Joe Cronin (October 12, 1906 - September 7, 1984) was a Major League Baseball player from 1926 to 1945 and manager from 1933 to 1947. He was a shortstop and was an All-Star seven times.
Born in the Excelsior district of San Francisco, Cronin broke into the majors in 1926 with the Pittsburgh Pirates and moved to the Washington Senators in 1928. In 1930, Cronin had a break out year, batting .346 with 13 home runs and 126 RBI. His 1931 season was nearly identical, posting a .306 average, 12 home runs and 126 RBI.
Cronin assumed managerial duties in 1933, a role he would continue with the Boston Red Sox, the team he was traded to prior to the 1935 season. Cronin's playing career finished in 1945 but he remained a manager until 1947.
Over his career, Cronin batted .300 or higher eight times as well as knocking in 100 runs or more eight times. He finished with a .301 average, 170 home runs and 1424 RBI. As a manager, he compiled a 1236-1055 record and won two American League championships (in 1933 and 1946).
At the end of the 1947 season, he succeeded Eddie Collins as general manager of the Red Sox and continued in that post through 1958. The Red Sox challenged for the AL pennant in 1948-49 (finishing second both seasons) thanks to Cronin's aggressive trades, but they began a slow decline during the 1950s and did not seriously contend after 1950. The Red Sox lavished bonus contracts on a series of young players who never became stars, and were the last team in major league baseball to integrate its roster. Boston never fielded an African-American player during Cronin's tenure as GM. In January 1959, Cronin was elected president of the American League, the first former player to be so elected; in July, the team finally integrated, promoting Pumpsie Green from its AAA club.
Cronin served as AL president until early 1973, when he was succeeded by Lee MacPhail. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1956.
Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame