Warren Crandall Giles (May 28, 1896 – February 7, 1979) was a American professional baseball executive. He spent 33 years in high-level posts in Major League Baseball, as club president and general manager of the Cincinnati Reds (1937–51) and president of the National League (1951–69), and was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Born in Tiskilwa, Illinois, Giles attended Washington & Lee University and served as an infantry officer in France during World War I. Before becoming a full-time baseball executive he worked as a football and basketball official in the Missouri Valley Conference, a major U.S. college sports league.
President/GM of the Cincinnati Reds
He then joined the St. Louis Cardinals' organization and rose to prominence as the president and business manager of their top-level farm teams, the Syracuse Stars (1926–27) and Rochester Red Wings (1928–36) of the International League. As a foreshadowing of his most powerful position in professional baseball, Giles spent part of the 1936 season as president of the International League.
Powel Crosley, Jr., owner of the Cincinnati Reds, appointed Giles as the club's general manager and president on November 1, 1936, succeeding Larry MacPhail. While the 1937 Reds won only 56 games and slid into the basement of the National League, the
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Walters would help lead the Reds of
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The Reds boasted .500 or above teams through
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Nevertheless Giles was a leading candidate to become baseball's third commissioner after Happy Chandler was fired in 1951. He was runner-up in the commissioner balloting to Ford Frick but succeeded Frick as president of the Senior Circuit on October 8, 1951.
National League president
During his 18-year reign as chief executive of the National League (including the full seasons of 1952–69), Giles presided over several historic events.
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Giles' presidency also saw the National League widen its advantage over the American League in the signing of African-American and Latin American players, resulting in a three-decade-long dominance of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. In clubhouse meetings before the midsummer classic, Giles famously would exhort the NL's players to uphold their league's honor. During his tenure, the National League won 16 of 22 All-Star games played, with one tie. (Two games were played each year from 1959 to 1962.) The NL also won ten of 18 World Series during Giles' term.
In addition, Giles worked vigorously to keep premier players in his league. After the advent of interleague trading without waivers in November 1959, he lobbied against the trade of National League superstars to the American League to preserve the NL's hegemony. He was successful until his former team, the Reds, traded Frank Robinson to the Baltimore Orioles after the 1965 season.
During the early weeks of the
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Giles, then 73, announced his intention to retire after the
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Hall of Fame honors
Giles was elected to the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in
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His son, Bill Giles, has also had a 50-year baseball career. After serving as an executive with the Reds, Houston Colt .45s/Astros, and the Philadelphia Phillies, he became a part-owner of the Phillies in 1981, and served as their club president until 1997 before becoming board chairman and then chairman emeritus. Following in his father's footsteps, Bill Giles is also honorary president of the National League.
- "Giles, Warren/ Baseball Hall of Fame". National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
- Sports Illustrated, June 10, 1963
- United Press International, February 8, 1979
- United Press International, 1963-04-26
- Jensen, Mike (October 16, 2008). "'Fantastic feeling' for Bill Giles". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2009-08-17.
- "History: MiLB Major Award Winners". Minor League Baseball. Retrieved 2011-10-15.
- Avallone, Michael (November 19, 2007). "Minor League Baseball announces top honorees: Annual awards salute outstanding organizations and executives". MLB.com. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved 2011-10-06.
[Presented] annually to a league president for exceptional service.
- Czerwinski, Kevin T. (December 14, 2006). "McEacharn claims 2006 Warren Giles Award". MinorLeagueBaseball.com. Retrieved 2011-10-06.
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