Dallas Green (born August 4, 1934 in Newport, Delaware) is a former pitcher, manager and executive in Major League Baseball who is perhaps best known for his involvement with the Philadelphia Phillies. After playing for the Phillies and 3 other teams, he went on to manage the Phillies, the New York Yankees, and the New York Mets, leading the Phillies to the first World Series title in franchise history in 1980.
After attending the University of Delaware, Green was signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent. In 1963, Green gave up a home run to Jimmy Piersall. It was the 100th home run of Piersall's career, and Piersall decided to celebrate the milestone by running around the bases while facing backwards; Green was not amused. Green also gave up the only grand slam of Pete Rose's career.
Green's pitching record was 20-22, with all his decisions coming with the Phillies. He had a 4.26 ERA with 268 strikeouts in 561 1/3 innings pitched. He had 12 complete games and 2 shutouts in 46 starts. He pitched in 185 games. Green also had 4 career saves.
After his playing days ended, Green joined the Phillies front office. In 1979, he was appointed manager of the Phillies, replacing Danny Ozark. His hard driving methods clashed with many of the teams's star players. However, in 1980 he drove them to victory in the World Series.
After the Tribune Company bought the Chicago Cubs from the Wrigley Family in 1981, the company hired Green away from the Phillies after the 1981 season to be the team's general manager. His presence was quickly felt in the organization, as his slogan "Building a New Tradition" was a jab at the Cubs' history of losing. He hired a number of coaches and scouts away from the Phillies, like Lee Elia (Green's first manager), John Vukovich (who remained on the Cubs' staff throughout Green's tenure) and Gordon Goldsberry (the team's director of player development). Green also made some trades with the Phillies, acquiring players like Keith Moreland, Dan Larson and Dickie Noles. His best trade came during that first offseason when Green sent Ivan DeJesus to the Phillies for shortstop Larry Bowa and a minor league infielder named Ryne Sandberg. Bowa was the Cubs starting shortstop for three seasons, and Sandberg blossomed into a star, being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005.
Green continued to build the Cubs during the 1982 and 1983 seasons. After acquiring left fielder Gary Matthews and center fielder Bobby Dernier from Philadelphia before the 1984 season, Green's Cubs were contenders. During the 1984 season, Green made a few more moves, most notably acquiring right-handed pitcher Dennis Eckersley from the Boston Red Sox for popular first baseman Bill Buckner in late May, and sending Cubs' prospects Mel Hall and Joe Carter to the Cleveland Indians for relief pitcher George Frazier, backup catcher Ron Hassey and right-handed pitcher Rick Sutcliffe in mid-June. Sutcliffe went 16-1 with the Cubs that season to lead the Cubs to the National League East title. Green's first-year manager Jim Frey (who managed the Kansas City Royals against Green in 1980) won NL Manager of the Year, Sutcliffe won the NL Cy Young Award and Sandberg won the NL Most Valuable Player Award. Fittingly, Green captured Executive of the Year honors.
The Cubs struggled with injuries in 1985 and 1986 and finished last in 1987 despite Green's free-agent acquisition of 1987 NL MVP Andre Dawson. In 1987, Green fired manager Gene Michael over Labor Day weekend, blasted his team for quitting in an interview with Chicago Tribune writer Jerome Holtzman, and then resigned as general manager and president of the Cubs organization in October 1987 as Tribune Co. executives would not let him promote Vukovich to manager.
Green's impact on the Cubs can be felt to this day. He was the first Cubs executive to clash with the City of Chicago over lights in Wrigley Field. Green was a strong proponent of lights from the start of his tenure, but a city ordinance prohibited the Cubs from installing lights in the residential Lakeview neighborhood, where Wrigley Field was located. As president of the Cubs organization (the Tribune Co. made him president in 1984 after Jim Finks resigned to take a job with the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League), Green threatened to move the Cubs to a domed stadium in northwest suburban Schaumburg. Just weeks after Green's departure, the Chicago City Council and Mayor Harold Washington (who died a week later) approved a change to the ordinance, allowing the Cubs to install lights in 1988.
Green also rebuilt the Cubs' farm systerm with Goldsberry, developing stars like Shawon Dunston, Greg Maddux, Rafael Palmeiro, Jamie Moyer and Mark Grace. This helped the Cubs win a division title in 1989.
His managerial record is 454-478 in 932 games, a .487 WP. With the Phillies (1979-81), he was over .500 with a record of 169-130. With the Mets (1993-96), he was slightly under .500 at 229-283. In his short time with the Yankees (1989), he was 56-65.