“Hutch”, as he was called,was called upon after his playing days were over to manage. He had a few stops before he came to St. Louis to replace Harry Walker in 1956.
Many moves and trades
The Cardinals had fallen on hard times and General Manager Frank Lane was always trying something and while Hutchinson was manager, Lane made several moves and trades.
manager of the year
The improvement in 1956 was eight games and ended in second place. Hutchinson was name Sporting News Manager of the Year. For this and various other reasons he was a popular figure in St. Louis.
let me do my job
Not one to like interference from Lane or Cardinals owner Gussie Busch the story goes like this:
In one especially disastrous situation that provoked fan outrage and a public scolding from Lane, in a game with the Brooklyn Dodgers on July 18, 1957, Hutchinson ignored baseball conventional wisdom and left Wilmer (“Vinegar Bend”) Mizell (1930-1999), a left-hander, in to pitch against right-handed Dodger slugger Gil Hodges (1924-1972) in the ninth inning, with the Cards ahead, 9-4. Hodges hit a bases-loaded home run to tie the score and the Dodgers went on to win, 10-9, in 11 innings. Hutchinson’s response to Lane and Busch: “Let me alone to do my job”.
time in st. Louis ended
Broadcaster Joe Garagiola gave him the nickname “The Big Bear” due to his lack of smile. GM Lane was let go in 1958 and coupled with a disappointing season, he was fired in September of 1958 while the team was six games below .500 for the season.