Maine Baseball HOF
Carrigan, Bill (1969)
Carrigan was born in Lewiston, Maine Carrigan's brother John was a talented pitcher, and Carrigan served as his catcher. Carrigan played football and baseball at Lewiston High School Bill Carrigan was a catcher with the Red Sox, and in 1915 and 16 was the player manager for the Bosox world title teams whose pitching staffs were rated among the greatest but hardest to handle in baseball history . Clyde Sukeforth was ranked just behind Carrigan as a handler of pitchers and diamond strategist.
Carrigan started his career as a platoon catcher and played all ten seasons with the Boston Red Sox. Biographer Richard A. Johnson noted that Carrigan was known in baseball for combining toughness with intelligence. For a portion of his time in Boston, Carrigan's roommate was Babe Ruth. "Carrigan served Ruth as a combination father confessor, drill sergeant, psychologist and Dutch uncle," wrote Johnson. Ruth called Carrigan the best manager he ever played for. Carrigan also had a close relationship with Detroit Tigers star Ty Cobb. Both Carrigan and Cobb were known for their intense play on the field, but they were friends and Cobb often came to Maine to visit Carrigan .
From Bates College
By Jay Burns — Published on October 26, 2018
RED SOX VS. DODGERS IN 1916, WHEN LEWISTON’S ‘ROUGH’ CARRIGAN LED BOSTON
The Red Sox and Dodgers are in the World Series, just as they were 102 years ago, when Lewiston native Bill Carrigan managed the Sox.
Back in 1916, the Dodgers were Brooklyn-based — they moved to Los Angeles in 1957 — and were known as the Robins, after their manager, Wilbert Robinson.
The two coaches could not have been more different.
Compared with the Dodgers’ rotund and avuncular manager, who was nicknamed “Uncle Robbie,” Boston’s Carrigan, who would later coach the Bates team in the 1930s, was a combative player-manager who led the Sox to World Series titles in 1915 and again in 1916.
A catcher who earned the nickname “Rough,” Carrigan was famous for blocking a runner’s path to the plate, which often led to spectacular collisions — and fights.
According to The Irish in Baseball (Carrigan was born to Irish immigrant parents), the ballplayer was “intelligent and well-spoken” off the field, “but one of baseball’s best fighters on it.”
“You might as well try to move a stone wall,” Chicago White Sox manager Nixey Callahan once said.
Said Carrigan, “The first great requisite for success in baseball is nerve.”
Brooklyn’s Robinson, on the other hand, was “like Falstaff,” The New York Times wrote, “not only witty himself but the cause of wit in others. His conversation was a continuous flow of homely philosophy, baseball lore, and good humor.”
Babe Ruth, then with the Sox and mostly a pitcher (he won 23 games in 1916), called Carrigan his best-ever coach. In fact, it was Carrigan who urged the Sox to purchase Ruth’s minor league contract in 1914.
In 1916 as now, the Boston fans and media brimmed with confidence.
After the Sox won the 1916 series opener en route to the title, a story in the Lewiston Daily Sun adopted a pitying tone toward the Dodgers, noting that Brooklyn lacked “the smooth, machine-like effectiveness and cooperation that makes the Red Sox so formidable in defensive work and the lightning-like attacks and tactics which prove so productive of winning scores.”
Carrigan retired after the 1916 season but returned to coach the Sox from 1927 to 1929, with little success.
“These players didn’t talk baseball,” he said. “They talked golf and stocks and where they were going after the game.”
Returning to Lewiston, where he became a successful banker and businessman, he coached the Bates baseball team in 1933 and 1934, compiling an 8-13 record. He died in 1969 at age 85.