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The View from the Dugout

The Journals of Red Rolfe

Edited by William M. Anderson

Publication Year: 2006

Somewhere, if they haven't been destroyed, there are hundreds of pages of typewritten notes about American League players of that era, notes which I would love to get my hands on. -Bill James, in The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, on the journals of Red Rolfe "Red Rolfe's journal for his years as manager of the Detroit Tigers is the kind of precious source researchers yearn for. In combination with William M. Anderson's well-done text, The View from the Dugout will be of great interest to general readers and of immense value to students of baseball history." -Charles C. Alexander, author of Breaking the Slump: Baseball in the Depression Era "Red Rolfe was one of baseball's most astute observers. This is 'inside' baseball from the inside." -Donald Honig, author of Baseball America, Baseball When the Grass Was Real, and other books in the Donald Honig Best Players of All Time series "In his lucid journals Red Rolfe has provided an inside look at how an intelligent baseball manager thinks and prepares." -Ray Robinson, Yankee historian and author of Iron Horse: Lou Gehrig in His Time Baseball players as a rule aren't known for documenting their experiences on the diamond. Red Rolfe, however, during his time as manager of the Detroit Tigers from 1949 to 1952, recorded daily accounts of each game, including candid observations about his team's performance. He used these observations to coach his players and to gain an advantage by recording strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies of opposing players and managers. Rolfe's journals carry added value considering his own career as an All-Star Yankee third baseman on numerous world champion teams, where he was a teammate of Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio. Today, in the era of televised broadcasts, networks often wire a manager so that viewers can listen to his spontaneous comments throughout the game. Red Rolfe's journals offer an opportunity to find out what a manager is thinking when no one is around to hear. William M. Anderson is Director of the Department of History, Arts and Libraries for the State of Michigan. His books include The Detroit Tigers: A Pictorial Celebration of the Greatest Players and Moments in Tigers' History.

Published by: University of Michigan Press


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pp. vii-vii

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pp. 1-18

Following a squandered victory at St. Louis on April 28, 1949, rookie Tiger manager Red Rolfe recorded: "Poor pitching cost us a game in which we were leading 5 to 1. Once again we failed to do things as they should be done in the big leagues." The always candid and generally ...

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1949 Season

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pp. 19-108

Spring training for pitchers and catchers began at ten o'clock A.M. on March 1 at the Tiger complex in Lakeland, Florida. Red Rolfe's first speech was what one would expect from a taciturn person-brief. He told his players to be on the field in uniform at ten o'clock A.M. each day and in the hotel by midnight. And he emphasized the importance of avoiding sore arms and told them not to lie in the sun lest it interfere with ...

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1950 Season

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pp. 109-196

The Tigers had made impressive strides under freshman manager Red Rolfe in 1949, bettering their team performance by nine full games and playing at a highly respectable .565 winning percentage. For the first time since its pennant-winning season in 1945, Detroit had remained in the pennant race most of the season. Although aging, the starting rotation ranked among the best in the AL. Virgil Trucks had just enjoyed his finest season, winning nineteen and capturing the league leadership in strikeouts. The perennial ace Hal ...

Illustrations Gallery Pages 1.1-1.15

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pp. Gallery1-Gallery1

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1951 Season

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pp. 197-270

Record attendance, multiple players enjoying career years, and a pennant- contending team assured that the cost of doing business would escalate and probably cause some player negotiating challenges. Red Rolfe had had a career managerial season too, earning him Manager of the Year honors in the AL. He inked his new one-year contract first, earning a salary estimated at forty thousand dollars and making his ...

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1952 Season

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pp. 271-308

In what was otherwise a dismal 1951 season, manager Rolfe had felt a bit of satisfaction as his disappointing Tigers achieved some degree of revenge by sweeping the Indians in a crucial three-game series late in September. "We helped the Yankees, sure," recognized Rolfe. "But mainly we got a measure of revenge. When Cleveland ...

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pp. 309-312

Red Rolfe enjoyed a short three and a half seasons' run as a big league manager. In two and a half years he went from leading his team in a hot pennant race to a runner-up finish, in 1950, and being honored by the Sporting News as American League manager of the year to being an unemployed resident of New Hampshire. When he left ...

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pp. 313-314

As I am unaware of any other major league manager who kept a journal throughout his tenure, it is a supreme gift to be given the opportunity to publish such a special historical document. I owe a great debt of gratitude to Don Randall, nephew of the main character in this story, for his trust and the privilege he has given me. The opportunity to read Red Rolfe's private recordings and feel his moments of pleasure and frustration was an uncommon reward for a...


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pp. 315-316


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pp. 317-325

E-ISBN-13: 9780472022335
E-ISBN-10: 0472022334
Print-ISBN-13: 9780472031481
Print-ISBN-10: 0472031481

Page Count: 360
Illustrations: 36 tables, 16 pages (24 B&W) ganged photos
Publication Year: 2006

OCLC Number: 593239817
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The View from the Dugout

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Subject Headings

  • Rolfe, Red, 1908-1969 -- Diaries.
  • Baseball managers -- United States -- Diaries.
  • Detroit Tigers (Baseball team) -- History.
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