If you have heard of William Francis Carrigan before this story, you are definitely a more diehard Red Sox fan than I am. Nicknamed “Rough,” Bill Carrigan was born in Lewiston, Maine on October 22, 1883.
Carrigan started his Red Sox career as a platoon catcher and ended up playing all 10 seasons in Boston. His career statistics were nothing eye-popping as his career batting average was .257, he cranked just six home runs (dead ball era remember?), and he drove in 235 runs. Check out his career stats here:
However, what Carrigan lacked in production during his playing career, he more than made up for in his managerial days. Midway through the 1913 season, Carrigan replaced Jake Stahl as a player-manager. He led Boston to a second-place finish in 1914. However, in 1915 and 1916 he led the Red Sox to a combined 192-113 record capturing World Series titles in both years.
What was most impressive about Carrigan was his World Series record as he only lost two games of the Fall Classic, finishing his managerial career with an 8-2 record in the World Series.
Before Terry Francona did it in 2004 and 2007, Carrigan was the only Red Sox manager to have won two World Series titles with Boston. Babe Ruth gave Carrigan the highest praise of all as he said that Carrigan was the best manager he had ever played for.
After his success in 1916, Carrigan left baseball to become a banker in Maine. He returned to manage the Sox in 1927, but unfortunately he was unable to capture his previous success and led the Sox to last-place finishes in three straight years.
Carrigan died in Lewiston, Maine in 1969 at the age of 85. Carrigan’s life truly showed that being a Red Sox means more than just performing well in the field. You cannot discount the contributions of the bench-boss.