Joe Cronin

Joe Cronin
Joe Cronin

Shortstop / Manager
Born: October 12, 1906(1906-10-12)
San Francisco, California
Died: September 7, 1984(1984-09-07) (aged 77)
Osterville, Massachusetts
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
April 29, 1926 for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Last MLB appearance
April 19, 1945 for the Boston Red Sox
Career statistics
Batting average     .301
Hits     2,285
Home runs     170
Runs batted in     1,424

As player

As manager

Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Induction     1956
Vote     78.76% (tenth ballot)
Seven of the American League's 1937 All-Star players, from left to right Lou Gehrig, Joe Cronin, Bill Dickey, Joe DiMaggio, Charlie Gehringer, Jimmie Foxx, and Hank Greenberg. All seven would eventually be elected to the Hall of Fame.

Joseph Edward Cronin (October 12, 1906 – September 7, 1984) was a Major League Baseball shortstop and manager.[1]

During a 20-year playing career, he played from 1926–45 for three different teams, primarily for the Boston Red Sox. Cronin was a major league manager from 1933–47. A seven-time All-Star, Cronin was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1956.


Early life

Joe Cronin was born in San Francisco, CA and attended Sacred Heart High School.

Major League career

As a player

Baseball promoter Joe Engel, who scouted for the Senators and managed the Chattanooga Lookouts at Engel Stadium, originally signed Cronin. When Engel first spotted Cronin playing in Kansas City, "I knew I was watching a great player. I bought Cronin at a time he was hitting .221. When I told Clark Griffith what I had done, he screamed, 'You paid $7,500 for that bum? Well, you didn't buy him for me. You bought him for yourself. He's not my ballplayer – he's yours. You keep him and don't either you or Cronin show up at the ballpark.'" Cronin led the Senators to the 1933 World Series and later married Griffith's niece, Mildred Robertson.

In 1930, Cronin had a breakout year, batting .346 with 13 home runs and 126 RBI. Cronin won both the AL Writers' MVP (the forerunner of the BBWAA MVP, established in 1931) and the AL Sporting News MVP. His 1931 season was also outstanding, with him posting a .306 average, 12 home runs, and 126 RBIs.

Over his career, Cronin batted .300 or higher eight times, as well as knocking in 100 runs or more eight times. He finished with a .301 average, 170 home runs, and 1,424 RBIs.

As a manager

Cronin assumed managerial duties in 1933, a role he would continue with the Boston Red Sox, the team he was traded to prior to the 1935 season, by Senators' owner Clark Griffith. Cronin retired as a player in 1945 (though he was only a part-time player after 1941), but remained as manager of the Red Sox until 1947.

As a manager, he compiled a 1,236–1,055 record and won two American League championships (in 1933 and 1946). His 1933 Senators dropped the 1933 World Series to the New York Giants, and his 1946 Boston Red Sox lost the 1946 World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals.

As a general manager

At the end of the 1947 season, Cronin succeeded Eddie Collins as general manager of the Red Sox and continued through mid-January 1959. The Red Sox challenged for the AL pennant in 194849 (finishing second by a single game both seasons) thanks to Cronin's aggressive trades. In his first off-season, he acquired shortstop Vern Stephens and pitchers Ellis Kinder and Jack Kramer from the St. Louis Browns; all played a major roles in Boston's contending 1948 season, and Kinder and Stephens were centerpieces of the Red Sox' 1949–1950 contenders as well.

But the Red Sox began a slow decline during the 1950s and did not seriously contend after 1950. Most attention has been focused on the Red Sox being the last major league team to integrate its roster (Cronin once passed on signing a young Willie Mays, never traded for an African-American player, and the Red Sox remained an all-white team throughout his GM tenure). Another factor was a large number of "bonus babies" who never panned out.[citation needed]

As American League president

In January 1959, Cronin was elected president of the American League, the first former player to be so elected. Cronin served as American League president until the end of 1973, when he was succeeded by Lee MacPhail.

Joe Cronin's number 4 was retired by the Boston Red Sox in 1984.

Hall of Fame

He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame (with Hank Greenberg) in 1956. His jersey number 4 was formally retired by the Red Sox on May 29, 1984.

In 1999, he was named as a finalist to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.


Cronin died at the age of 77 on September 7, 1984, in Osterville, Massachusetts, and is buried in St. Francis Xavier Cemetery in nearby Centerville.

See also

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Eddie Collins
Red Sox General Manager
Succeeded by
Bucky Harris
Preceded by
Bucky Harris
Boston Red Sox Manager
Succeeded by
Joe McCarthy
Preceded by
Walter Johnson
Washington Senators Manager
Succeeded by
Bucky Harris

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