The Gilbert Coup

Charlie & Larry Gilbert 1

Charlie and Larry Gilbert

When Nashville owner Fay Murray signed Larry Gilbert to become manager of the Vols in November of 1938, Gilbert reportedly became one-half owner of the club.  It is unclear whether Gilbert’s share of ownership was purchased by him or given as part of his deal to lure him from his hometown of New Orleans.

What is known is that his son Charlie would sign with Nashville, too, but would not become property of the club. When Charlie was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers for $20,000.00, he kept the entire amount without Nashville being paid any portion of the transaction.

Larry Gilbert had played, managed, or worked in the front office of the Pelicans for 22 years. For Murray to secure the services of Gilbert to run his club was a major coup, one that would pay off with four consecutive Southern Association playoff championships in Gilbert’s first four years at the helm.

His team also won the 1940, 1941, and 1942 Dixie Playoffs, a championship series between the winner of the Southern Association and Texas League playoff champs.

Sadly, Fay Murray had passed away in March of 1941.

Gilbert continued to manage until his final championship in 1948.  He had considered retiring as early as 1944 but had a change of heart and announced that he would manage from the dugout in a suit and not a uniform.  He would be turning over third base coaching duties to Red Lucas.

In 1955 Gilbert sold his interest in Nashville and returned to his hometown of New Orleans, where he had maintained a residence.  He passed away in 1965.

1 Comment

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One response to “The Gilbert Coup

  1. Clarence \(Skip\) Watkins

    We could do a SA conference just on Larry what a great career and impact on southern baseball. Enjoying the blog. S. W. Watkins

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