Chicago Cubs: The disastrous ‘College of Coaches’ merry-go-round of 1961

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Chicago Cubs: What was Wrigley thinking?

The ‘College of Coaches’ idea officially began in 1961. The team overall did have a better season than that of the previous year; however they still finished 64-90 and ran train on managers like they were hot wings during the Super Bowl.

Vedie Himsl took over for Boudreau to begin the year and last just 31 total games before being pulled. Himsl finished 10-21 when Wrigley had had enough and shifted gears to Harry Craft. Craft lasted 16 games before his end, going 7-9 in that span.

Third on the list was a guy named El Tappe. Outside of the fact that it sounds like the name of the next great pro wrestler, Tappe did last a reasonable amount of time, 96 games, posting a record of 42-54 before giving way to Lou Klein (5-6) for the remaining 11 games.

The 1962 season was not much better. Tappe came back to the Cubs and started the year 4-16 before being removed for the second time in as many years allowing for Klein to take back over before he too was let go in favor of Charlie Metro. Metro finished 43-69, and the managerial spiral continued.

It became chaotic for players after Metro instituted a policy to keep players from shaving in the clubhouse before and after games. Players began to become angry, and revolt against the utopia Wrigley perceived he was building, when, in reality, it was far from that.

Klein made a last-ditch effort before some semblance of consistency helped the Cubs move in a more positive direction, but even with Bob Kennedy, things were still not where they should have been. The entire experience was a disaster with a capital ‘D.’

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