Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Happy Baseball Birthday...Les Moss

Today's Happy Baseball Birthday is former big league catcher and manager Les Moss.

Les Moss was born on this day, May 14th, 1925, in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Moss was 21 years old when he made his big league debut, for the old St. Louis Browns, in September of 1946.

Moss played in 824 games, had 2,234 at bats, collecting 552 hits, with a batting average of .247.

As a catcher with the Browns/Orioles, and White Sox, Moss had a lifetime fielding percentage of .978.

Moss spent the years after his playing days as a coach and manager, including 12 years managing Winter Ball.

In 1979 the Detroit Tigers named Moss manager, replacing the retiring Ralph Houk.

Moss had been in the big league managerial role before, with the Chicago White Sox, for 36 games, in 1968.

Moss didn't last long leading the Tigers.

Moss had the '79 Tigers at a 27-26 record before he was dismissed as manager, on June 12th.

His replacement?

Sparky Anderson.

Anderson, manager of the 1970's Big Red Machine, had guided the Reds to back to back World Series Championships, in '75-76.

The Reds fired Anderson after the '78 baseball season...for finishing second.

I really don't remember much about Les Moss.

I do remember that I was very happy to see my team hire Sparky.

From all I've read about Les Moss, he was a terrific big league catcher, manager, pitching coach, and just a plain good, loyal, baseball guy.

Moss continued to coach in the big leagues after his time in Motown, helping teach young pitchers, and stayed in baseball until 1995.

That gave Les Moss 55 years playing and coaching baseball.

Les Moss passed away last year, at age 87.

Happy Birthday Les!!

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