Turbow: Bobby Bragan at the vanguard of baseball thought

From Jason Turbow at The National Pastime Museum on June 12, 2016:

As a player, Bobby Bragan was best known as one of the recalcitrant members of the 1947 Dodgers who openly rebelled against the signing of Jackie Robinson. His legacy, however, was cemented by his ability to change. Before long, the Alabaman was won over by his new teammate, and the two formed a lifelong friendship.

Such change was instrumental in Bragan setting himself apart as one of baseball’s most forward thinkers while managing the Pirates, Indians, and Braves in the 1950s and ’60s. The man’s ideas about strategy were far outside the era’s mainstream, and though many of his philosophies would be adopted decades later by the sport’s statistical vanguard, they spurred every team that employed him as manager to run him out of town inside of four years.

As far back as his playing days Bragan was partial to the notion of batting one’s best power hitters at the top of a lineup instead of in the three-through-five slots, theorizing that extra at-bats would more than offset the diminished potential for RBIs in the first inning. Dodgers Manager Burt Shotton was entirely unswayed by Bragan’s arguments, but Branch Rickey, the team’s general manager, was not so closed-minded.

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/bobby-bragan-vanguard-baseball-thought

Originally published: June 12, 2016. Last Updated: June 12, 2016.