Fred Haney


Fred Haney

Infobox MLB retired
name = Fred Haney


width =
caption =
position = Third baseman, manager
birthdate = birth date|1896|4|25
deathdate = death date and age|1977|11|9|1896|4|25
bats = Right
throws = Right
debutdate = April 18
debutyear = 1922
debutteam = Detroit Tigers
finaldate = May 7
finalyear = 1929
finalteam = St. Louis Cardinals
stat1label = Batting average
stat1value = .275
stat2label = Hits
stat2value = 544
stat3label = Sacrifice hits
stat3value = 103
teams = As player
* Detroit Tigers (by|1922by|1925)
* Boston Red Sox (by|1926by|1927)
* Chicago Cubs (by|1927)
* St. Louis Cardinals (by|1929)As manager
* St. Louis Browns (by|1939by|1941)
* Pittsburgh Pirates (by|1953by|1955)
* Milwaukee Braves (by|1956by|1959)
highlights =
* World Series champion (1957)
hofdate =
hofvote =
hofmethod =

Fred Girard Haney (April 25, 1898November 9, 1977) was an American third baseman, manager, coach and executive in Major League Baseball. As a manager, he won two pennants and a world championship with the Milwaukee Braves and, as an executive, he was the first general manager of the expansion Los Angeles Angels of the American League. Indeed, for years Haney was one of the most popular baseball figures in the City of Angels.

Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and raised in Los Angeles, Haney's major league playing career lasted all or part of seven seasons (1922-27, 1929). Primarily a third baseman — despite his diminutive (5'6"/167.64 cm) size - Haney compiled a .275 batting average for the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox, plus brief appearances with the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals. Much of his playing career was spent in his hometown with the city's two Pacific Coast League clubs, the original, PCL Angels and the Hollywood Stars. He threw and batted right-handed.

Manager and broadcaster

Haney became a manager in 1936, piloting the Toledo Mud Hens of the AA American Association, top farm team of the St. Louis Browns. In 1939, he took over the lowly Browns — and the team lost 111 games. They improved by 24 games in 1940, but when the 1941 Brownies dropped 32 of their first 44 contests, Haney was replaced by Luke Sewell.

After briefly returning to Toledo to manage through 1942, Haney went home to Los Angeles (and the Coast League) as the radio play-by-play broadcaster for the Hollywood Stars for six seasons, starting in 1943. In 1949, he moved back into the dugout as the manager of the Hollywood club. During his four years (1949-52) as manager, the Stars won two PCL pennants.

As a reward, Haney was named manager of the Stars' parent club: the worst team in the National League, the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates rang up three last place finishes in Haney's 1953-55 tenure, losing 104, 101 and 94 games. Finally, he was given the pink slip by the Bucs, and he joined the Milwaukee Braves as a coach for 1956. Adversity turned into good fortune, however, when the Braves — slow out of the gate in '56 — fired skipper Charlie Grimm and turned to Haney. Milwaukee played at a .630 clip for the rest of the season and improved from fifth to second place, only one game behind the Brooklyn Dodgers, securing Haney's tenure in the Beer City.

Golden years of the Braves' Milwaukee era

In 1957, with a lineup that included future Baseball Hall of Fame members Henry Aaron, Eddie Mathews, Warren Spahn and Red Schoendienst — and stars such as Lew Burdette and Del Crandall — the Braves won the NL pennant by eight games over the Cardinals. Then, led by Burdette's three complete-game victories, they defeated the New York Yankees in seven games during the 1957 World Series.

In 1958, Milwaukee repeated as NL champion, again by a margin of eight games (this time over Haney's old friends in Pittsburgh, back in contention under Danny Murtaugh). They drew the Yankees as opponents again in the 1958 World Series and roared ahead by winning three of the first four games. But the Yankees regrouped and took Games 5, 6 and 7 to win the world championship.

The Braves still contended in 1959, but advancing age had begun to affect some of the team's key players, and second baseman Schoendienst missed almost the entire season while being treated successfully for tuberculosis. Still, Milwaukee tied the Dodgers for first place with a regular season record of 86-68, forcing a best of three playoff. The Dodgers, who lost pennant playoffs in 1946 and 1951, were not to be denied in 1959, taking two straight games and winning their first pennant in their new venue — Haney's hometown of Los Angeles. A few days later, Haney, approaching age 61, was fired as manager of the Braves and replaced by Dodger coach Chuck Dressen.

Thus, during his term of only 3½ seasons, Fred Haney managed the only two pennant winners, and the only world champion, in the 13-year (1953-65) history of the Milwaukee Braves. With his other two clubs "near misses," Haney stands as the most successful manager of the Braves' Milwaukee era. His career managing record — tarnished by his poor clubs in St. Louis and Pittsburgh — was 629-757 (.454). But with the Braves, he won 341 games and lost 231 (.596).

First general manager of the AL Angels

Haney was not out of work long. The American League granted an expansion franchise to Los Angeles, and owner Gene Autry chose Haney as his front-office boss. While the Angels largely struggled on the field during Haney's 1961-68 tenure as general manager, the team did finish a surprising third in 1962, and contended for the 1967 pennant as well. Haney made the team competitive in its early years by selecting future stars such as shortstop Jim Fregosi and pitcher Dean Chance in the 1961 expansion draft, and acquiring sluggers such as Leon Wagner and Lee Thomas. He oversaw the Angels' 1966 move down the freeway to Anaheim.

Upon his retirement, he became a consultant for the Angels and was succeeded as general manager by Dick Walsh. Haney died at age 79 in Beverly Hills, California, after suffering a heart attack.

External links

* [http://www.baseball-reference.com/managers/haneyfr01.shtml Baseball-Reference.com] - career managing record and playing statistics
* [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=13476628 Photo]


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