Mauch, Former Brooklyn Dodger, Dies

Gene Mauch, who played briefly with the Brooklyn Dodgers and went on to win 1,901 games as a manager died August 7 at the age of 79 in Rancho Mirage, California.

Mauch, a native of Salina, Kansas, began his major league career in 1944 with the Dodgers at age 18 in the player-scarce WW II era. He had two hits, including a double, in five games and two RBI in 15 at-bats for a .133 average. The Dodgers traded him to Pittsburgh on May 3, 1947 with Kirby Higbe, Hank Behrman, Cal McLish and Dixie Howell for outfielder Al Gionfriddo and a large bag of cash, some say in the $100,000-$125,000 range.

He returned to the Dodgers on December 8, 1947 in a trade that brought Preacher Roe and Billy Cox in exchange for Kirby Higbe, Dixie Walker, Cal McLish and Dixie Howell.

In the early part of 1948 he saw little action, playing in just a dozen games and going 2-for-13 (.154) with another pair of runs batted in and was sold to the Cubs in a waiver deal on June 17, 1948.

He played for nine seasons on the Dodgers, Pirates, Cubs, Braves, Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox. He had a career average of .239 and five home runs while playing mostly as a utility infielder.

But he became a superb big league skipper, lasting for 26 years with California, Philadelphia, Montreal and Minnesota, He was the National League manager of the year three times and is sixth in baseball history with 3,938 games managed, and 11th in games won.