, , , , , ,

Bill SouthworthBilly Southworth moved to manage the Boston Braves in 1946. At the time, making $50,000 as a manager was a big deal. He had some fairly quick success.

Fourth in 1946. Third in 1947. First in 1948. Of course, it probably didn’t hurt that he had Warren Spahn and Johnny Sain pitching for him. They won their second NL pennant in the 1900’s under his great leadership. They were defeated however in the 1948 World Series in six games by the Cleveland Indians.

In 1949 many of the players rebelled against Southworth’s rules, regulations, and leadership. The Braves struggled on the field. The rumor mill had Southworth, an admitted alcoholic, drinking heavily and near a nervous breakdown.

So, in August Southworth turned the Braves over to someone else. Johnny Cooney, another Braves coach, took over. Southworth did come back to coach the Braves in 1950. It would be easier on him because most of the rebellious Braves had been traded away.

But the team was “older”. Attendance was in the toilet. In 1951 the Braves were barely 28-31 by June 19th. Part of the issue was probably competition. The Boston Red Sox was aggressively going after the fans. This was the first year they both broadcast their games on the radio. It only paid off for the Red Sox though.

Billy Southworth did the honorable thing. He “resigned”. Most reports have him being fired. He was replaced by a former right fielder, Tommy Holmes. He did remain with the Braves as a scout. Not uncommon. He never managed again.

In 1953 the Boston Braves became the Milwaukee Braves. Go figure.