New York Yankee all-time greatest managers – No. 2: Casey Stengel
The colorful Stengel managed the Yanks for 12 seasons, between 1949 and 1960, and he compiled a terrific record as the Yankee skipper. He guided the Bombers to an incredible 1,149-696 won-loss record and a .623 winning percentage, among the highest for a Yankee manager.
During that time his teams won 10 pennants and seven World Series. He won five World Series in a row, the only manager to ever do so. The Yanks were a dominant team throughout his tenure as Yankee skipper.
In large part, his success was due to his innate ability to keep order on the club with so many different characters and personalities, such as Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Billy Martin, Mickey Mantle, and others.
He was well known and liked for his wit and sense of humor, as well as his craftiness on the baseball diamond. His baseball IQ was extraordinary, and he consistently invented and applied sophisticated new techniques and strategies to the game.
Stengel even created his own “language,” dubbed “Stengelese.” Appropos of this essay, he once said, “The secret of successful managing is to keep the five guys who hate you away from the four guys who haven’t made up their minds.”
Stengel was from another era and, arguably, from another planet. In recognition of all his remarkable achievements, he was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966. The Yankees retired his number “37” in 1970.
Stengel was unique, and I very much doubt that we will ever see another manager quite like him again.