1921: George McBride Injured

Wednesday July 27, 1921

George McBride, longtime shortstop for Washington under manager Clark Griffith, saw less and less playing time as the Great War wound to a close. Though on the roster from 1917 to 1920, his days as a regular were clearly drawing to a close. Though he only appeared in 13 games during the 1920 season, Griffith kept him around for a more important role. McBride was considered Griffith’s manager in training, and when the Old Fox moved on from managing on the field to his role as President off the field after the 1920 season, McBride stepped in to steer the ship.

While the team was having success on the field, one would be hard pressed to consider McBride’s stint as manager of the Nats as any kind of success. 99 games into the 1921 season, McBride was struck just above the temple with a thrown ball during practice before a game against Chicago. According to Stephen Able, McBride suffered a slight concussion and partial paralysis of the face. After remaining in bed for more than a week, McBride returned to the club on August 4, but continued to display symptoms such as dizziness and fainting spells for the remainder of the season.

As mentioned, the 1921 Nats had success on the field despite missing their manager. During McBride’s absence (with Clyde Milan serving as player-manager), the team rattled off 11 consecutive victories.

The team finished 80-73 that year, good for just fourth place in the AL but a very good season in context of the Washington teams of the early 20th century. McBride resigned as manager following the season, to be succeeded by Milan.

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