Lance Richbourg, Nashville Manager, Again and Again

Richbourg1.fwBorn in DeFuniak Springs, Florida on December 18, 1897, Lance Richbourg attended Walton High School in his home town and later played for  the University of Florida baseball team for one year. After college he signed to play in nearby Dothan where he roamed the outfield for the Dixie League team for two years before moving up from D to Class C ball with Newport News in the Virginia League.

He was signed by the New York Giants manager John McGraw in 1919 and began playing for Oakland of the PCL and Newark of the International League in 1919 at the age of 21.

Richbourg bounced between Grand Rapids, Toledo and Dallas as an infielder before settling in with Charleston of the South Atlantic League.  It was from there that he first joined Nashville in 1923 and converted from first base to the outfield.

In Nashville he batted .378 before moving on to Milwaukee of the American Association where he stayed for two seasons, moving up to the parent Boston Braves in 1927 for 5 years.  Traded to the Chicago Cubs, he finished his major league career in 1932 when he was sent to Reading and Albany of the International League.

Richbourg returned to Nashville outfield in 1933 where he played in 140 games and batted for a .359 average.  On Sunday, May 28th of that year, he had four home runs in a doubleheader against Birmingham, three in the first game.

Five months later on Sunday, October 22nd while managing a team that was barnstorming in Mexico, Richbourg was struck in the face by Cuban umpire Senor Hernandez after Richbourg disputed a decision at home plate.

In 1934 when Vols manager Charles Dressen was named the manager of the Cincinnati Reds during mid-season, Richbourg was named manager to replace him for the remainder of the year.

Popular with the fans, in the first game of the Southern Association playoffs on September 18,1934, over 9,000 Nashville fans jammed Sulphur Dell to see their team win the first game of Southern Association playoffs against New Orleans 17-11.  Nashville scored 13 runs in the 7th inning to seal the victory.

Suprisingly, Frank Brazill was named manager for 1935, and when he left the club Richbourg took over until Johnny Butler was named manager.  Richbourg became full-time manager on November 16, 1935, a position he would hold through the 1937 season.

On March 20, 1936, 2,000 hometown Defuniak Springs, Florida fans witnessed a game between the New York Giants and the Nashville Vols as the Giants won 19-8.

Richourg was named manager of Richmond of the Piedmont League for 1938.  Ironically, it was Charles Dressen who was named manager of the Nashville Vols on October 9, 1937 to replace Richbourg.

He passed away on September 10, 1975 in Crestview,  Florida at the age of 77.

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September 10, 2013 · 12:59 pm

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