According to Ray Mileur, "While I'm disappointed that the Hall of Fame decided to ignore the wishes of the Southworth family, I have talked with the President of the Hall of Fame for weeks leading up to this historic event and I wanted the fans to understand that I am in complete agreement, that in the abscense of an immediate family member being available for the ceremonies, it is most appropriate and is in keeping with the best traditions and highest standards of the Hall of Fame, that the owner of the St. Louis Cardinals is chosen for this honor.
For my family, friends and some Cardinal fans who may be disappointed to some degree about this decision and change of events, it is important to remember, that this day was never about Ray Mileur, it was and is about the Hall of Fame career of Billy Southworth.
I ask that you join with me today along with William O. DeWitt Jr., to reflect on and celebrate the life and career of one of the greatest managers of all-time, former St. Louis Cardinals' manager, Billy Southworth, Hall of Famer."
HALL OF FAME BIO: William 'Billy the Kid' Southworth managed in the big leagues for 13 years (1929, 1940-51), including seven with the Cardinals and six with the Braves. He posted 1044 wins and 704 losses in 1770 games for a .597 winning percentage, fifth all-time behind McCarthy (.615), Mutrie (.611), Comiskey (.608) and Selee (.598).
Southworth began his managing career in 1928 with the Cardinals' Rochester club, winning a pennant. He returned to the majors in 1929 as player/manager for the Cards. His style as a strict taskmaster and disciplinarian was resisted by the Cardinal players, and after 88 games (43-45), he was relieved of his post and returned to manage Rochester, winning three more pennants. Southworth also managed at Asheville and Memphis, before returning to the helm of the Cardinals in 1940.
Southworth guided the Cardinals to three consecutive National League pennants from 1942-44, winning World Series' matchups over the Yankees in '42 and the cross-town rival Browns in '44. He left St. Louis to manage the Braves in 1945, and won another pennant in 1948, the first by the Braves in 34 years.
Southworth earned Sporting News' Manager of the Year honors in 1941 and 1942. His clubs had winning records in 11 of his 13 seasons as manager. He won 90 or more games six times and topped 100 victories three times. As a player, batted .297 with 1296 hits in 1192 games. Overall spent 40 years in pro baseball, including 13 as an outfielder with the Indians, Pirates, Braves, Giants and Cardinals.
ADMIN NOTE: The Prospect Power Rankings (PPR) will not be published this week, because of the Hall of Fame Ceremonies and travel schedule of Ray, but will return next Monday with some exciting updates and perhaps a couple of new faces.
© 2008 stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed.