Wesley Branch Rickey ( born December 20, 1881 in Portsmouth, Ohio; † December 9, 1965 in Columbia, Missouri) was an American baseball player, manager and functionary in Major League Baseball. His nickname was The Mahatma.
Branch Rickey's career as a player in the American League was very short and not very successful. His first of a total of just 120 games he played on June 16, 1905 for the St. Louis Browns. In 1907 he then moved to the New York Highlanders, for which he played 52 games this season. Due to an injury to his throwing arm, he left professional baseball and spent several years at the University of Michigan as a coach. He also earned a law degree. In 1913 he returned to the Major Leagues and worked as a manager with the St. Louis Browns. There, his talent in the discovery of young players showed. George Sisler and Dizzy Dean were his discoveries. 1916 took on new owners and the Browns fired Rickey. This then spent some time in the military before he was taken in 1919 with the St. Louis Cardinals as a manager and team president under contract. During the season 1925 he was replaced as manager of Rogers Hornsby, but remained in responsibility as a functionary. 1926 Cardinals won the World Series against the Yankees, but then sold Hornsby to the New York Giants and committed Frankie Frisch as 2nd baseman, which should be an outstanding player for the Cardinals over the next ten years. The Cardinals should then be the dominant team in the National League in the coming years, which was known as the Gas House Gang. 1931 the team won the World Series again.
Rickey, meanwhile, had built an organization within minor league teams that was very similar to the current structure. The then Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis Major League saw this, however, very critical, since he believed that equality of the teams will no longer be maintained and the independence of the smaller teams would be in danger. However, the future was to show that Rickey's way was the one that its raison d'être was the Minor Leagues later and almost all the teams League Baseball are branches of the great clubs in Minor. In his last year as general manager of the Cardinals had their best this year. They won 106 games and won the World Series.
1943 Branch Rickey then moved to the Brooklyn Dodgers. There he was to provide for the greatest change in baseball in the 20th century. On August 28, 1945 Rickey Jackie Robinson was signed a minor league contract to make this play in Montreal in the International League in the 1946 season. Robinson was then this season is the best hitter in the International League and should play as the first African-American player in the history of modern baseball in the Major Leagues on April 15, 1947. Robinson was elected the first rookie of the year and the Dodgers reached the World Series against the Yankees in which they lost in seven games.
In the 1950s, Rickey was working then as General Manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates, there, however, he remained the great success failed.
In November 1965, he broke in a speech which he delivered on its introduction into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, along and died a month later at the age of 83 years. In 1967 he was picked up by the Veterans Committee as an official in the Baseball Hall of Fame.