Stump Merrill
Merrill with the Nashville Sounds in 1980
Born: (1944-02-15) February 15, 1944 (age 79)
Brunswick, Maine, U.S.
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
MLB statistics
Games managed275
Win–loss record120–155
Winning %.436
As manager

As coach

Carl Harrison "Stump" Merrill (born February 15, 1944) is an American former manager in Major League Baseball. Merrill spent 38 years in the New York Yankees organization,[1] including 1990 and 1991 as the manager of the Yankees, and he also managed several of the Yankees' minor league affiliates.

Early life

Merrill was born in 1944 in Brunswick, Maine. He graduated from Brunswick High School, where he was a star in baseball, basketball, and American football despite being considered undersized.[2]

Baseball career

As a player

Merrill was listed as 5 feet 8 inches (1.73 m) tall and 185 pounds (84 kg); he batted left-handed and threw right-handed.

He began his baseball career as a catcher for the Maine Black Bears, where he also played football and earned a degree in physical education. He was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1966 free-agent draft. He spent that season in the class-A New York–Penn League with the Batavia Clippers, and the following year with single-A teams in Bakersfield and Eugene. In 1968 and 1969, Merrill was at the double-A level with the Reading Phillies, and returned to Eugene in 1970 and 1971 while that team was at the triple-A level. His playing career ended after the 1971 season due to a leg injury.

As a manager

Merrill's managerial career started in 1978 with the West Haven Yankees of the Eastern League. He led the team to the best overall record in the league that season, and to a first-place finish in 1979. When the Yankees moved their affiliation to the Nashville Sounds, Merrill moved as well, guiding the team to two more first-place finishes in 1980 and 1981.

In 1982 and 1983, Merrill managed the Fort Lauderdale Yankees of the Florida State League, winning the league championship in 1982. For the 1984 season, he jumped to the triple-A level, managing the Columbus Clippers to another first-place finish.

Merrill joined the New York Yankees in 1985 as first-base coach for manager Yogi Berra, but was returned to Columbus in mid-season to again serve as that team's manager. He rejoined the major-league team in 1986 as a coach on Lou Piniella's staff.

During the 1988 season, Merrill was sent to the Albany-Colonie Yankees, then the team's double-A affiliate in the Eastern League. He won the league title that season, and did so yet again in 1989, guiding the Prince William Cannons to the Class A Carolina League championship.

In 1990, Merrill began the season with Columbus before getting the call to take charge of the New York Yankees in June when Bucky Dent was fired as manager. Merrill finished out what would be one of the worst seasons in Yankees history. The Yankees finished 67-95 (49-64 under Merrill), dead last in the American League and second-worst in baseball. It was only the fourth time that the storied franchise had finished with the worst record in the league. However, Merrill was not blamed for the debacle and was brought back for the 1991 season—the first time in four years that the Yankees had a single manager for the entire season. However, after the Yankees could only improve to 71–91, he was replaced by Buck Showalter prior to the 1992 season and served that season as a roving minor-league instructor.

During 1993 and 1994, Merrill once again managed the Columbus Clippers before spending 1995 as a special assignment scout. In 1996, Merrill guided the Clippers for a third time, winning the International League title, the Governors' Cup. Along the way, Merrill won his 1000th game as a manager on August 2, 1996. He remained with the Clippers for the 1997 and 1998 seasons before returning to New York.

In 1999 and 2000, Merrill had a two-year stint as special assistant to the general manager under Brian Cashman. He returned to the dugout in 2001 to manage the Yankees' double-A farm club, then the Norwich Navigators. When the Yankees changed affiliations after the 2002 season, Merrill moved with the team once more, managing the Trenton Thunder in 2003 and 2004.

Merrill returned to New York in 2005 and was once again named special assistant to the general manager.[3] He retired in 2014.[1]

Managerial record

Team Year Regular season Postseason
Games Won Lost Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
NYY 1990 113 49 64 .434 7th in AL East
NYY 1991 162 71 91 .438 5th in AL East (fired)
Total 275 120 155 .436 0 0 .000 [4]


Merrill's nickname, "Stump," was given to him in 1963 by Jack Butterfield, his college baseball coach at Maine. Merrill recalled of the coining: "In my freshman year, we were walking out of the field house. I was with a tall pitcher who was about 6-foot-5. Just as we were outside, Jack Butterfield was trying to get my attention. He hollered at me three or four times and I didn't hear him. Finally he said, 'Hey Stump you little devil, turn around.' The pitcher heard it, and I guess it stuck."[5]


  1. ^ a b Mahoney, Larry (May 24, 2018). "Former Yankees manager, Black Bears catcher, throws out first pitch for America East tourney opener". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  2. ^ Heyman, Jon (5 February 1991). "Stump Merrill Is Just Common Folk". Los Angeles Times.
  3. ^[dead link]
  4. ^ "Stump Merrill Managerial Record".
  5. ^ Traughber, Bill (May 9, 2011). "Looking Back: Former Sounds Manager Stump Merrill". Archived from the original on April 5, 2015. Retrieved June 22, 2014.
Sporting positions
Preceded by West Haven Yankees Manager
Succeeded by
became Nashville Sounds
Preceded by
were the West Haven Yankees
Nashville Sounds Manager
Succeeded by
Preceded by Fort Lauderdale Yankees Manager
Succeeded by
Preceded by Columbus Clippers Manager
Succeeded by
Preceded by New York Yankees First Base Coach
Succeeded by
Preceded by Columbus Clippers Manager
Succeeded by
Preceded by New York Yankees First Base Coach
Succeeded by
Preceded by Albany-Colonie Yankees Manager
Succeeded by
Preceded by Prince William Cannons Manager
Succeeded by
Preceded by Columbus Clippers Manager
Succeeded by
Preceded by New York Yankees Manager
Succeeded by
Preceded by Columbus Clippers Manager
Succeeded by
Preceded by Columbus Clippers Manager
Succeeded by
Preceded by Norwich Navigators Manager
Succeeded by
Preceded by Columbus Clippers Manager
Succeeded by
Preceded by
previously Red Sox affiliate
Trenton Thunder Manager
Succeeded by