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Apr 25

Bucky Harris Hall of Fame Induction

Stanley “Bucky” Harris

Hall of Fame induction 1975

I was very fortunate to have accompanied my father, as invited guests, of the Harris family to the induction of “Bucky” Harris into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1975.

As many of you are aware, Bucky Harris was known as “The Boy Wonder” player-manager for leading the Washington Senators to their ONLY World Series victory in 1924 followed by another American League championship in 1925.

I wanted to give you some insight into my good fortune being the son of a former Washington Senators player.  My dad would break into major league baseball in 1937 – Bucky Harris’ first strictly managerial “stint” with the Washington ballclub begin in 1935.  My father always believed  Bucky Harris to be the best manager in baseball and it was my understanding that my father was considered by Bucky to be one of his favorite players!

As a youngster, I vaguely remember being in the Washington clubhouse however, by that time Bucky Harris was no longer managing the Senators.  I believe Harris would be the Washington “skipper” through the 1942 season and in 1943 would become the manager of the Philadelphia Phillies.  As a little guy, to be in a major league clubhouse with many of my dad’s teammates as personal friends, was obviously very special, although I was much too young to appreciate the significance.  Not until I was a 20 year old working out at Griffith Stadium wearing a Washington Senators uniform did I realize just how special that experience would be!

1951. Mike Guerra, Connie Marrero, Willy Miranda, Bucky Harris, Sandy Consuegra and Julio Moreno.

Well, time passes and my dad would be the first base coach for Mickey Vernon with the “expansion” Washington Senators from 1961-63 providing me with a once in a life-time opportunity to actually work out on the same field where my father had played.  My father would then manage in Hawaii in 1965-66 (the Hawaii Islanders, AAA affiliate) of the Senators, would be the third base coach for the “original” Washington Senators (now known as the Minnesota Twins in 1968) and would manage the Oneonta Yankees on the short-season A New York Penn League from 1969-72.

Three years as a major league scout would pass and then my dad mentions to me – “Georgie, I’ve been invited by the Harris family to Cooperstown to attend the induction of Bucky Harris – would you like to go?”  Would I like to go?????  When do we leave?

So, one early summer morning in 1975, my father and I head north – I had never been to the Hall of Fame but my dad had been there several times while managing the Oneonta Yankees – Oneonta less than 30 miles from Cooperstown.  Obviously I knew what the Hall of Fame was all about but really did not know what to expect.  Upon arriving in one of the most beautiful small towns I had ever seen, flower boxes on just about every lamp post and on the shores of  Lake Otsego – a truly magnificent body of water, we head over to the Otesaga Hotel.  At the hotel, my father is greeted by many “old” baseball friends and we are shown to our table.  At our table, I am seated next to Hall of Fame catcher of the New York Yankees – the legendary Bill Dickey!  Oh, what wonderful baseball stories I hear for the next several hours – combined with a fabulous buffet, courtesy of Major League Baseball!

Then following the luncheon, we move to the actual induction ceremonies for the Baseball Hall of Fame, class of 1975.  And one of the inductees, Washington’s own, Stanley “Bucky” Harris.  What a perfect way to end a perfect day!  For anyone interested in seeing Bucky Harris in COLOR circa 1939-40, our website www.timelessbaseball.com has all of the information for our DVD “Around the League 1939-46”

Thank you “Pop” for providing me with so many wonderful and very special baseball memories!