Womack: Patsy Tebeau, the manager who walked away

From SABR member Graham Womack at The National Pastime Museum on February 14, 2017:

When Patsy Tebeau resigned as player-manager of the St. Louis Cardinals in August 1900, it was probably clear he had to go. The team had future Hall of Fame Managers John McGraw and Wilbert Robinson on its playing roster and had stumbled to a 42–50 record. Tebeau had a reputation as one of the toughest players of the 1890s, but he’d become lax with his charges.

“Many of the St. Louis players have not lived up to their contracts,” The Sporting News noted a week after Tebeau stepped down. “Some of the men are total abstainers but three or four have been drinking steadily and heavily and a great many of them have been keeping late hours. Some of them have been seen at three or four o’clock in the morning and one of them was selling newspapers at 7 o’clock one Sunday morning. He had taken the newsboy’s supply of daily papers away from him and was hawking them to passers by. Needless to say, he had been up all night.”

St. Louis owner Frank DeHass Robison badly wanted McGraw, his 27-year-old third baseman to step in as player-manager. McGraw refused, partly because he knew it was too late in the year to turn St. Louis around though he’d still be responsible for the team’s record. Toward the end of the season, Robison came calling again, offering McGraw $15,000 for the next season, which presumably would have made him the highest paid manager in the Majors. McGraw refused that as well.

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/patsy-tebeau-manager-who-walked-away

Originally published: February 14, 2017. Last Updated: February 14, 2017.