Garriott Probable New Manager; Visits This Week to Talk Terms
By JIM TANG [Victoria Colonist, Feb. 17, 1952]
Cecil Garriott, 35-year-old outfield veteran who put in six full seasons and part of a seventh with Los Angeles Angels of the Coast League and who saw his major league chance lost through war service, is almost certain to be the next manager of the Victoria Athletics.
Nothing definite has been done as yet but Garriott will make a flying visit to Victoria—probably Wednesday or Thursday—to talk terms with club officials are indications are that he will be signed.
The move came yesterday following the apparently end of negotiations with Ted Norbert, former manager of the A’s, who was tentatively booked for a return engagement during the recent successful “save baseball” fund drive. No announcement was made but it was believed that the club and Norbert were unable to see eye-to-eye on salary terms with the difference so great that it left virtually no chance of any agreement. Club officials are known to feel that they can not afford a large salary for a non-playing manager and reports on Garriott have been so good they are anxious to close a deal.
REPORTS ALL GOOD
Determined to avoid any repetition of last season, officials have checked with responsible baseball men such as Clarence Rowland, president of the Coast League; Don Stewart, president of the Los Angeles club; Torchy Torrence, of the Seattle Rainiers; Bob Brown, general manager of the Vancouver Capilanos, and Bob Sturgeon, who finished the season as manager here last tear and was once Garriott’s teammate at Los Angeles.
All were unanimous in their opinion that Garriott would fill the bill admirably as a player and a manager.
Garriott’s previous managerial experience is limited to part of last season. He left Los Angeles in June to take over the last-place Visalia team in the California State League and brought his club up to fourth spot, losing out in the final of the Shuagnessy playdowns.
Garriott was born in Harristown, Illinois, in 1916 but lives in Gardena, a Los Angeles suburb, with his wife and three children—Ronald Cecil, Barbara and Linda, aged 11, seven and four, respectively
STARTED AT COLUMBUS
He started his organized baseball career in 1936 with Columbus in the Sally League and played there for three seasons. He divided 1939 between Rochester and Elmira and played with Macon in 1940 and 1941.
Garriott went to Los Angeles in1943 after a season in Portsmouth and played with the Angels for the next two seasons, winning the most valuable player award in 1944.
Then came his big-league chance with the Chicago Cubs in 1945. He was with the National League club only two weeks when he was called into the U.S. Army. He came out of the service in time to spend the last six weeks of the 1946 season and was sent to Los Angeles at the start of the 1947 season. He remained with the Angels until he took over at Visalia as playing manager.
Garriott’s past record indicates that he should still be a valuable performer in the W.I.L. He has been well up each season among the stolen-base leaders and broke Ty Cobb’s Sally League record during his stay with Columbus.
A check of Garriott’s available Coast League records shows also that Garriott, who is a switch-hitter, packs considerable punch and has a good eye at the plate. In his four last full seasons with the Angels, he hit 61 home runs and 89 doubles, stole 64 bases, and average well over 100 bases on balls each season.
Reached by telephone at his home last night he expressed the hope that he would come to terms with the Victoria club and stated that he will be a full-time performer in the outfield.
Garriott Begins Job at Once As Seventh Manager of A’s
By JIM TANG [Victoria Colonist, Feb. 22, 1952]
Virgil Cecil “Rabbit” Garriott, 35-year-old outfield star who played for seven seasons with the Los Angeles Angels of the Coast League, last night officially became the seventh manager of the Victoria Athletics, who will be starting their seventh season in the Western International Baseball League on April 22.
Garriott agreed to terms at a meeting with club directors a few hours after he flew in from Los Angeles and club directors were quick to tab him as a “natural” following a short and amicable conference.
WILL SIGN TODAY
Actual contract signing will take place this morning and Garriott will emplane immediately for Los Angeles to start his new duties at once. Business manager Reg Patterson stated that the new manager will spend his time between now and the April 1 opening of the A’s training camp at Salinas scouting players in the Los Angeles area and attending the Riverside camp of the Portland Beavers, where he will get a first-hand knowledge of players the Coast League club will be sending here.
Garriott is the third manager in two seasons. He succeeds Bob Sturgeon, who succeeded Dick Barrett in mid-season last year. Sturgeon will be playing manager at Ventura in the California State League while Barrett reportedly has mad no baseball connection this season. Marty Krug, Earl Bolyard, Ted Norbert and Lauren Harney are the other ex-managers. Norbert was considered again this season but his salary demands and the Victoria preference for a playing-manager resulting in the signing of Garriott.
WANTS FULL CONTROL
Victoria’s new manager left the definite impression last night that he has definite ideas on how to run a ball club and that he will insist on full control of his players on and off the field and a voice in all player decisions.
“When I’m not running the ball club, that’s when he part company,” he told the directors, who gave every indication that they didn’t mind this at all.
Garriott also indicated he had a preference for younger players and it will be surprising indeed if he will keep around any veterans who aren’t willing to put out.
“I can get more out of a youngster who is trying than out of a veteran who doesn’t mean.” He maintained.
This will be his second fling as a manager. He was asked to take over at Visalia last year when that California State League club was floundering in last place and on financial rocks. He drove his club into fourth place and came within an ace of winning the Shaughnessy playoff losing out in the final.
This will be his 17th season in organized baseball. Born in Harristown, Ill., on August 15, 1916, he started his baseball career with Columbus in the Sally League in1936, where he was a teammate of Enos Slaughter, veteran outfielder of the St. Louis Cardinals. Four years later, at Macon, Eddie Stankey, new manager of the Cards, was among his teammates.
MISSED MAJOR CHANCE
Garriott came to Los Angeles in 1943, had a big season in 1944 and was called up by the Chicago Cubs. He lost his major-league chance when he [was] called into the U.S. Army early in the 1945 season. He was discharged late in 1946, played out the last few weeks of the season with the Cubs and rejoined Los Angeles in 1947. He remained with the Angels until he took over the managerial reigns at Visalia.
Short and Stocky—five feet eight inches and 170 pounds—Garriott has a record which shows base speed, good long-ball punch, and a good eye at the plate which has usually found him batting first or second. He four times led his league in stolen bases and averaged over 100 bases on balls a season in Los Angeles.
PLAYERS IN MIND
Less than five pounds overweight and appearing ready for play, Garriott intends to be a full-time player. He hopes to find the right veteran to assist him as a coach and has in mind Keith Simon, one-time Bremerton pitcher who hits will enough to play full-time in the outfield or at first base. Garriott is also interested in signing Clint Cameron, the hard-hitting ex-Tri-City outfielder and has a Negro pitcher in mind who would help the A’s in his opinion. Both Simon and Cameron are free agents.