New-York Historical Society's Bill Shannon Dictionary of New York Sports

Tag Archives: Branch Rickey

George Weiss

George Weiss (Baseball.  Born, New Haven, CT, June 23, 1895; died, Greenwich, CT, Aug. 13, 1972.)  If any baseball executive in New York history matched the acumen of Ed Barrow or Branch Rickey, George Martin Weiss was that man.  Weiss was the Yankees general manager from 1948-60, during which time the team exerted the greatest […]

Dixie Walker

Dixie Walker (Baseball.  Born, Villa Rica, GA, Sept. 24, 1910; died, Birmingham, AL, May 17, 1982.)  Another Yankees reject who made his name in Brooklyn, Fred Walker was doubtless one of the best $10,000 investments in baseball history.  After parts of five seasons with the Yankees, Walker was sent to the White Sox via waivers […]

Fresco Thompson

Fresco Thompson (Baseball.  Born, Centreville, AL, June 6, 1902; died, Fullerton, CA, Nov. 20, 1968.)  A second baseman who did brief tours with the Giants (1926, 1934) and Brooklyn (1931-32), Lafayette Fresco Thompson later became a Dodgers executive.  Thompson was named assistant farm director in 1949 and a vice president the next year after Walter […]

Branch Rickey

Branch Rickey (Baseball.  Born, Stockdale, OH, Dec. 20, 1881; died, Columbia, MO, Dec. 9, 1965.)  When Branch Rickey came to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1942, he inherited a club that had won the 1941 National League championship.  The team, however, was soon to yield to the ravages of age, accelerated by the onset of World […]

Burt Shotton

Burt Shotton (Baseball.  Born, Brownhelm, OH, Oct. 18, 1884; died, Lake Wales, FL, July 29, 1962.)  Managing the Brooklyn Dodgers twice to the N.L. pennant, Burton Edwin (Barney) Shotton seemed to play musical managerial chairs with Leo Durocher.  Shotton was first summoned to Flatbush when Durocher was suspended for the year by Commissioner Happy Chandler just […]

Lou Niss

Lou Niss (Sports editor.  Born, Minsk, Russia, Oct. 5, 1903; died, New York, NY, Apr. 30, 1987.)  The last sports editor of the Brooklyn Eagle, Louis Niss was also the first front-office employee hired by the Mets, in 1960.  Niss began his newspaper career in 1923 wirh the Brooklyn Times and worked his way through […]

Kirby Higbe

Kirby Higbe (Baseball.  Born, Columbia, SC, Apr. 4, 1915; died, Columbia, SC, May 6, 1985.)  Although he pitched for the Cubs, Phillies, Pirates, and Giants in his 12-year career (1937-43, 1946-50), Walter Kirby Higbe will be most remembered for his 1941 season in Brooklyn, when the righthander was the N.L. top pitcher (22-9) and the […]

Joan Payson

Joan Payson (Baseball.  Born, New York, NY, Feb. 5, 1903; died, New York, NY, Oct. 4, 1975.)  A lifelong fan of baseball and horse racing, Mrs. Charles Shipman Payson could afford to indulge her interest.  Mrs. Payson was born Joan Whitney, an heiress to a sizable fortune.  She owned a share of the New York […]

Phil Douglas

Phil Douglas (Baseball.  Born, Cedartown, GA, June 17, 1890; died, Seguatchie Valley, TN, Aug. 1, 1952.)  A talented righthanded spitballer, Phillip Brooks Douglas tried to drink his way out of the majors.  When that didn’t work, Douglas let his hatred for his manager get him barred for life.  In a career that included stops with […]

Happy Chandler

Happy Chandler (Baseball.  Born, Corydon, KY, July 14, 1898; died, Versailles, KY, June 15, 1991.)  A brash, noisy product of old-style Kentucky Democratic politics, Albert Benjamin Chandler was the second commissioner of baseball (1945-51).  Chandler was also Lieutenant Governor (1931-35), twice Governor (1935-39, 1955-59) and U.S. Senator (1939-45) of his native state.  He followed Kennesaw […]

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The Bill Shannon Biographical Dictionary of New York Sports is an open database of sports biographies maintained by Jordan Sprechman and Marty Appel. We welcome public and scholarly contributions and suggestions.

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A prolific author, wire service sports reporter, long time Major League Baseball official scorer, football statistician, sports museum founder, theatrical agency owner and public ... read more

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