Ford Frick

Ford Frick

Wawaka, Noble County, Indiana, USA
Death 8 Apr 1978 (aged 83)
Bronxville, Westchester County, New York, USA
Burial Bronxville, Westchester County, New York, USA
Plot Outdoor Columbarium, Niche 177
Memorial ID 10239 · View Source
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Hall of Fame Baseball Executive. He was president of the National League from November 8, 1934 until September 20, 1951, when he became commissioner of baseball. He was most noted for being a prime mover in the creation of the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, his steadfastness in seeing that Jackie Robinson would be able to break the color barrier in 1947 and the asterisk he attached to Roger Maris' home run record in 1961. The native of Indiana was a prominent baseball writer for the New York American from 1922 to 1934 and was Babe Ruth's ghostwriter. He also was involved in sportscasting. He became the publicist for the National League on February 6, 1934 and then succeeded the ailing John Heydler as league president on November 8 of that year. His biggest test came in 1947, when there were rumors the St. Louis Cardinals were organizing a boycott of Robinson. He warned Redbirds owner Sam Breadon, "If you do this, you will be suspended from the league. I do not care if half the league strikes. This is the United State of America and one citizen has as much right to play as another." When the owners dumped commissioner Happy Chandler in 1951, a deadlock for his successor was broken when Warren Giles dropped his candidacy and Frick was elected. It began an era of change. He would oversee the Boston Braves' move to Milwaukee in 1953, the St. Louis Browns' transfer to Baltimore in 1954, the Philadelphia Athletics' shift to Kansas City in 1955, the Brooklyn Dodgers' move to Los Angeles and the New York Giants' shift to San Francisco in 1958 and the Washington Senators' move to Minnesota in 1961. He also was involved in expansion with the additions of the Los Angeles Angels and Washington Senators in 1961 and the New York Mets and Houston Colt 45s in 1962. He tackled another thorny problem when Cincinnati fans voted seven Reds players onto the All-Star team in 1957. On June 28, he replaced outfielders Gus Bell and Wally Post with Willie Mays and Hank Aaron and first baseman George Crowe with Stan Musial. Actually, Musial had won the vote outright. Then on January 30, 1958, he took the vote away from the fans and gave it to the players and coaches. His most controversial decree, however, was the Maris asterisk. As the Babe's friend, he said Ruth's record of 60 homers in a 154-game schedule "cannot be broken unless some batter hits 61 or more within his club's first 154 games." The asterisk soon died. He was succeeded by retired Air Force Lt. Gen. William Eckert on November 17, 1965. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1970.

Bio by: Ron Coons

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 2 Jul 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 10239
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Ford Frick (19 Dec 1894–8 Apr 1978), Find a Grave Memorial no. 10239, citing Christ Church Columbarium, Bronxville, Westchester County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .