Pip Koehler

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Horace Levering Koehler

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Biographical Information[edit]

Horace Levering "Pip" Koehler went to Pennsylvania State University, where he played under manager Hugo Bezdek, who had managed the Pittsburgh Pirates. He also played basketball. He then taught high school physical education for a couple of years in Wilkes-Barre, PA and played semi-pro ball. He made it to the bigs with the New York Giants in 1925 on the strength of a good spring training. After one appearance, he was sent to the Reading Keystones of the International League but came back to the majors in mid-August. He made 11 more appearances, 9 of them as a pinch-runner.

After the season, he was sent by the Giants to the Toledo Mud Hens to complete a deal by which they had obtained Earl Webb earlier in the season. He played 8 years in the American Association, and also played and coached professional basketball. In spite of spending the bulk of his brief major league career as a pinch-runner, he was not a great base stealer. His career-high was 20, in 1926, against 13 caught stealing. He was mainly an outfielder, although he also played some infield, mainly at third base. He played baseball through 1942.

As a minor league manager, he managed 9 seasons, some as a player-manager. That's how he came to manage a club in Tacoma, WA, where he would later settle. After being fired as a minor league manager by the Cincinnati Reds' organization in 1948, he worked as a scout in the Pacific Northwest, then as an employee of the Knights of Columbus. In 1963, former teammate Rosy Ryan, who was now general manager of the Tacoma Giants of the Pacific Coast League, hired him as the team's business manager, a position he occupied for a decade. He died of a heart attack in 1986 and was laid to rest in Calvary Cemetery in Tacoma.

Year-by-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1935 Portsmouth (VA) Truckers Piedmont League 67-72 5th Atlanta Crackers
1936 Portsmouth Cubs Piedmont League 66-77 5th Chicago Cubs
1938 Akron Yankees Middle Atlantic League 66-62 4th New York Yankees Lost League Finals
1939 Akron Yankees Middle Atlantic League 69-61 3rd New York Yankees Lost in 1st round
1940 Akron Yankees Middle Atlantic League 73-54 1st New York Yankees League Champs
1941 Tacoma Tigers Western International League 58-76 5th none
1942 Tacoma Tigers Western International League 77-64 2nd none none
1947 Ogden Reds Pioneer League 77-61 3rd Cincinnati Reds
1948 Ogden Reds Pioneer League 29-40 -- Cincinnati Reds -- replaced by Bobby Mattick (32-25) July 18

Further Reading[edit]

  • Clifford Blau: "Leg Men: Career Pinch-Runners in Major League Baseball", in The Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Volume 38, Number 1 (Summer 2009), pp. 70-81.

Related Sites[edit]