Joseph Edward Cronin (October 12, 1906 – September 7, 1984) was a Major League Baseball player from 1926 to 1945 and manager from 1933 to 1947. He was a shortstop and was an All-Star seven times. Born in the Excelsior district of San Francisco, Cronin broke into the majors in 1926 with the Pittsburgh Pirates and moved to the Washington Senators in 1928.
Major League career
Legendary baseball promoter Joe Engel, who scouted for the Senators and managed the Chattanooga Lookouts at Engel Stadium got a steal of a deal on Cronin. When Engel first spotted Cronin playing in Kansas City, "I knew I was watching a great player. I bought Cronin at a time he was hitting .221. When I told Clark Griffith what I had done, he screamed, "You paid $7,500 for that bum? Well, you didn't buy him for me. You bought him for yourself. He's not my ballplayer - he's yours. You keep him and don't either you or Cronin show up at the ballpark." Cronin led the Senators ball club to the 1933 World Series and even married Griffith's niece, Mildred Robertson.
In 1930, Cronin had a break out year, batting .346 with 13 home runs and 126 RBI. Cronin won both the AL Writers' MVP (forerunner of BBWAA official MVP established in 1931) and the AL Sporting News MVP for his work in 1930. His 1931 season was also outstanding, posting a .306 average, 12 home runs and 126 RBI.
Cronin assumed managerial duties in 1933, a role he would continue with the Boston Red Sox, the team he was traded to prior to the 1935 season, by Senators' owner Clark Griffith - his own uncle-in-law. Cronin retired as a player in 1945 (though he was only a part-time player after 1941), but remained as manager of the Red Sox until 1947. In 1943, Cronin set the still-standing American records of 5 pinch-hit home runs in the regular season and 2 pinch-hit home runs in a doubleheader. Johnny Blanchard of the 1961 New York Yankees had 5 pinch home runs in 1961 (4 in regular season and 1 in World Series). One NL player had 6 pinch home runs Johnny Frederick of the 1932 Brooklyn Dodgers in a regular season and 2 had 7 Dave Hansen of the 2000 L.A. Dodgers and Craig Wilson of the 2001 Pitssburgh Pirates. eader Hal Breeden of the 1973 Monteal Expos. Over his career, Cronin batted .300 or higher eight times as well as knocked in 100 runs or more eight times. He finished with a .301 average, 170 home runs and 1424 RBI. As a manager, he compiled a 1,236-1,055 record and won two American League championships (in 1933 and 1946). His 1933 Senators dropped the 1933 World Series to the New York Giants in six games, and his 1946 Bosox lost the 1946 World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven contests.
At the end of the 1947 season, he succeeded Eddie Collins as Geeral Mnager of the Red Sox and continued in that post through 1958. The Red Sox challenged for the AL pennant in 1948-49 (finishing second by a single game both seasons) thanks to Cronin's aggressive trades, but they began a slow decline during the 1950s and did not seriously contend after 1950. While most attention has been focused on the Red Sox being the last major league team to integrate its roster (Cronin once passed on signing a young Willie Mays), another factor was a large number of "bonus babies" who never panned out. In January 1959, Cronin was elected president of the American League, the first former player to be so elected. Six months later, on July 21, 1959, infielder Pumpsie Green was recalled from the AAA Minneapolis Millers, becoming the first African-American to wear a Red Sox uniform.
Cronin served as AL president until the end of 1973, when he was succeeded by Lee MacPhail. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame (with Hank Greenberg) in 1956. Joe Cronin died at the age of 77 on September 7, 1984 in Osterville, Massachusetts, and is buried in St. Francis Xavier Cemetery in nearby Centerville. Cronin also served many years as a member of the Veterans Committee of the Baseball Hall of Fame, which picked old-time players - as well as managers, executives, and umpires.
- Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame
- Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame
- Top 500 home run hitters of all time
- List of major league players with 2,000 hits
- List of Major League Baseball players with 400 doubles
- List of Major League Baseball players with 100 triples
- List of Major League Baseball players with 1000 runs
- List of Major League Baseball players with 1000 RBI
- List of Major League Baseball doubles champions
- List of Major League Baseball triples champions
- Hitting for the cycle
- Baseball-Reference.com - Major league career statistics
- Baseball-reference.com – Major league career managerial statistics
- baseballhalloffame.org – Hall of Fame biography page
|American League president
|Red Sox General Manager
1948 - 1958
|Boston Red Sox Manager
|Washington Senators Manager