Ralph Houk

After WWII combat duty, Houk debuted with the 1947 Yankees, hitting .272 in 41 games, before the arrival of Yogi Berra sent Houk back to the minors. He played only 50 more games in seven seasons as Berra’s back-up. Following three years managing Denver (American Association) and three as a Yankee coach, he replaced Casey Stengel as Yankee manager in 1961, winning World Championships his first two seasons and adding a pennant in 1963. Kicked upstairs after the Dodgers swept the ’63 WS, Houk served as Yankee vice president and general manager until May 1966. During that time, critical mistakes were made, notably keeping declining veterans until their trade value dissipated. Back on the field, Houk managed the Yankees (1966-73), the Tigers (1974-78), and the Red Sox (1981-84). After 20 years of managing, he stood tenth in games, wins, and losses, with a .514 winning percentage. A player favorite, Houk was never fired. Houk was named a Twins’ vice president in November 1986, and his advice helped build the Twins’ 1987 World Champions.