Miller Huggins – Hornsby’s Batting Tutor

Born March 27, 1878

small but mighty

Huggins was listed at 5 feet 5 inches and 140 pounds. His small stature inspired the nicknames “Mighty Mite” and the “Mite Manager”. He was also known as “Rabbit” and “Little Everywhere” for his ability to cover ground in the infield.

traded to cardinals

Before the 1910 season, the Reds traded Huggins, along with Frank Corridon and Rebel Oakes, to the St. Louis Cardinals in return for Fred Beebe and Alan Storke. He set an MLB record on June 1, 1910 with six plate appearances but no at bats, with four walks and two sacrifice flies. In the same year, he batted .265 for the Cardinals and led the NL in walks.

slick with the glove

On July 13, 1911, he tied the NL record for successful fielding chances in a game with 16. At the end of the season, he finished sixth in the voting for the Chalmers Award for Most Valuable Player. In 1912, he hit over .300 for the first time in his career.


Huggins became player-manager for the Cardinals after the 1912 season, succeeding Roger Bresnahan,  with team owner Helene Hathaway Britton preferring his “gentlemanly” manner over Bresnahan’s rougher personality.

With the acquisition of speed in a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates, including Dots Miller, Art Butler, Cozy Dolan and Chief Wilson, the Cardinals contended for the NL pennant in 1914. Finishing in third place, it was the Cardinals’ best finish since 1876, but they fell back to sixth in 1915 and last in 1916. When Britton sold the team after that season, she offered Huggins a chance to buy a part of the team. While he was attempting to raise money from the Fleischmann family, Britton sold the team to a group headed by Samuel Breadon, who hired Branch Rickey to run the team’s day-to-day operations in the front office.

tutored Hornsby in batting

Huggins had coached the young Rogers Hornsby, helping him to correct his batting stance, and Hornsby duly succeeded him as the team’s starting second baseman in 1917 as Huggins ended his playing career. He managed the team during 1917, the last year of his contract, but was not retained.

Huggins finished his managerial career with a 1413–1134 record.

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