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Judge Emil Fuchs

Judge Emil Fuchs

How bad can it get in a season? I don’t know if 1929 was the worst but the depression started and the Boston Braves hit a new low.

That was pretty depressing for sure. The went 56-98 ending up eighth and 43 games behind. It was so bad the owner, Judge Emil Fuchs, managed the team. In fact, he managed the whole season.

While this is hard to believe, the team had actually been slightly worse the year before. So, in 1929, the improved 6 whole games and managed not to lose 100+ games. But, when you are in last place, everything is relative. They hadn’t been in last since 1924.

You can’t really say that Fuchs had his heart in baseball. He was the attorney for John McGraw when he was with the New York Giants. McGraw bought the Braves with with Christy Mathewson and James McDonough in 1922.

Matthewson was originally intended to be the principal owner. However, Mathewson’s precarious health (he’d suffered a severe case of tuberculosis during World War I and never recovered) forced him to turn over the team presidency to Fuchs after the 1923 season.

After Jack Slattery quit as manager, Fuchs hired Rogers Hornsby to manage the rest of the 1928 season. However, Fuchs was already in financial trouble, and was forced to sell Hornsby to the Chicago Cubs after the season.

He then took over as his own manager, finishing in last place. The Philadelphia Phillies loaned Fuchs $35,000 to keep the Braves solvent.