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On This Day in History, March 4: Eagle Columnist Casey Stengel

Casey Stengel became manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers in February of 1935. He was a player from 1912-1931 and went on to become a nonplaying manager of five teams, including the Dodgers in both the major and minor leagues. But he had more success with the Yankees, who under his managership won seven World Series. He is considered by many sportswriters as the most successful manager in the history of major-league baseball.

In the mid-1930s Casey wrote a column for the Brooklyn Eagle, “Casey Bats ‘Em Out.” A reprint of his March 4, 1935, column is below.

It was while managing Toledo that I discovered what I should have learned years before — that even though you outwit an umpire you don’t always get the decision.

This particular umpire, whose name I won’t mention, ran me off the bench in the third inning for protesting too long and too loudly. The game was at Toledo and the umpires don’t like to see members of the home team squawk, because that gets the fans going. A visiting player can get away with twice as much beefing as a home player.

I dressed at once and hurried into the stands to see how the game was going. I took a seat out near the left field, and an empty soda water case lying there gave me an idea, a costly idea it turned out later. I put the box over my head, and looking through one of the slits cut for a grip, I found myself with a good view of the game and an excellent disguise. It was like seeing the sights from a submarine, with the advantage of being able to shout as well as see. I told the umpire plenty for the rest of the game. He kept looking toward where I was sitting, but naturally never suspected a soda water case of being the cause of all the commotion. I gave him a busy afternoon and congratulated myself until the next day when a wire from the league president informed me that a double fine had been tacked on to me — one for being ejected and the other for shouting from the stands. The ump didn’t penetrate my disguise but he knew the voice.

March 2, 2012 - 5:16pm


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