Felber: Donie Bush, Kiki Cuyler, and the 1927 Pirates

From SABR member Bill Felber at The National Pastime Museum on March 7, 2016:

Donie Bush was a baseball lifer. Emerging at 20 in 1908 as shortstop for the American League champion Detroit Tigers, Bush played in nearly 2,000 games, then worked four stints as a big league manager and three years as a scout. Between 1938 and 1940 he co-owned the Louisville Colonels, selling his shares to finance the purchase of his hometown Indianapolis Indians, which he owned for 12 more seasons. Between 1953 and 1969 he was president of the Indians, and at the 1963 Winter Meetings owners bestowed on him the title, “King of Baseball.” Bush never married, never had children, and died in 1984 without having worked a day outside the game.

No wonder longtime Pittsburgh Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss late in 1927 pronounced Bush “the best manager I’ve ever had” because “he is all baseball.”

The question with Bush was never his commitment, but whether he carried that commitment too far. Bush demanded his players show the same single-mindedness that he did, an approach that created turmoil for the 1927 Pirates and made all the more remarkable their victory in that season’s pennant race.

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/donie-bush-and-kiki-cuyler

Originally published: March 9, 2016. Last Updated: March 9, 2016.