Atlanta Braves Top 10 Managers in History: #10 – Lum Harris
The Atlanta Braves franchise hired 48 managers since Boston’s first nine took the field. Today we start our list of the ten best since 1871.
Most long-time Atlanta Braves fans could offer one or two names, and I thought I’d dig around in franchise history enough to create a list relatively easily. Oops, wrong again.
The names listed by BBR included two owners, Ted Turner and Emil Fuchs, two player-managers replaced early in the season, and seven interim managers. I ignored them and managers who didn’t last at least three years.
All managers on this list either won a league championship or managed at least one postseason series, even if it wasn’t considered postseason at the time on BBR’s summary of a manager’s performance. Without further adieu, here’s number ten.
Chalmer Luman “Lum” Harris, Atlanta Braves, 1968-1972
Lum Harris spent four years in the minors from 1937 through 1940 as a pitcher before joining the Athletics in 1941 and six years in the majors, broken by a break for military service in 1945. After four years of bouncing around the minors, Harris went home to Alabama and became a carpenter.
In 1951 the White Sox called and offered him a job as batting-practice pitcher. Manager and old friend Paul Richards liked what Harris did for the team and made him third-base coach the following season. From that point on, Harris and Richards were inseparable.
Harris followed Richards to Baltimore and helped him build the pitching staff, then turned a perennial loser into a winning team. When Richards moved to Houston, Harris wasn’t far behind. He joined the Colt 45s as pitching coach in 1962, took over as interim manager in 1964, and became the first manager of the newly christened Houston Astros in 1965. The team didn’t improve under Harris, and when a new owner took control, he fired him.