display | more...

Joseph Edward Cronin was born on October 12, 1906, in San Francisco, California, just months after an earthquake damaged the city, and impoverished his family. Cronin grew up attending local schools and playing baseball in nearby Excelsior Park. Cronin worked as a Bank Teller and excelled in several sports. When Joe graduated high school, he turned down a scholarship from St. Mary's College so he could work and support his family. Joe would join a league near Napa, and play there as well as work. While playing, Cronin caught the eye of Pittsburgh Pirates scout Joe Devine, wwho signed the youngster to a contract to play pro ball.

Joe made his MLB debut on April 29, 1926 and everything was going well, except that the Pirates already had a good shortstop, and weren't looking to replace him. So, after two years of mostly pinch hitting, Cronin was dealt to the Washington Senators in 1928. As a Senator, Cronin was on top of the world. He was hitting the ball well and playing every day. In 1930 Cronin was named the MVP in the last year before the writers started selecting the MVP. And two years later, on October 8, 1932 Washington would name the then 27-year-old shortstop as their new manager. During Cronin's first year as player-manager, he would show his soon to be uncle-in-law that it was not a mistake, as Cronin led the team to what would be the last World Series appearance in that franchise's history.

On October 10, 1933, Joe Cronin is rewarded with a 3-year contract as player-manager of the Senators. Also in that year, Joe would meet Mildred Robertson, niece of the owner of the Senators. The two fell in love and were quickly married.

On September 3, 1934, Cronin collided with Boston's Wes Ferrell in a play at 1B. Cronin fractures a bone in his arm and is out for the season. The senators would end up 7th that season. This would also lead to an interesting turn of events as Clark Griffith, the owner, would sell his Nephew in law to the Boston Red Sox for $225,000.

Joe Cronin would not be discouraged by this turn of events. He flourished at Fenway park, hitting over a .500 slugging percentage three times. The Red Sox would fare well under Cronin's Management as well as his shortstopmanship. However, Cronin took himself out of the lineup in 1942 to make room for Johnny Pesky, but he would still make appearances as a pinch hitter.

On May 30, 1938, while The largest crowd in Yankee Stadium history looked on Yankee outfielder Jake Powell and Cronin go toe to toe in the middle of the infield after Archie McKain beaned Powell in the stomach. Cronin cut off Powell as he was charging the mound and the two went at it for 3 mintues before it was broken up. Even then, after both players were ejected, they fought underneath the stands until they were forceably seperated from each other. Both were fined and suspended for 10 games.

On June 17, 1943, Cronin hits two 3-run pinch HRs, one in each game of a doubleheader, as Boston beats the St. Louis Browns 5-4 and loses 8-7. Only one other player has accomplished this feat in MLB history.

In early 1945, Cronin broke his leg, ending his playing career for good. He would take the Red Sox to the World Series in the following year, but the socks would end up losing that one to the Cardinals.

On September 29, 1947, Joe McCarthy, who led the Yankees to 9 pennants, is coaxed out of retirement and signs to manage the Red Sox. Joe Cronin was moved to the Red Sox's front office, where he stayed for 11 years. During this time he was chosen as the American League president, the first former player to be placed in the position. During his two terms he helped the AL grow by 4 teams. He held the position until January of 1974, when he became the league chairman, an honorary position.

Joe Cronin was inducted into the baseball Hall Of Fame in Cooperstown, NY on July 23, 1956, along with Hank Greenberg.

On September 7, 1984 after 50 years of being involved in baseball in almost every way imaginable, Joe Cronin passed on in Osterville, MA. On May 15, 2002, his wife would pass away from cancer.

The number that Joe made famous, 4, is hanging alongside teamates Bobby Doerr (1) and Ted Williams (9). Also hanging are Carl Yastrzemski (8) and Carlton Fisk (27). They can be seen above the stands right of the bleachers at Fenway Park.

Statistics:

Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 180
YEAR TM LG G   AB     R   H   HR  RBI  AVG    OBP SLG 
1926 Pit N 38  83     9  22    0   11  .265  .315 .337 
1927 Pit N 12  22     2   5    0    3  .227  .292 .273 
1928 Was A 63  227   23  55    0   25  .242  .309 .322 
1929 Was A 145 494   72 139    8   61  .281  .388 .421 
1930 Was A 154 587  127 203   13  126  .346  .422 .513 
1931 Was A 156 611  103 187   12  126  .306  .391 .480 
1932 Was A 143 557   95 177    6  116  .318  .393 .492 
1933 Was A 152 602   89 186    5  118  .309  .398 .445 
1934 Was A 127 504   68 143    7  101  .284  .353 .421 
1935 Bos A 144 556   70 164    9   95  .295  .370 .460 
1936 Bos A 81  295   36  83    2   43  .281  .354 .403 
1937 Bos A 148 570  102 175   18  110  .307  .402 .486 
1938 Bos A 143 530   98 172   17   94  .325  .428 .536 
1939 Bos A 143 520   97 160   19  107  .308  .407 .492 
1940 Bos A 149 548  104 156   24  111  .285  .380 .502 
1941 Bos A 143 518   98 161   16   95  .311  .406 .508 
1942 Bos A 45   79    7  24    4   24  .304  .415 .494 
1943 Bos A 59   77    8  24    5   29  .312  .398 .558 
1944 Bos A 76  191   24  46    5   28  .241  .358 .356 
1945 Bos A 3     8    1   3    0    1  .375  .545 .375 

Totals     G    AB    R    H   HR  RBI  AVG   OBP  SLG
         2124  7579 1233 2285 170 1424 .301  .390 .468

sources:
www.baseballhalloffame.org/hofers_and_honorees/ hofer_bios/cronin_joe.htm
www.pubdim.net/baseballlibrary/ballplayers/C/Cronin_Joe.stm
sports.espn.go.com/mlb/alltime/playercard?playerId=2960&type=0
www.hickoksports.com/biograph/croninjo.shtml
redsoxbaseball.tripod.com/players/cronin.html

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.