Leo Durocher

Athlete

Leo Ernest Durocher (July 27, 1905 – October 7, 1991), nicknamed Leo the Lip, was an American infielder and manager in Major League Baseball. Upon his retirement, he ranked fifth all-time among managers with 2,009 career victories, second only to John McGraw in National League history. Durocher still ranks tenth in career wins by a manager.

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  • Those concerns were not allayed during his aborted 1952 season, in which he hit only .236 in thirty-four games. Some reporters speculated that pitchers had indeed caught up with him; others wondered if Irvin's absence had unsettled him or if the unrelenting media scrutiny was wearing on him. All these factors probably contributed to his slow start. Mays, however, dismissed the chatter, noting that ten out of his thirty hits had been for extra bases (including four home runs), and he had twenty-three RBIs; only Bobby Thomson had more. Mays was also a streak hitter, and he believed he was just getting into a groove—he had two doubles and a home run in his penultimate game. All those hits were to right field, a sign that his slump was ending. Durocher, not surprisingly, guaranteed that Mays would have hit at least .275 had he played the entire year.

    James S. HirschWillie Mays

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