The Full Wiki

More info on Bob Swift

Bob Swift: Wikis

Advertisements
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For the Canadian football player of the same name see Bob Swift (Canadian football).

Bob Swift catching as Eddie Gaedel bats in 1951

Robert Virgil Swift (March 6, 1915 — October 17, 1966) was an American catcher, coach and manager in Major League Baseball. Swift is pictured in one of the most famous photographs in American sporting history. He was the catcher for the Detroit Tigers on August 19, 1951, when St. Louis Browns owner Bill Veeck sent midget Eddie Gaedel to pinch hit during an actual MLB game. The stunt was inspired by the James Thurber short story You Could Look It Up and Gaedel was allowed to bat when the Browns showed the umpires a legitimate baseball contract. Swift knelt on the ground to receive pitcher Bob Cain's offerings — it is this kneeling stance that is captured in the photo — and Gaedel took a base on balls. He was immediately replaced at first base by a pinch runner and he never appeared in a big league game again; he had had no baseball experience in the first place.

While Gaedel was a novice, Swift, a native of Salina, Kansas, played 14 consecutive seasons (1940-53) in the big leagues. Primarily a second-string catcher, he toiled for the Browns (1940-42), Philadelphia Athletics (1942-43) and Tigers (1944-53), appearing in 1,001 games and hitting .231. A good defensive catcher, he batted and threw right-handed.

He became a coach and minor league manager immediately upon the end of his playing career, working for the Tigers, Athletics (then in Kansas City), and Washington Senators.

Swift was in his second stint as a Detroit coach under Chuck Dressen in 1965 when Dressen was felled by a mild heart attack during spring training. As acting manager, Swift led Detroit to a 24-18 record until Dressen was able to return. In May 1966, Dressen suffered his second coronary in as many seasons. Again, Swift took the reins, but in July (with the Tigers 32-25 under his command) he fell ill and was hospitalized for what appeared to be food poisoning. Tests revealed, however, that Swift was suffering from lung cancer. Coach Frank Skaff then took over as the team's second acting manager and finished the campaign.

Swift died in Detroit of cancer the following October 17 at the age of 51. His record in 1965-66 as an interim manager was 56-43 (.566).

Preceded by
Chuck Dressen
Detroit Tigers Manager
1965
Succeeded by
Chuck Dressen
Preceded by
Chuck Dressen
Detroit Tigers Manager
1966
Succeeded by
Frank Skaff

See also

Advertisements

Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message