Atlanta Braves Franchise Top Managers–#6 George Stallings

George Stallings built and managed the first World Series Champions in Atlanta Braves history, the 1914 Boston Braves Photo (Photo by George Rinhart/Corbis via Getty Images)
George Stallings built and managed the first World Series Champions in Atlanta Braves history, the 1914 Boston Braves Photo (Photo by George Rinhart/Corbis via Getty Images) /
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Second baseman Johnny Evers captained the first World Series winners in Atlanta Braves Franchise history, the 1914 Boston Braves. (Photo by Mark Rucker/Transcendental Graphics, Getty Images) /

Atlanta Braves’ trades mirrored Boston Braves’ trades

During recent postseason runs, we’ve seen Atlanta Braves’ GM Alex Anthopoulos make in-season deals to try to put the team over the top. In 2021, he brought in a trio of outfielders that proved rather successful.

In 1914, Stallings traded for outfielders Ted Cather and Possum Whitted and brought power to third base by acquiring Red Smith from Brooklyn.

The story of their acquisitions is included in my top 16 acquisitions post linked here and above. Stallings needed all of those outfielders because he managed his team like no one had done before. Stallings was the first manager to platoon his outfielders based on the opposing team and pitchers.

Connolly killed right-handed pitching but struggled against lefties, while Whitted hit lefties well but struggled against same-sided hurlers. Cather had even splits and could play either corner.

His system worked so well that other teams copied it, but no manager used platoons more often or successfully than Stallings.


Stallings was a hard man to work for, but his players respected him and played hard for him. A note from his Sabre Biography sums that up.

"The captain of those 1914 Braves, Johnny Evers, wrote that Stallings “will crab and rave on the bench with any of them,” yet he also wrote that “Mr. Stallings knows more base ball than any man with whom I have ever come in contact during my connection with the game.”"

The Stallings’ philosophy on managing in his own words:

"I have always contended that the secret of building a ball club is in making a team out of what you have in hand and then trading and purchasing and drafting to strengthen the flaws when the opportunities bob up. Many managers believe that as soon as they take charge of a club they must go out and buy ball players who have good records right and left. I don’t believe that a baseball machine which will eventually be successful can be purchased in these days. It must be carefully constructed, piece by piece. (Miracle Braves, page 338)"

Stallings did the job exactly as he saw it.

The 1914 season was the pinnacle of Stallings’ career and the best the Braves would finish until 1947. He led the team to second place in 1915, and third in 1916, then age, injury, and lack of revenue started the downward spiral.

Stalling resigned after the 1920 season and managed in the minors until 1927. He was slated to manage the Montreal Royals in 1928 but spent the year in hospital suffering from heart disease.

"When a doctor asked him if he knew why his heart was so bad, he supposedly replied, “Bases on balls, you s** of a b****, bases on balls.” (Baseball’s Most Notorious Personalities: A Gallery of Rogues. Jonathan Weeks)"

Stallings died of heart failure on May 13, 1929, he was 61 years old.

That’s a Wrap

Newspapers referred to Stallings as the miracle man because he skippered the Braves to the 1914 World Series, but everything written about him points to a man who knew the game, had an eye for talent, and understood a manager’s job.

Next. After six comes seven.. dark

Many things changed in the last 108+ years. The game is more complex, but it’s heart remains the same, and Stalling’s philosophy of team building is still true. He’d understand what’s going on even if he would fit in today’s dugouts.