by the time the 1920s rolled in, and he was traded to the New York Giants, where he learned how to platoon players under legendary Giants manager John McGraw. However, Stengel still had some punch left in his bat. He created headline news in the 1923 World Series against the Yankees. In Game 1, with the score tied 4-to-4, he lined a 2-out, 9th-inning, inside-the-park homer off Yankee reliever Joe Bush. Stengel's blast was the first World Series home run hit in new Yankee Stadium. In Game 3, Stengel again provided the winning margin when he broke up a scoreless tie with a screaming 7th-inning, line drive into the right field bleachers off Sad Sam Jones in Yankee Stadium, a game in-which ended 1-0 as Giant starter Art Neff tossed a completed game, 6-hit shutout. Although the Yankees swept the next three games and won the Series, Stengel led all Giant batters with a .417 batting average and with 4 RBIs.
After being released from the old Boston Braves in 1925, Casey Stengel began his managing career as a player/manager, as well as team president for Worcester of the Eastern League, and managed in the minors until 1934, when he signed to be manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was fired after his teams finished 6th, 5th and 7th in the then eight team National League. Baseball History Moving on, Stengel took over the helm of the Boston Braves in 1938. No success yet, but lots of outrageous stories and crazy stunts brought him the nickname of the Ol' Professor.
The Braves stumbled along during his rein, finishing in 7th place four times, 6th once and 5th once. As a fact: - when Stengel suffered a broken leg and missed the first 47 games of the 1943 season when a taxi cab hit him, a local baseball writer penned the following words, 'The man who did the most for baseball in Boston was the motorist who ran down Stengel and kept him away from the Braves for two months.' Stengel was discharged again after the season.
At age 53, Stengel started managing the Class-AAA Milwaukee Brewers the very next season. Finally in 1949, he became the manager of the New York Yankees and during the next 13 years in the Bronx, became a living legend. His Yankee teams won five consecutive World Series - 1949-1953... finished second to Cleveland in 1954... ran away with four more AL pennants 1955-1958 and won two more World Titles, 1956, 1958... finished 3rd in 1959... then, won another pennant in 1960.
Now, 70-years-old, the Ol' Professor was fired after losing the 1960 World Series to the Pittsburgh Pirates by Yankee owners Del Webb and Dan Topping. A favorite of New Yorkers, Stengel, after a year off, was hired by his old friend, George Weiss, to manage the expansion New York Mets. The Mets finished in 10th place for four straight years - in the then 10-team NL. The 1962 Mets set a still broken record as the worst team during the 1900's with a 40-120 W/L record.
He managed his last game on July 24, 1965 and that night at Toots Shor's restaurant, while attending a party for the next day's Old Timer's Day, fell and broke his hip. As a manager, Charles Dillon Stengel compiled 1,905 wins, 1,842 loses, and won ten pennants, tying him with John McGraw, for the most pennants in major league baseball history.