The Post-Journal

Frankly Speaking

Any way you look at it, Irv Noren being named manager of the Hawaiian team in the Pacific Coast League is a nice break for a nice guy. It's a sort of pot of gold at the rainbow’s end for Jamestown-born Irv, because after you’ve played in the Majors, there’s no higher goal on the field than managing in the big leagues. This may be the first step.

Noren left here with his pappy, bakeryman Perry Noren, and the rest of the family for California when Irv was 12. Jamestown has never forgotten them and vice versa. From the time Irv broke into pro ball with a .363 average at Santa Barbara of the California League and thereafter, the Noren doings all the way through the minors up to the big tent were always news here.

Perry is dead now. He was always justly proud of his son. With a little encouragement he'd talk Irv's career by the hour when he visited Jamestown, and he always knew the answers. He was the first to tell us Irv's knees were going bad and it might slow his career—a statement later borne out by Irv himself.

The Norens came back to Jamestown often, considering the distance. And when Irv moved up to the majors with Washington, he, too, returned to the old hometown. When he was voted into Jamestown's first sports Hall of Fame, he couldn't attend the ceremonies he called from New York where the Senators were playing. He talked to this corner for several mmutes - a costly call just to say thank you. But that's the kind of guy he is, so Jamestown will be wishing him the best as bossman of the Islanders.

Noren hopes to be a playing manager, he has told West Coast newspapers. In fact, the burly outfielder has set 50 games as his goal including pinch hitting roles. “I’ve learned a lot of baseball from such men as Fred Haney, Casey Stengel, Fred Hutchinson and more recently the Dodgers' Walt Alston," he told coast scribes. Even during my last few seasons when I was used mostly as a pinch hitter, I got a chance to study the moves of the top managers; to evaluate what I would have done in similar situations. A studious guy, Irv has digested a lot of moxie from the game’s managerial names that will be added to the Islanders’ book of strategy.
Irv's big league career led from Washington to New York, Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago and Los Angeles. He was in three World Series with the Yankees and one All-Star game. His best Major League season was 1954 when he batted .319 for the Yankees. Irv was voted most valuable player in the Texas League in 1946 and won the same honors the following year with Hollywood of the PCL.

The ex-Jamestowner has had his bright moments during those years of big time baseball warfare. His friends here will be rooting for him to have some more as a Triple A manager.

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