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Johnny Neun

Johnny Neun
Johnny Neun in 1948
MLB Player information
NameJohnny Neun
PositionFirst baseman
MLB debutApril 14, 1925 for the Detroit Tigers
Last MLB appearanceSeptember 27, 1931 for the Boston Braves
Career statistics
Batting average.289
Stolen bases41
As Player *Detroit Tigers (1925-1928) *Boston Braves (1930-1931) As Manager *New York Yankees (1946) *Cincinnati Reds (1947-1948)

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John Henry Neun (October 28, 1900 - March 28, 1990) was an American first baseman for the Detroit Tigers and the Boston Braves from 1925 to 1931.

Although never an everyday player (he never played more than 97 games a season), Neun entered baseball immortality on May 31, 1927 against the Cleveland Indians, when he caught a line drive from Homer Summa, stepped on first to retire Charlie Jamieson, and despite shouts from his shortstop to throw him the ball, raced towards second base to retire Glenn Myatt, completing the seventh unassisted triple play in MLB history, and the first such play to end a game. That feat would not be duplicated for 82 years, when on August 23, 2009, Eric Bruntlett turned an unassisted triple play for the Philadelphia Phillies to end a game against the New York Mets. Neun turned the triple play as a first baseman and not a second baseman or shortstop, one day after Jimmy Cooney of the Chicago Cubs had done so. A switch-hitter who threw left-handed, Neun batted .289 with two home runs in 945 at bats during his seven-year Major League Baseball career.

In 1935, after retiring as a player, Neun began managing in the New York Yankees' farm system, and from 1938 through 1941, he piloted the AA Newark Bears, winning International League regular season championships in 1938 (104 wins) and 1941 (100 wins) and the 1938 playoff title. He then spent two seasons as skipper of the Yanks' other top affiliate, the Kansas City Blues of the American Association (where he won another regular-season pennant, in 1942), before joining the New York coaching staff in 1944.

In September 1946, he was hired as the manager of the Yankees, replacing Bill Dickey. His stint in New York lasted only 14 games (8-6) through the third-place Yankees' final regular season game. During the offseason, he was hired by the Cincinnati Reds as the successor to Hall of Fame manager Bill McKechnie. Neun had a record of 117-137 in parts of two seasons. He was dismissed after 100 games in 1948 in favor of Bucky Walters. He continued working in the game, and into his eighties was a scout and instructor for the Milwaukee Brewers.

Neun died of pancreatic cancer in his birthplace of Baltimore at age 89.

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