Once you are a champion in Philadelphia you will always be loved and respected but that is not all of it for the 1980 World Series Champion Manager Dallas Green. Green represented what Philadelphia was all about and that was his blue collar work ethic and his tough guy persona.
On Wednesday afternoon, the former 1980 Philadelphia Phillies World Series Champion Dallas Green passed away at the age of 82.
Before Green became a beloved member of the Phillies, his story started in Newport, Delaware.
George Dallas Green was born on August 4th, 1934 in Newport, DE and was the second of three kids in the Green family.
Green started his 60 year baseball career at Concord High School, where he shined on the baseball diamond and that led him to play baseball collegiately at University of Delaware.
The Newport, DE native dominated in his two year stint with the Blue Hens baseball team. In 1955, Green posted a 6-0 pitching record and 0.88 ERA ( a school record). Green also played basketball during his time at UD where he averaged 9.2 points and 7.9 rebounds through the years 1953-1955.
After the 1955 season, Green took his talents to Philadelphia where he signed a minor league contract with the Phillies. This was just the beginning of where the legend of Dallas Green started in Philly.
There is also a fascinating story behind how Green got the contract with the Phillies which includes University of Delaware legendary football coach Tubby Raymond.
According to Delawareonline, Raymond drove Dallas Green to his tryout with the Phillies at Connie Mack Stadium. Then Raymond drove Green back home to Delaware to sign the contract with the Phils.
Over his 13 year career, the former Blue Hen played for multiple teams including the Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Senators and New York Mets. Green started his career and ended his playing career with the Phillies.
Green had a 20-22 pitching record, 4.26 ERA in 185 total games and started 46 games in 13 seasons in Major League Baseball.
After retiring from baseball in 1967, Green earned his first coaching job in 1968 with Huron Phillies of the Class A-Short Season Northern League. Then a year later, Green took over as manager for the Pulaski Phillies of the Rookie-level Appalachian League in 1969 and won the Appalachian League championship.
Then in 1970, the Philadelphia Phillies promoted Green to the assistant to Paul Owens, the director of the Phillies farm system in their front Office. Then two years later, the former major league pitcher became the director of the Phillies minor league system.
In 1979, the kid from Delaware finally got his chance to manage in the major leagues when Phillies ousted Danny Ozark and named Green as the new manger of the team.
Green let it be known that on field he was not a soft-toned guy.
“I express my thoughts. I’m a screamer, a yeller, and a cusser. I never hold back,” Green said after shortly getting hired by the Phillies via The Society for American Baseball Research.
The new Phillies manager style was not all accepted by the Phillies players, including Greg Greg Luzinski, Larry Bowa, Bob Boone, and Ron Reed who he got in fighting match with.
While his style was confrontational and aggressive, Green did have that Philly-like work ethic and passion for the game that even though players hated him, it translated into winning results.
Former Phillies shortstop Larry Bowa, told reporters in 2015 that “Green would not tell players what they wanted to hear, rather “he tells you what he sees … but you look back on it and say, ‘You know what? He was right.”
The aggressive style of managing worked for the Phillies as Green led the team to a World Series victory in 1980 over the Kansas City Royals. Green coached one more season with the Phillies where they fell to third in the division, the following year after the World Series Win. Green had a 169-130 record as the manager of the Phillies.
Bowa released a statement about Green after learning of his passing and what impact he had on Philly and himself as player.
Bowa said, “Dallas was what Philly is all about: toughness, honesty and fairness. Without Dallas, the Phillies would not have won the World Series in 1980. I wish all of our current players would have had the opportunity to meet Dallas. He was a huge impact on my career as a player, manager and coach.”
The scrappy manager did not exactly gel with the new Phillies ownership and exited the organization in 1981 to become the Chicago Cubs executive vice president and general manager. Green brought several Phillies scouts and players with him, who were Larry Bowa, Ryne Sandberg,Keith Moreland and Gary Matthews. In his time as GM at the Cubs, Green did not stay complacent with his players because he traded a lot players during his tenure.
But Green’s strategy worked and the Cubs went to the postseason in 1984, which was the team’s first appearance since 1945. Green was named Sporting News Executive of the Year that same year for the outstanding team he put together. The Cubs GM not only took care of the major league roster for the Cubs, he helped rebuild their minor league system which had future stars like Greg Maddux, Jamie Moyer and Mark Grace come through thanks to Green.
Green resigned as Cubs General Manager in 1987, after having many disagreements with the ownership and the front office of the team.
The outspoken Delaware native went back into coaching and was hired as the new manager of the New York Yankees in 1989. The partnership did not last long as Green went 56-65 in his first and only season as the skipper of the Yankees.
Green also coached the New York Mets for three seasons and went 229-283 as the manager there.
Then the 1980 World Series manager of the Phillies returned to Philadelphia as senior advisor to the General Manager in 1998.
Green was not afraid to tell his opinion of the managers the Phillies had like for example, Charlie Manuel who Green was not a fan of Manuel’s more laid back style of coaching then his aggressive in your face mentality. It caused a rift between the two men for a while but two were able to patch things up after Manuel led the Phillies to their second World Series win in 2008.
Dallas Green loved being a part of the Phillies organization because he spent 46 years out of the 60 he was in baseball with the team.
The people that knew Green the best knew there was more to him then his tough guy persona.
“He filled the room with his presence,” Montgomery told Delawareonline. “When you get to the core of the man, he was a lot more loveable. I think he enjoyed his size and his presence to back people away. ”
The Delaware native never forgot where he started and always helped the University of Delaware baseball program over the years.
“Dallas was great friend to the University of Delaware and our baseball program,” said Delaware head coach Jim Sherman. “He donated a scholarship in his name and he was at alumni and social events involving the team over many years. He was personally supportive to me and was always available to talk baseball when I needed some advice. He will surely be missed by the entire Blue Hen Baseball family.”
In 2011, the beloved Phillies manager lost his 9 year old granddaughter, Christina-Taylor who was killed by a gunman in Tuscon, Arizona during an assassination attempt on U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords.
After the loss of his granddaughter, Green told the media this”I’m supposed to be a tough sucker, but I’m not very tough when it comes to this.”
The former Blue Hen is a member of several Delaware Hall of Fames including Delaware Sports Museum and Hall of Fame (1983), the state of Delaware Baseball Hall of Fame (1994), UD Athletics Hall of Fame and the Medal of Distinction from University of Delaware (1992).
Dallas Green is survived by his wife Sylvia, his four children and five grandchildren.