Sunday, 27 July 2008

Highpockets Kelly Comes to WIL

George Kelly To Manage Wenatchee
WENATCHEE, Jan. 5 (UP)—The Wenatchee Chiefs of the Western International League announced Wednesday that “Long George” Kelly will manage the club for the 1954 season.
Club president Paul Thomas said Kelly was hired on the recommendation of Brick Laws, president of the Oakland Oaks of the Pacific Coast League. Kelly gained baseball fame playing with the New York Giants under John J. McGraw.
Thomas also announced a big baseball rally would be held in Wenatchee on February 1 at which time Kelly will be introduced to Wenatchee fans by Charley Dressen, Oakland manager.

Kelly to Manage Wenatchee Club
WENATCHEE, Wash., Jan. 6 — George Kelly, veteran Pacific Coast League coach with the Oakland Acorns, will manage the Wenatchee Western International League Baseball club this year.
Officials of the Wenatchee club said Kelly was picked on recommendation of Oakland president Brick Laws.
Kelly, a former first baseman, played with the New York, Cincinnati, Chicago and Brooklyn teams in the National League from 1915 to 1932.
He will be succeeded as coach and scout on the Oakland club by Cookie Lavagetto, who returned to the Oaks from the Brooklyn Dodgers.

On Second Thought
[Oakland Tribune, Jan. 8, 1954]
Not the least of the week's good news was the signing of George Kelly as manager of the Wenatchee baseball team in the Western International League.
For awhile it appeared Kelly and baseball would part company. Now George is set and everyone who knows the long, lean ex-Giant star is happy. There is no nicer fellow in or out of baseball than Kelly.
For several seasons the former National League first baseman has alternately been coach and scout for the Oaks, but when Chuck Dressen made a deal to manage the local club this year it was obvious Kelly would be out of a job.
Despite his admiration for and friendliness toward Kelly, Chuck felt obligated to give the coaching post to Cookie Lavagetto.
The latter was coach of the Dodgers when Dressen was at Brooklyn.
Chuck likes Cookie's work.
Although formal announcement of Lavagetto's appointment to the Acorn coaching job has been delayed, everyone interested in local baseball knows Cookie is in like Flynn. No one has been more aware of the situation than Long George Kelly.
It is a tribute to George's depth of understanding and sense of fairness that not once has he squawked about his “departure” from the Oakland ball club after years of valuable service. The fortunes of war and that sort of thing.
Even while welcoming Lavagetto back into the fold, many of us deplore the departure of Kelly from the local baseball scene.
The big man with the robust laugh and gentle smile has made many friends, and not the least loyal of those friends are newspapermen who cover the Oaks.
We are aware of Kelly's accomplishments above and beyond normal expectation—of the public relations he has performed for the club, of the help he has given aspiring young baseball players, and his calm influence during training season and on the road.
The Oaks are getting a good man in Lavagetto, but they’re losing a good one in Kelly. Wenatchee, a club which works with the Oaks, is to be congratulated for landing a manager of Kelly’s stature. They'll love the big fellow in the Washington community.
Best of luck, mister, from hundreds of Bay area people who know you personally and tens of thousands who know you by reputation.

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