Larry Gilbert, born in New Orleans on December 3, 1891, was a star baseball player growing up. He climbed as far as a short stint in the Major Leagues with the Boston Braves and was a member of the “Miracle” Braves in 1914 that defeated Connie Mack’s heavily-favored Philadelphia Athletics in the World Series. While he only played two years (1914-15) of Major League Baseball, he went on to become famous as a manager in the Southern Association with the New Orleans Pelicans and the Nashville Vols.
Gilbert managed his hometown Pelicans from 1923-31 and 1933-38, taking off 1932 to serve as the president of the Pelicans. He then managed the Nashville Vols from 1939-48 and served as part-owner of the Vols from 1939-55.
His career record as a manager was 2,128-1,627 (.567) with eight Southern Association Championships with the Pelicans and the Nashville Vols. His first Pelicans team posted 89 wins and a .610 winning percentage as it won the 1923 Southern Association pennant. In his final year as a manager, 1948 with Nashville, his team won 95 games and another pennant. He also directed the Pelicans to 101 wins in 1926 and won six straight pennants with the Vols from 1939-44.
Gilbert, who died in New Orleans on February 17, 1965 at the age 73, had two sons, Charlie and Tookie, who also reached the Major Leagues. Charlie Gilbert is also a member of the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame.