Happy Birthday to NC native Whitey Lockman, he would have been 93 today.
Also OTD in 1972, Lockman was named manager of the Chicago Cubs, replacing Leo Durocher. Lockman was born in Lowell, NC and attended Gastonia High School. Like many of the Carolinians in the ’20s and ’30s, Lockman’s father worked in the textile industry. Walter (Whitey) Lockman was born on July 25, 1926. Lockman was signed by the New York Giants after his skills were noticed while playing for his local American Legion team out of high school. His rookie year in the Majors with the Giants in 1945, Lockman hit .341 in 32 games and earned the nickname “Whitey” due to his blond hair. He spent 15 years in the Major Leagues (1945-1960) playing First Base and Outfield, missing the ’46 season due to military service. Whitey was selected to the 1952 All-Star Game and won a World Series ring with the 1954 New York Giants. After his MLB career, hitting .279 and collecting 1,658 hits, Lockman stayed involved in baseball becoming a coach in the Major Leagues.
Lockman’s first managerial job came with the Cubs’ Double-A club in Dallas-Fort Worth in 1965. He then managed the Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate in Tacoma from 1967-1970. On July 25, 1972 he was named the Cubs skipper of the Major League team — replacing Durocher, who was Whitey’s manager during his playing days with the Giants. The Cubs were in 4th place when Lockman was named manager and under his guidance, the club finished in 2nd to end the ’72 season. Lockman served as manger for the Cubs in 1973 and 1974 before becoming the Cubs Vice President & Director of Player Development, a position he held until 1989.
The NY Daily News interviewed Lockman in 2009, unknowingly just before Lockman’s death: https://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/giant-memories-whitey-lockman-article-1.369013