07/27/08 6:16 PM ET
Hall gives Cards' Southworth his due
DeWitt praises late manager as 'a winner in every sense'
By Willie Bans / MLB.com
So Cardinals Chairman of the Board Bill DeWitt was pretty accurate win his speech Sunday afternoon as Southworth was posthumously inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame:
"Billy Southworth was a winner in every sense," DeWitt said.
Southworth, who was born in Harvard, Neb., in 1893 and passed away in 1969, managed parts of 13 seasons in the Major Leagues, including seven seasons during two stints in St. Louis. He was player-manager for 90 games in 1929, then presided over the dominant Cardinals teams from 1940-1945.
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Those teams won three pennants and two World Series titles, and in Southworth's five full seasons as Cardinals manager, his clubs averaged nearly 102 wins per year.
In his 13 seasons as an outfielder, beginning in 1913, Southworth batted .297 with 138 stolen bases. He hit .345 in the 1926 World Series, helping the Cardinals defeat the Yankees for the championship.
"He had a strong upbringing and knew the value of hard work and dedication," DeWitt said. "Baseball was Billy's life from a young age."
Southworth, the 10th Hall of Famer to have managed the Cardinals, posted a 1,064-729 career record for a .593 winning percentage. He won another pennant in 1948 as the manager of the Boston Braves.
Southworth was elected to the Hall via the veterans committee ballot.
"Billy Southworth was a humble and private man who taught his children, quote, 'Humbleness is greatness,'" DeWitt said. "If he were with us today, he would have been too modest to speak of his accomplishments."
Willie Bans is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.