Southworth's Cardinals were dominant
Managed St. Louis to three pennants, two World Series titles
Billy Southworth isn't the best known Cardinals manager, but no one ever had a better run helming the team.
Southworth, who presided over the Redbirds' dominant stretch in the early 1940s, will be posthumously inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., on Sunday. He was elected to the Hall via the Veterans Committee ballot, the results of which were announced in November.
The induction ceremony in Cooperstown is set for 12:30 p.m. CT on Sunday. It will be carried live on MLB.com, so fans can watch as Southworth and five other greats of the game join the immortals.
Heading this year's class is Rich "Goose" Gossage, who was elected by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Dick Williams, like Southworth, was named by the 16-member Veterans Committee arm dedicated to electing managers and umpires. Commissioner Bowie Kuhn and team owners Walter O'Malley and Barney Dreyfuss were selections of the 12-member committee that selects "pioneers" of the game and executives.
Southworth managed parts of 13 seasons in the Major Leagues, including seven seasons over two stints in St. Louis. He was player-manager for 90 games in 1929, then presided over the dominant Cardinals teams from 1940-1945. Those teams won three pennants and two World Series titles, and in Southworth's five full seasons as Cardinals manager, the team averaged nearly 102 wins per year.
"On behalf of the entire St. Louis Cardinals organization, I would like to offer congratulations to the late Billy Southworth and his family and friends on his election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame," Cardinals principal owner Bill DeWitt Jr. said in a statement issued by the team.
"Billy Southworth oversaw one of the greatest eras in Cardinals history and it is gratifying to see his career accomplishments recognized by the Veterans Committee."
Over his full career, Southworth posted a 1044-744 record for a .597 winning percentage. He won another pennant in 1948 as the manager of the Boston Braves. He is the 10th Hall of Famer to have managed the Cardinals. Southworth passed away in 1969.
"Old Billy Southworth, that's good news," said Marty Marion, who played on Southworth's teams from 1940-45. "But he was voted in the Hall of Fame and doesn't even know about it. That's a shame."
Marion was a shortstop for the Cards from his debut with Southworth in 1940 through the 1950 season. He won the 1944 Most Valuable Player award playing for Southworth. Marion made eight All-Star teams, three of them as a member of Southworth's teams.
Whitey Herzog, Cardinals skipper from 1980-1990, fell just short of election. Herzog received 11 votes, one shy of the necessary total. Herzog won three pennants and one World Series in his 11 years as St. Louis skipper.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.