Friday, March 25, 2005

March 25th, 1887

Clyde Milan Born

Clyde Milan made his debut for the Washington Senators as a twenty year-old on August 19th, 1907, less than three weeks after another youngster, nineteen year-old Walter Johnson, made his. Johnson and Milan had been signed on the same scouting trip and were for many years roommates and best friends, both men known for their relatively calm demeanor. Milan and Johnson were also for many years the only bright spots on some pretty awful Senators teams, Johnson pitching and Milan playing centerfield. Milan did not have much power; he never slugged over .400 but made up for it with a high average, decent eye and exceptional speed. He twice led the league in steals and finished in the top ten nine times. His eighty-eight steals in 1912 took the American League record away from Ty Cobb and Milan held the record until Cobb reclaimed it with ninety-six in 1915.

Milan was virtually done by the time the Senators appointed him player-manager in 1922 and after that season he went to the minors, missing out by two seasons on the team’s championship over the Giants. Milan became a minor-league manager in 1924 and would alternate between minor-league managing gigs and various coaching and scouting work for the Senators until 1938 when he became a coach for good. He stayed with the team until 1953 when he suffered a heart attacked while running a spring training drill and passed away later the same day.

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