Heinie Manush

Overshadowed by Hall of Famers Ty Cobb and Harry Heilmann in Detroit, feisty Heinie Manush found the limelight in St. Louis and Washington. A lefthanded, line-drive-hitting outfielder, he broke in with player-manager Cobb’s 1923 Tigers and batted .334. He lost his job to Al Wingo in 1925, but came back strong in 1926. Replacing the 39-year-old Cobb in centerfield, Manush battled Babe Ruth and teammates Heilmann and Bob Fothergill down to the wire for the batting title. On the final day of the season, Manush went 6-for-9 in a doubleheader to overtake Ruth and win the crown at .378.

Manush slumped to .298 under new Tiger manager George Moriarty in 1927 and was traded to the Browns. The move agreed with him. Playing left field in 1928, he again batted .378, but finished one point behind Washington’s Goose Goslin. He led the AL with 241 hits, and tied for the lead in doubles that year and the next. In 1929, his .355 was good for third in the AL batting race.

In a blockbuster trade made on June 13, 1930, Goslin and Manush exchanged uniforms, with pitcher Alvin Crowder also going to the Senators. Manush batted .342 in 1932. In 1933 he hit .336 to finish second behind Jimmie Foxx, batting safely in 33 consecutive games from July 22 to August 25. He also led the circuit in hits and triples in pacing Washington to its last World Series appearance. When President Roosevelt threw out the first pitch before Game Three, Manush captured the ball in the ensuing scramble for it among the players. After the game, he presented it to winning pitcher Earl Whitehill. In Game Four, Manush made history as the first player ever ejected from a Series game. Protesting when umpire Charley Moran called him out, Manush pulled on the ump’s bow tie, held in place with an elastic band, and then let the tie snap back.

A third-place finish in the 1934 AL batting race marked Manush’s last outstanding year in Washington. In 1937, his first NL season, he batted .333 for Brooklyn. He finished with Pittsburgh in 1939, and played and managed in the minors until 1945. He scouted for the Braves and Pirates, was a Senators coach in 1953-54, and served Washington as a scout through 1962. His brother Frank played third base for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1908. Manush was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Committee on Baseball Veterans in 1964. 

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