Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Marty Marion, former National League MVP, dies at 93

Marty Marion
Marty Marion, the 1944 National League MVP, nicknamed "The Octopus" for his tall build and long arms, died Tuesday night from natural causes. He was 93.

At 6'2" in height, Marion revolutionized the shortstop position when it was known primarily as a place for short and speedy defenders. His range and soft hands were his trademark, helping to pave the way for other tall shortstops such as Cal Ripken Jr., Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez.

Marion was voted MVP of the National League in 1944, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to the World Series pennant. He would play 11 seasons for the Cardinals from 1940-50 and then two additional seasons as a player-manager for the St. Louis Browns from 1952-53.

As a manger, Marion managed the Cardinals in 1951 and then replaced Rogers Hornsby as manager of the Browns in 1952. He took over the reigns of the Chicago White Sox ballclub late in the 1954 season and managed them through the end of the 1956 season.

Marion received as high of 40% of the Hall of Fame vote when he was eligible. In later years, he received support from the Veterans Committee. Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda put Marion in the same class as two other Hall of Fame shortstops, stating, "He was an outstanding shortstop for the Cardinals on the same level as Phil Rizzuto and Pee Wee Reese."


  1. That leaves Stan "The Man" Musial as the last living member of the 1942 St. Louis Cardinals.

  2. Ian - The Cardinals have had a lot of players with great longevity including Musial, Red Schoendienst, Chuck Diering and the recently departed Marion.