Whitey Herzog: “George Kissell is the only man i know who can talk for 15 minutes about a ground ball.”
George Kissell was a Minor League player, Minor League manager, Major League Coach, scout, Minor League instructor and Field Coordinator for the St. Louis Cardinals. Kissell spent all of his 69 years in Professional Baseball with the Cardinals. Kissell signed with the Cardinals in 1940 and in 1983 was recognized with “The King of Baseball” award. George Kissell had a B.S., a Masters in History and in Physical Education from Ithaca College.
George Kissell was a great man! He was a very warm and caring individual who was a great teacher. George Kissell knew all phases of baseball. He was very loyal and dedicated to the St. Louis Cardinals. George could have gone to the Cincinnati Reds as a coach under Sparky Anderson, but Kissell stayed with the Cardinals.
George Kissell was a mentor to players, to coaches and to managers. Joe Torre said, “George Kissell was so caring.” Jim Riggleman said, “I hung on his every word.” I spoke with George several times over the years and he could not have been nicer! When I first started broadcasting for the Indianapolis Indians, the Cincinnati Reds were our Parent team. Ron Plaza was the Field Coordinator, and he was extremely knowledgeable and terrific at his job. It is no coincidence that George Kissell was Ron’s mentor.
When the Cardinals acquired second baseman Fernando Vina, George told him there were nine different kinds of ground balls. Vina already had played for seven years in the Major Leagues. Under Kissell’s tutelage, Vina won two Gold Glove Awards for fielding excellence.
George Kissell was a credit to the game of baseball.