Marion was the premier defensive NL shortstop of his day, named to seven successive NL All-Star squads. With Marion at SS, the Cardinals won four pennants, three World Championships, and, from 1941 through 1949, never finished lower than second. Nicknamed “Slats” by Burt Shotton, who managed him in the minors, the 6’2″ 170-lb Marion disproved the theory that shortstops had to be small men. His unusually long arms, which reached for ground balls like tentacles, prompted writers to dub him “The Octopus.”
Marion was a consistent hitter who generally batted toward the bottom of the order. His 38 doubles led the NL in 1942. Deferred from military service because of a trick knee, he was the NL MVP in 1944, when he helped the Cardinals to a World Championship with his glove, winning his first of four fielding titles.
A back injury cut Marion’s career short, and he managed the Cardinals from the bench in 1951, finishing third. Replaced by Eddie Stanky, he moved crosstown to the Browns, and took over for manager Rogers Hornsby early in the 1952 season. He played 67 games that season, three the next, and was let go after a last-place finish in 1953. He managed the White Sox for two-plus seasons, always coming in third. His brother, John “Red” Marion, played briefly for the 1935 and 1943 Senators.