From SABR member Don Drooker at Mastersball on August 14, 2015:
Henry Emmett “Heinie” Manush first crept into my consciousness in 1954, when he was a coach for the Washington Senators and his baseball card (#187) was part of the Topps set. He was 53 years old at the time, but the man on the card appeared to be at least 70. The back of the card said that he was “One of the best hitters of his day, batting over .300 in 11 of his 15 major league seasons.” For a youngster just learning about the history of the game, this was where information was found and the unusual name always stuck in a far corner of my brain as part of old school baseball.
Today, of course, a quick click at baseball-reference.com will tell you that Heinie made his major league debut at age 21 with the Detroit Tigers in 1923. He led the AL with a .378 batting average in 1926 and hit .378 again in 1928, finishing 2nd to Mickey Cochrane in the MVP voting. With over 2,500 hits and a lifetime BA of .330, he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1964 by the Veteran’s Committee.
One of my closest friends is a technology geek. He loves having all the gadgets but somehow can’t get them to function properly. Invariably, his smart phone, laptop, iPad or wi-fi connection isn’t working and he diligently labors to fix them himself. Just a week or two ago, his e-mail system wasn’t delivering the messages from his fantasy league’s commissioner and the only way he could figure out who was on the waiver wire was to have the commish send updates to his three different e-mail addresses and hope that one of them would work. Based on this history, he’s been nicknamed “Hy Tech”.
As baseball evolves into the technological age and discussions among friends lead to disagreements between old-school fans and stat heads, you can’t help but wonder how the change in the game would be embraced by the likes of Heinie and Hy.
Originally published: August 14, 2015. Last Updated: August 14, 2015.