Casey Stengel's real name was Charle Dillon Stengel. He was born in Kansas City, Missouri. When he started playing in the Major Leagues, his nickname became K.C., short for Kansas City. This later transformed into "Casey".
Here's something you might not know. Between playing and managing, Casey is the only man to wear the uniforms of all four New York Major League clubs. The Yankees, the Mets, the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants.
He was the first of four to manage both the Yankees and the Mets. The others are Joe Torre, Dallas Green and Yogi Berra.
Casey originally wanted to become a dentist. During his minor league seasons of 1910 and 1911, he saved enough money to go to dentist school. The problem was that he was left handed and there were no left handed instruments. This made it kind of tough for Casey to train.
After batting .290 in 1912 with the Dodgers Montgomery, Alabama minor league club, he was brought up to Brooklyn in late season. That was the end of Dental School.
Also in 1914, Casey managed the University if Mississippi baseball team and got his nickname, "The Professor".
Most of us think of Casey Stengel as a Major League manager, but he had a pretty good playing career, too. He played fourteen Major League seasons with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Giants, Philadelphia Phillies and Boston Braves. He played in one World Series for the Dodgers and two for the Giants.
Casey was a left handed outfielder, both batting and throwing and was known for his speed. His lifetime batting average was a very respectable .284. But managing is where we know Casey.
He managed 25 Big League season and 3,766 games. He won 1,905 and lost 1,842. He won seven World Series Championships.
Casey managed the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1934 and 1936 and the Boston Braves in 1938 to 1943. But he never finished better than fifth.
But in 1944 he led the Brewers of the minor league American Association to the pennant and in 1948 took the Oakland Oaks of the Pacific Coast League all the way. This got the attention of the New York Yankees. They hired Casey Stengel in 1949.
The Yanks proceeded to win the World Series the first five seasons with Casey in charge, 1949 through 1953. They won it all again in 1956 and 1958.
Casey was now known as a master tactician. He was one of the first managers to extensively platoon players. In fact in his book, Mickey Mantle talks about his Dad talking him into becoming a switch hitter because of Casey Stengel.
Casey was becoming known also for his babblings about baseball. Long dis-connected sentences that didn't seem to make sense to anyone but Casey. The press started to call it "Steneglese".
In 1960, the Yankees lost the World Series to the Pittsburgh Pirates. After-wards the Yankees "involuntarily retired" Casey. He later made the statement that he was fired for turning 70 and that he "would never make that mistake again."
Casey Stengel was hired to manage the new expansion New York Mets in 1962. He managed them for four seasons and finished last each year. He is credited with coining the phrase, "The Amazin Mets".
Casey's uniform number 37 was retired by the Mets and the Yankees. He was inducted into Baseball's Hall of Fame in 1966.
Casey Stengel died on September 29, 1975 in Glendale, California.
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