Before being named as general manager of the Red Sox, Bucky Harris spent 29 years as a field manager, 18 of them with the Senators and seven with the Tigers. He had also managed the Red Sox for one year in 1934, the first full year under the ownership of Tom Yawkey. During his playing days he was a second baseman but it was his managerial résumé that ultimately got him voted into the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1975.
In October 1956, Joe Cronin hired Harris as a special assistant so he was a likely heir apparent when the American League presidency opened up for Cronin. After Cronin took the position at the league's office, Harris was named the general manager of the Red Sox on January 15, 1959. As GM for less than two years, Harris didn't have a great opportunity to make his mark on the team, though he did oversee the debuts of Pumpsie Green and Earl Wilson, whose additions integrated the Red Sox roster in midsummer 1959. However, the 1960 Red Sox slipped to seventh place and on September 30, 1960, both Harris and farm director Johnny Murphy were dismissed.