After a standout 13-year major league career as a second baseman with the Cincinnati Reds 1904-1909 and with the St. Louis Cardinals Miller Huggins was named the New York Yankee manager in 1918, and for his managing talents was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame
By the time the New York Yankees joined the AL in 1903 until Huggins arrived, the Yankees had never won a pennant and finished in second-place just two times. As a Yankee manager Miller Huggins had to lead players who sported huge egos and lived the high-life, notably Babe Ruth.
Miller Huggins method of dominating this talented, but unruly, cast of characters is what earned him a place in the Hall of Fame.
The petite, 5 ft 6.5 inch, 140-pound Huggins, called “the Mighty Mite” on occasion and “Rabbit” on others, and suffered from a variety of annoying ailments for most of his life. He was famous for trying to scream his players into better play; his temper tantrums were legendary. But he was an uncanny analyst of baseball talent, and when that knowledge met the deep pockets of Colonels Tillinghast L’Hommedieu Huston and Jacob Ruppert, they were able to construct one of the greatest teams in the game’s history.
Miller Huggins maximized the value of his limited skills through intelligence. As writer George Will has noted, five major league managers have had law degrees, and four of them (Huggins, Hughie Jennings, John Ward, and Branch Rickey) are in the Hall of Fame. The fifth, Tony La Russa, is still active.
Miller Huggins batted .300 only once, however he used his 5-foot 6.5 inches height to his advantage and drew walks from opposing pitchers. He led the NL in walks four times and in on-base percentage once. He was referred to as the perfect leadoff man. And when he got on he could steal; he pilfered 30 sacks or more six times.