Saturday, March 21, 2009

Whitey Lockman

Former major leaguer Whitey Lockman passed away recently. He is certainly know most as a Giant, as a player in New York and as a coach for several seasons in San Francisco. But I knew him as a Cub, and more specifically, as the manager who replaced Leo Durocher.

Whitey came to the Cubs organization as a minor league manager in 1965. Actually, he was a "head coach" because this was the tail end of the College of Coaches era. Below is his biography from the 1965 media guide.

He managed in the minors for several seasons and then became director of player development. When Leo had finally worn out his welcome in Chicago and was fired midway through the 1972 season, it was his former player Lockman who succeeded him. Whitey finished the '72 season as Cubs skipper, then led the team again in 1973. He was fired 93 games into the 1974 season with the team sitting in last place. His records as a manager was 157-162.

I really can't remember much about Whitey's time leading the Cubs. He was the anti-Leo, quiet and unassuming. And with only a two year span as skipper, he never had time to develop any real connection with Cubs fans. After he was fired he returned to the Cubs front office. He was one of many Cubs managers who, after being fired by the team, never managed in the majors again.

He was around long enough for two cards. Both cards included the coaching staff. The 1973 card has coach Ernie Banks while the 1974 card shows coach Jim Marshall, who replaced Whitey as manager in 1974.

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