Do you know …
How the Cubs Once Played Baseball Without a Manager?
Here’s a 1960s baseball trivia question: Who was the Chicago Cubs manager in 1961?
Don’t know? You’re right! There was none.
Starting in the 1961 season, the Cubs set a baseball precedent by utilizing a rotating “college of coaches” to run the team on the field.
The plan was announced by Cubs owner Phil Wrigley following a 1960 season when the Cubs finished 60-94 with Lou Boudreau as field manager. It was the Cubs’ 14th straight second-division finish.
According to Wrigley, "Managers are expendable. I believe there should be relief managers just like relief pitchers."
The experiment lasted 2 seasons. The Cubs finished seventh in 1961 (64-90) and ninth in 1962 (59-103). Attendance at Wrigley Field both seasons was down by more than 20 percent compared to 1960.
The college of coaches strategy was abandoned for the 1963 season, when Bob Kennedy was named manager. The team’s record in 1963 improved to 82-80, their first winning season since 1946.
That record was still good only for seventh place in the National League.