The outspoken coach who took the Phillies to the World Series
Dallas Green 1934–2017
When the Philadelphia Phillies appointed Dallas Green as manager in 1979, he immediately made his mark. A loud, no-nonsense coach, Green tore into his underperforming team both in private and in public. He brought in rookies to challenge the veterans, implemented a strict dress code and curfew, and banned alcohol on team flights. The players were furious—but Green’s methods worked. In 1980, his first full season in charge, the Phillies won their first-ever World Series title. “We hated him,” recalled catcher Bob Boone. “He was driving us crazy. But it was a relationship that worked.”
Born in Newport, Del., Green “grew up a fan of the perennially overmatched Phillies,” said the Philadelphia Inquirer. A talented pitcher, he “earned a baseball scholarship to the University of Delaware” and then a contract with the Phillies. But he struggled as a pro and retired in 1967 with a 20-22 pitching record. “I was a 20-game winner,” he joked. “It just took me five years to do it.” Green moved straight into management. After starting out in the minor leagues, he became director of the Phillies’ farm system in 1972 and took the top job seven years later.
Green left Philadelphia in 1981 and became general manager of the Chicago Cubs, building “the team that won the National League East title in 1984,” said The New York Times. He managed the Yankees during the 1989 season, but was let go after clashing with owner George Steinbrenner, and skippered the Mets from 1993 to 1996. He was sacked after trash-talking two of his players in the media. “My big mouth,” he said in 2013, “worked to my advantage a lot, and it also got me fired a couple of times.”