Dec 02, 1952: Casey Stengel tirade
Submitted by BTGrimes on Sun, 12/02/2012 - 6:00am
Casey at the mic
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - New York Yankees manager Casey Stengel went on a verbal rampage today in baseball history (1952). His targets were several teams and Jackie Robinson. Robinson, who became the major league's first Black player in 19947, stirred up emotions a few days earlier by criticizing the Yankees for not having hired a Black player. According to the United Press, while at a banquet in Phoenix Stengel reacted,
"I don't care who you are in this organization, you're going to get along and make the big team if you've got the ability. We've got good coaches, a good front office, good scouts and good minor league managers, and we're not going to play a sap at second base just because somebody said we ought to put him there."
Even after Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947 it took a while for most teams to integrate. The Cleveland Indians and St. Louis Browns also integrated in '47, but it took thirteen more years for all sixteen teams to put African Americans on their rosters.
Stengel also lashed out at the Cleveland Indians boss,
"Why does Hank Greenberg of Cleveland say ‘I hate the Yankees?' He should say that he ought to hate himself for not winning the pennant with the kind of a pitching staff he's got. When do teams in this day fail to win pennants with three twenty-game winners on their pitching staff. The Yankee players don't hate the Cleveland players, they hate you Mr. Greenberg."
Stengel also blasted Washington Senators owner Clark Griffith who had accused the Yankees of shady dealing in going after one of their players. The Yankee manager finished his tirade by promising a 5th straight American League pennant in 1953, which is exactly what the Yankees did, and went on to win their fifth straight World Series.
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