• U.S.

Sport: Road to Nowhere

2 minute read

The masquerade of the cellar-dwelling Washington Senators had fooled no one; it was not a major-league ball club. Its weird collection of refugees from the minors did not hit, field, hustle or get paid as big-leaguers should. As the season ended (with the Senators 47 games behind), even some of the staunchest fans were boycotting Griffith Stadium. Penny-pinching old (79) Clark Griffith, who had met similar crises in the past simply by firing the manager, knew that it would not be enough this time.

To be sure, he fired his manager of the past two seasons, Joe Kuhel. Later, he proudly announced the purchase of Irv Noren, a promising outfielder from the Pacific Coast League, for $70,000. Last week, Griffith swung another deal he knew would please Washington fans: he signed up Stanley Raymond (“Bucky”) Harris, his 52-year-old former “boy-wonder” manager, whom he had fired twice before.*

For Harris, who made news a year ago by being fired as manager of the New York Yankees, it was a chance to get back after serving as manager of the San Diego Padres in the Pacific Coast League. Says Bucky: “San Diego is a nice town. The pay is fine. So are the folks. But it’s still bush.” Although the Senators were not likely to go anywhere (under his management or anybody else’s), bossing the worst team in the majors was better than bossing the best in the minors.

*In 1928, by mutual disagreement after a poor season; in 1942 after an even worse season.

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