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World Series Game 1 Pitcher’s Duels

Posted by Steve Lombardi on October 17, 2011

Using Play Index, I think these are 3 of the greatest World Series Game 1 Pitcher's Duels -

Rk Player Date Series Gm# Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR GSc BF ERA WPA RE24 aLI
16 Allie Reynolds 1949-10-05 WS 1 NYY BRO W 1-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 2 0 0 4 9 0 88 33 0.00 0.706 4.752 1.473
17 Don Newcombe 1949-10-05 WS 1 BRO NYY L 0-1 CG 9 ,L 8.0 5 1 1 0 11 1 79 29 1.12 0.206 3.224 1.229
29 Hippo Vaughn 1918-09-05 WS 1 CHC BOS L 0-1 CG 9 ,L 9.0 5 1 1 3 6 0 76 33 1.00 0.248 2.709 .964
30 Babe Ruth 1918-09-05 WS 1 BOS CHC W 1-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 6 0 0 1 4 0 78 35 0.00 0.748 3.709 1.557
35 Mordecai Brown 1906-10-09 WS 1 CHC CHW L 1-2 CG 9 ,L 9.0 4 2 1 1 7 0 79 32 1.00 0.108 1.778 .971
36 Nick Altrock 1906-10-09 WS 1 CHW CHC W 2-1 CG 9 ,W 9.0 4 1 1 1 3 0 77 32 1.00 0.608 2.778 1.610
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/17/2011.

Any others that maybe I missed?

72 Responses to “World Series Game 1 Pitcher’s Duels”

  1. Richard Chester Says:

    That game by Newcombe was his peak performance against the Yankees. His overall W-L record against them in the WS was 0-4 with an 8.59 ERA. I saw that game on TV.

  2. Evan Says:

    I would add 1986 Bruce Hurst and the Red Sox over Ron Darling and the Mets 1-0 on an unearned run. Darling's GS was 74, so you just missed him.

  3. Frank Says:

    Here's guessing that 2011 will not make the list.

  4. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    Other good ones from the last half century:

    1961 — Yankees 2, Reds 0
    1967 — Cardinals 2, Red Sox 1
    1973 — A's 2, Mets 1
    1983 — Phillies 2, Orioles 1
    1995 — Braves 3, Indians 2

  5. Dave Says:

    The Rangers had the better record but the Cardinals get "home-field advantage" because their league won the all-star game...HA!

  6. Ed Says:

    1915 Ernie Shore vs. Pete Alexander Score was 1-0 going into the 8th. Final score of 3-1.

  7. Ed Says:

    1948 Feller vs. Sain

    Feller pitched a 2 hitter, Sain a 4 hitter. Braves won it 1-0, scoring a run on a two-out single in the bottom of the 8th.

  8. Richard Chester Says:

    In the 1950 WS Vic Raschi of the Yankees outpitched Jim Konstanty of the Phils 1-0 in the first game.

    Also in 1949 the score of the second game was also 1-0 with the Dodgers winning.

  9. Ed Says:

    1930 Paul Derringer vs. Red Ruffing

    Yanks beat the Reds 2-1 on a run in the bottom of the 9th.

  10. Ed Says:

    1924 was interesting. Art Nehf of the NY Giants vs Walter Johnson of the Washington Senators. Score was 2-1 heading into the bottom of the 9th. The Senators scored a run to send it into extra innings. The Giants scored 2 runs in the top of the 12th, the Senators 1 in the bottom of the inning. Final score 4-3 in 12 innings. Both pitchers went the distance.

  11. Richard Chester Says:


    I think you meant 1939.

  12. Voomo Zanzibar Says:

    Bruce Hurst = B.RuthCurse
    first lefty sock to win a ws game since '18. constantly amazed by that.

  13. James Kunz Says:

    @Dave--it's not like the team with the best record used to get home field advantage. Formerly it alternated every year, which was fairly arbitrary

  14. Ed Says:

    @11 Yes thank you, Ruffing vs. Derringer was 1939.

  15. pauley Says:

    12- The Red Sox only played 21 World Series games between Ruth and Hurst, winning 9 and losing 12, and only four games were even started by lefties. More a case of inopportunity than anything else.

  16. Shping Says:

    @5 -- Yeah, i know, it's a flawed, random system (just like it was before, in alternating years), but they need to pre-determine it for practical, ticket-selling purposes, so whattya gonna do?

  17. Richard Chester Says:


    That was the game with a vigorously disputed call.
    In the bottom of the 8th, with the score tied at 0-0, Feller made a pick-off attempt of Phil Masi at second base. The umpire, Bill Stewart, called him safe and SS (and manager) Lou Boudreau argued long and loud but to no avail. The next batter, Tommy Holmes, singled to drive in the game's only run.

  18. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Just like they do in the NBA and NHL?

    And the ALCS and NLCS? And ALDS and NLDS?

  19. Johnny Twisto Says: post was in response to #16.

  20. SocraticGadfly Says:

    I agree w/Johnny T.... especially if we're going to have interleague play and therefore can say records matter more than before, let the best team host.

  21. SeovyeQuirsefron Says:


    Records mean LESS than ever. Teams who are in weaker divisions and play weaker interleague foes are likely to have BETTER records than teams which are in a tough-division and have a tough interleague schedule.
    As an example, almost without a doubt, the 2011 Braves were a better team than the 2011 Cards. But the Cards played in the NL Central where the competition consisted of one good team (Brewers), one mediocre team (Reds), two bad teams (Cubs, Pirates) and one miserable team (Astros), and their natural interleage rival is the Royals. Meanwhile the Braves played in the NL East with one excellent team (Phillies), two mediocre team (Nationals, Mets), and one bad team (Marlins), and -- I believe -- their "natural" rival is the Red Sox.
    I don't mean to single out the 2011 Cards as I'm sure the same could be said about many teams that have made the playoffs and perhaps even won a World Series.

  22. Jacob Says:

    The baseball blogosphere (and its readers) are spending a lot of time expressing their disappointment in this WS matchup, in particular the Cardinals making it.

    Count me in, too. I am a Tigers fan, so I'm obviously unhappy with Texas. But I feel more animosity towards the Cardinals, who

    a) beat my Tigers in 2006 with an inferior team that should never have been in the postseason
    b) are primed to do the exact same thing again this year.

    They're also boring, btw. And to stay on topic, I predict we WILL have a pitcher's duel in Game 1, if only because nobody expects it to happen.

  23. steven Says:

    @23: I'm a Cardinal fan, spoiled in my youth by Gibson, Brock, McCarver, Cepeda, Flood, etc., but I'm still traumatized by the last three games of the 1968 Series. I guess it's a lifelong Post Traumatic Series Disorder.

  24. Ed Says:

    @21 and @22 I could be wrong about this but it seems to me that Larussa coached teams do better in the postseason when they're underdogs.

  25. Ed Says:

    @17 Thanks for adding some context to my quick perusal of box scores! At least my Indians came back to win the Series, since they haven't won one since!!!

  26. Barry Says:

    If the Cardinals go all the way, does that move LaRussa up the ranks of greatest all-time manager? (You could make the argument that anyone could have won the '89 WS with that A's team, but the '06 Cards and now (possibly) these guys?

  27. John Autin Says:

    -- 1911, Mathewson (1 R, 6 H, 1 BB, 75 GSc) over Bender (2 R, 5 H, 4 BB, 11 K, 73 GSc). Each pitcher had a hit. Fourth straight WS win for Matty, though it snapped his 3-shutout streak. Bender came back to win game 4 over Matty and the clinching game 6.

    -- 1929, Howard Ehmke (1 UER, 8 H, 1 BB, 13 K, 81 GSc) over Charlie Root (7 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 2 BB, 70 GSc). With a rotation topped by Lefty Grove (20-6, 2.81) and George Earnshaw (24-8, 3.29), Mack played a hunch with Ehmke, a 35-year-old vet with a 166-165 career record and no WS experience. Ehmke, who had 20 Ks in 55 IP in the regular season, responded with a WS-record 13 Ks, and the A's took the Series 4-1.

  28. John Autin Says:

    (Further to #27 -- That '29 opener was scoreless until the 7th, when Jimmie Foxx homered off Root. The next start for Root came in game 4, with a chance to even the Series. He had a 3-hit shutout and an 8-0 lead into the bottom of the 7th, but the A's scored 10 times in the inning. That outburst included a 3-run, inside-the-park HR by Mule Haas off Art Nehf -- according to B-R's Event Finder, that was the last WS ITPHR.)

  29. John Autin Says:

    In the '48 opener that Ed noted @7, the lone run scored with the help of a very questionable intentional walk.

    In the bottom of the 8th, the Braves got a man to 2nd with 1 out. The next 3 scheduled hitters were:
    -- #8, Eddie Stanky, hit .320 in 67 games that year but was a .264 career hitter and 0 for 2 on the day.
    -- #9, Johnny Sain, a very good hitter for a pitcher; through 4 years, he had a .268 BA, 52 RBI in 343 ABs, and just 5 strikeouts.
    -- #1, Tommy Holmes, hit .325 in '48 and .308 in his 7-year career.

    Feller gave Stanky an IBB. Sain lined out to RF, but Holmes singled home the run and Sain closed it out in the 9th, for the first 1-0 WS game since 1923.

    We don't have pitch data for the game, so maybe Feller got behind Stanky and only the last 1 or 2 balls were intentional. But even if the count was 3-0, I think you have to go after the slap-hitting Stanky, who had 6 HRs and .088 ISO in over 3300 PAs to that point in his career. The reason Stanky always drew tons of walks was that he tried to draw walks -- not because he worked the count in his favor in order to get a pitch he could drive.

    By putting Stanky on, Feller gained no measurable advantage with the next hitter, and virtually assured that he would have to face Holmes, the best hitter for average in the lineup.

  30. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    @17/ Richard Chester -
    I am glad you brought this up (the disputed pick-off play by Feller in game 1 of the 1948 WS). At one time, this was a really big deal in WS history, as Feller never did win a WS game, as the only other WS game he pitched was game 5 in 1948, where he pitched poorly (7 ER in 6.1 IP). Somehow this has receded with time.

    I vaguely recall a photo of this play later turned up,that showed the ball in the fielder's glove while there was daylight between the baserunner and second base, does anyone else remember this?

  31. John Autin Says:

    @30 LA & @17 RC --
    According to the SABR biography project, Phil Masi admitted in his will that he was out and the ump blew the call:

  32. Paul E Says:

    @30...just remember seeing a photo of Boudreau screaming at the umpire while still hunched over taqgging Masi

  33. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    @31/ John Autin - thanks for the link on the 1948 WS G-1 Masi pickoff play; ask and ye shall receive...

    32/ Paul E. - but could you _clearly_ tell if Masi was out?

    @26/ Barry -
    "If the Cardinals go all the way, does that move LaRussa up the ranks of greatest all-time manager?... "

    I'm surprised that no one has commented on this yet. I don't think one more year, even a WS win, is going to change most people's evaluation of TLR much.

    He's already 3rd all-time in wins (and will pass McGraw if he manages next year), but "total wins" is much too blunt of a tool to evaluate managers; better to use some combination of peak/ career, weighed maybe 3/4ths towards peak.

    Here is my non-definitive, quick list of the Top Dozen MLB Managers All-Time:
    1) Joe McCarthy - best W-L % ever
    2. John McGraw - perfected "inside" baseball
    3. KC Stengel - 1949 to 1960: 12 years, 10 pennants
    4. Connie Mack - it helps to own the team most of your career.... I think after the mid-30s, he was frequently manager in "name-only". Still, up there with McGraw as one of the great figures all-time in MLB.
    5.TLR - as with McCarthy, having great success with two different teams can't be written off as simply having "the best players"
    6. Earl Weaver
    7. Sparky Anderson
    8. Bobby Cox
    9. Walter Alston - often forgotten
    10.Frank Chance (not a long career, but w/the Cubs from 1906-1912, WOW)
    11. Leo Durocher
    12. Joe Torre

    Tough to leave out:
    Billy Southworth, Frank Selee, Fred Clarke, Miller Huggins, Al Lopez, Billy Martin (for starters)

    Everyone in the all-time Top 10 in career wins is on this list, except Bucky Harris (.493 W-L%)

    Disagree? What is _your_ list?

  34. Ed Says:

    @26 I'll always remain indifferent to Larussa as a manager based on '88, '90 and '04. All three times his team had by far the best record but crapped out in the World Series. If they had been competitive I'd give him the benefit of the doubt. But his teams went 1-12 in those three series.

    Yeah he won in '06 with a mediocre team but the 8 unearned runs the Tigers gave the Cardinals certainly helped a lot.

    Ronald Reagan was known as the Teflon my opinion, Larussa should be called the Teflon Manager.

  35. Ed Says:

    @33 No Whitey Herzog??? Granted I'm biased since we share a last name but I think he at least deserves a mention.

  36. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    @35/ Ed -
    "@33 No Whitey Herzog???..."

    Ed, I'd place Herzog #16 - #20, as a lesser version of La Russa's career pattern - they both had great success with two different teams, in two different leagues,with two different types of teams. But La Russa has done it for over twice as long (5097 games managed vs. 2409 for Herzog).

    @34/ If you are going to dock TLR for losing three of five WS appearances, do you also knock down Earl Weaver for winning only one (1970) of four WS appearances, or John McGraw, who only won three of nine WS appearances? It's a slippery slope, my friend...

    I'll repeat what I said in #33: "Disagree? What is _your_ list?"

  37. Doug Says:

    Christy Mathewson and Chief Bender in 1911. Giants won 2-1.

    Lon Warneke beat Schoolboy Rowe 3-0 in 1935. Rowe had a tought first inning, allowing 2 runs on 2 hits and an error, but then held the Cubs in check until a leadoff homer in the 9th.

  38. Ed Says:

    @36 I don't have time to research how other managers have performed in the post season. And my issue with Larussa is more how his teams lost than the fact that they lost. Two of his teams were heavily favored and the third should have had at least even odds. Yet they all got destroyed in the World Series.

    Anyway, I think evaluating managers is WAY too hard. There's really no criteria to use other than W-L percentage which is too hard to disentangle from the players that one has on their team. There's only one manager who I personally believe that there's data for how good he was. But that's mainly because he tended to change teams so much. Because he wore out his welcome quickly. I'm referring to Billy Martin of course. Comparing the records of his teams before and after he was the manager, it's pretty stunning how quickly he turned teams around. Granted there are exceptions...for example the '78 Yankees took off after he was fired. But overall the record is pretty solid.

  39. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    @38/ Ed -
    Without getting bogged down in series-by-series details, in general I'd credit a manager a lot on his resume for winning the pennant, and deduct a tiny bit for losing a World Series where his team is heavily favored. It's getting to the WS that's the hard part.

    "...Anyway, I think evaluating managers is WAY too hard...." - yes, something we can both agree on; it's hard enough evaluating players, even with (seemingly) a million different numbers to use as comparisons. Manager's performances basically involve W-L records against people's expectations.

  40. Ed Says:

    @39 I'm sure there's lots we can agree on. I just like being a contrarian so don't take me too seriously. 🙂

    Anyway, I actually think manager's can make a huge difference though perhaps not as much as sports like basketball or football. Maybe someday we'll figure it all out and be able to construct a "replacement level manager".

  41. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    @40/ Ed -
    " Maybe someday we'll figure it all out and be able to construct a "replacement level manager".

    Would that fellow be the AAA manager for any particular MLB franchise?

    I think that the average sports fan frequently elevates football coaches to genius level comparable to military Generals, and thinks that he could manager a major league baseball team himself, because the action is so much easier to follow live in baseball than in football. In football, there's 22 players going in all different directions in any play, all with different assignments. In baseball, if you just follow the ball, you can usually figure out what's going on.

    I realize this is a large simplification (it leaves out defensive alignments and baserunners in baseball), but (to me) explains the difference in public perception. Or I could just refer you to George Carlin's "baseball vs. football" routine...

  42. Richard Chester Says:


    What Masi did was very reminiscent of what Sam Rice did. In the 1925 WS Rice made a running leaping catch of a ball hit by Earl Smith. He fell into the stands after the catch and emerged several seconds later holding the ball in his glove. The umpires ruled that the ball was caught. A controversy about the catch went on for years. After Rice's death a sealed letter of his was opened. He stated that at no time did he lose possession of the ball.

  43. Jesse Says:

    Man, Hippo Vaughn couldn't catch a break, could he? It was bad enough that he had to be the guy to lose the dual no-hitter game with Fred Toney... I didn't know he was also on the wrong end of a 1-0 World Series game.

  44. Ed Says:

    @41 Lawrence I have no idea what it would look like and doubt it would ever be possible.

    I do think managing is harder than the casual fan thinks. In his '88 abstract, Bill James broke a manager's job into the following levels and gave lots of example of each (1) game-level decision making, (2) team-level decision making, and (3) personnel management and instruction. BTW, James praised Whitey Herzog as a successful manager who "makes decisions on all three levels at the same time."

    BTW, in his '83 Abstract, this is what he said about Sparky Anderson:

    "When Enos Cabell was hot early in the year, you'd ask Sparky Anderson about him and Sparky would say "Enos Cabell is a we ballplayer. You don't hear Enos Cabell saying 'I did this' and 'I did that.'" I think that's what drives me nuts about Sparky Anderson, that he's so full of brown stuff that it just doesn't seem like he has any words left over for a basic, fundamental understanding of the game. I want to look at a player on the basis of what, specifically, he can and cannot do to help you win a baseball game, but Sparky's so full of "winners" and "discipline" and "we ballplayers" and self-consciously asinine theories about baseball that he seems to have no concept of how it is, mechanically, that baseball games are won and lost. I mean, I would never say that it was not important to have a team with a good attitude, but Christ, Sparky, there are millions of people in this country who have good attitudes, but there are only about 200 who can play a major-league brand of baseball, so which are you going to take? Sparky is so focused on all that attitude stuff that he looks at an Enos Cabell and he doesn't even see that the man can't play baseball. This we ballplayer, Sparky, can't play first, can't play third, can't hit, can't run and can't throw. So who cares what his attitude is?"

    I'm guessing James would rate Anderson a little lower than you did.

  45. Jeff J. Says:

    @33 "Here is my non-definitive, quick list of the Top Dozen MLB Managers All-Time:
    1) Joe McCarthy - best W-L % ever
    2. John McGraw - perfected "inside" baseball
    3. KC Stengel - 1949 to 1960: 12 years, 10 pennants
    4. Connie Mack - it helps to own the team most of your career.... I think after the mid-30s, he was frequently manager in "name-only". Still, up there with McGraw as one of the great figures all-time in MLB.
    5.TLR - as with McCarthy, having great success with two different teams can't be written off as simply having "the best players"
    6. Earl Weaver
    7. Sparky Anderson
    8. Bobby Cox
    9. Walter Alston - often forgotten
    10.Frank Chance (not a long career, but w/the Cubs from 1906-1912, WOW)
    11. Leo Durocher
    12. Joe Torre"

    Of course MccCarthy (& "KC) won, they were given the horses. If W/L% means so much, why is Mack only 3 slots lower?

    12) Clark Griffith
    11) Sparky Anderson
    10) Al Lopez
    09) Billy Martin
    08) Ralph Houk
    07) Earl Weaver
    06) Joe Torre
    05) Bobby Valentine
    04) Hughie Jennings
    03) Walt Alston
    02) Bill McKechnie
    01) Bobby Cox

  46. Nick Says:

    What about 1996 Game 5? Smoltz vs Pettitte...Smoltz GS 79, Pettitte 74.

  47. pauley Says:

    34 & 38, You're basing your opinions on LaRussa by what other people thought should happen in those series. Upsets happen, if they didn't there'd be no reason to play the games. Remember, in 88, the A's were not thought of as the best team in baseball, that honor went to the Mets, who also got beat by the Dodgers. And I don't know why you feel the 04 Cardinals, without their best pitcher should have been even odds against the Red Sox. You have Schilling, Martinez and Lowe on one side and Morris, Williams, Suppan on the other. Big difference.

  48. Joe D'Aniello Says:

    In reading these posts it just occurred to me that the first game of the 1948, 1949 and 1950 World Series all had 1-0 scores.

  49. Jimmy Says:

    I hate it eveytime I see Connie Macks name on any ones manager list, what did he do really other than manage for 50 years, he had 5 rings 5 100 win seasons with two of the greastest dynasties of all time, those two teams any decent manager couldve done that with. He managed a freaking dream teams worth of players in the good years, Id be happy to just have the great lefties he had on my staff, but that good doesnt come close to the bad. 10- 100 loss seasons, 1916 with 117 losses two years removed from a WS, in the early 20's the A's lost 100 games three years in a row, lets face at that point any "regular" manager had been fired, if they did it like they did it today hed probably been fired in 1915. Never would of got 3700 wins never would of had that great Grove, Foxx, Simmons team and would never be on any ones manager list.

  50. Jeff J. Says:


    Thank you! 🙂

  51. Jimmy Says:

    I dont like LaRussa at all either, he is a good strategist but his changing of pitchers has a good deal to do with Baseballs fall in popularity, since now every manager does what he pretty much started. Another thing is, and I dont really remember if it was like this with the A's when they were on top, but the Cards every year just fight and whine and fight some more with whatever team is challenging them in the division, I guess it works but its not how you do it and I blame LaRussa as much as the players for it. Yes Im a also a Cubs fan and really hate the Cardinals, and by the way heres to us taking your 7 years older than he says he is firstbaseman.

  52. Jimmy Says:

    #50 No problem, cant really see how every body else doesnt see that.

  53. Evan Says:

    Jimmy @49,51

    Wake up on the wrong side of bed today because your team's rival is in the World Series?

    Tony LaRussa didn't ruin baseball and notwithstanding a decline because of the economy the last couple of years, baseball has continually set records for average attendance at games during the Tony LaRussa era, not to mention the proliferation of local and national broadcasts that I would presume mean more people are watching baseball on TV than ever before. Yes there is segmentation in the market, but that has much more to do with the rise of other sports.

  54. pauley Says:

    49- Shouldn't Connie Mack get some credit for building those dynasties? It's not as if he managed to get lucky a couple times and fall into championships. It seems to me that when his owner provided him with funds to field actual major league players he did a fairly good job with them. And credit should be given to the owner for realizing he didn't give his manager much of a chance to field a winner- no point in firing him. It doesn't matter that they were the same person.
    51- Wow! Tony LaRussa responsible for the decline of baseball's popularity? Bud Selig, the steroid era, overpriced players and the bad economy are all glad it's his fault.

  55. Evan Says:


    Connie Mack was the owner, as well as the manager. That's why he had such great job security.

  56. Jimmy Says:

    @54 I didnt say LaRusssas use of the pitching staff was the ONLY reason for a decline in baseball, all the points you made are goods ones as well. @53 Baseball has and always will be my favorite sport, the Browns and Buckeyes both suck this year so this year, so Im waiting on Spring Training already. Lets face it though baseball is on a decline, record attendances, you can chalk up to a much higher population and higher seating capacities in the newer stadiums, as well the older ones now having more seating than they used it, broadcasting, also higher population as well more stations broadcasting games. Baseball games have slowed down a lot with these excessive pitching changes and less action in baseball is the reason I hear the most for people not liking it. By the way I actually wanted the Cards in the WS, two reasons, 1; I didnt want to see the first all expansion Series, 2; I love the Tigers as much as the Cubs and really wanted to see them get payback for 06', but then Nelson freaking Cruz, the Rangers bullpen and Leylands managing got in the way of that.

  57. Jimmy Says:

    I kind of thought my biased opinion of LaRussa would rub somebody the wrong way, I apologize for that, but I dont like him, never have and it is by the way an opinion, he could be the best manager of all time. Mack though Im pretty sure Im right on about him, those two great teams (a third if you want to count the teams that had Waddell) aside he did nothing but lose and lose a lot, and Ive seen where he said he made more money losing than winning, so obviously because he was the owner and GM as well he was content with losing, but that never wouldve happened for so long today.

  58. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    @57/ Connie Mack -

    Well Jimmy, it was just a different era, in that while there were millionaires who owned baseball teams so they could maintain their image as "sportsmen", there were a number of owners such Mack and Clark Griffith and Charles Comisky, who derived most or all of their income from their baseball team. Yes, they may have had financial backers, but when their income fell, they had to cut payroll.

    I don't really inderstand your antipathy towards Mack; he built two separate great teams (1902-14; 1927-32), the second right in the middle of some of the Yankee's greatest teams. This success was real, and is what I base my high ranking of him, the same way I base my ranking of Stengel mostly on his amazing record with the Yankeees. I also mostly discount Mack's bad record after the mid-30s,as he was the manager in name only a lot of the time.

  59. Jimmy Says:

    Yes Im aware it was a different time, most owners because of the Reserve Clause could afford to be miserly, and most were, Comiskey probably more than anybody. Personally Id like to see the RC still in action in all sports, with maybe a few changes. As for Mack, yes his success was real and I did point that out, those two dynasties were two of the best, either of them could beat just about anybody, but what Im saying is that even with them he was a sub .500 manager and I dont consider him a top 20 manager let alone top 5. In a different time he wouldnt have even had that second dynasty he would have been fired from the A's 15 years prior, whos knows in that scenario Dunn mightve kept Grove and all we'd know about him is how good he was as an Orioles.

  60. idiot Says:

    Sparky is so focused on all that attitude stuff that he looks at an Enos Cabell and he doesn't even see that the man can't play baseball. This we ballplayer, Sparky, can't play first, can't play third, can't hit, can't run and can't throw. So who cares what his attitude is?"

    Cabell had a pretty decent season in '83. Maybe all the positive support from his manager helped.


    I hate it eveytime I see Connie Macks name on any ones manager list, what did he do really other than manage for 50 years, he had 5 rings 5 100 win seasons with two of the greastest dynasties of all time, those two teams any decent manager couldve done that with. He managed a freaking dream teams worth of players in the good years

    Who do you think put those teams together? He's the one who identified the talent and got them on his team and in the lineup. Where are all the other managers who won 5 titles? Mack's the only one who had talented teams?

    He was also considered one of the first to change defensive positioning based on the situation.

  61. Jimmy Says:

    I do also give Mack a little credit for helping establish the AL by giving Lajoie to the Indians instead giving him back to the Phillies, that was a good move for the greater good of the League. Not sure how much of that was him or Johnson but ultimately the decision wouldve been Macks, thats still not something thatd make him a top 20 manager. Caseys a tough one as well he was awful for every team he managed except the Yankees, who were the best theyve ever been at that time. He was a McGraw disciple who was a great manager and one of the first to make good use of platooning, Stengel then perfected platooning with all the players he had with the Yankees, I give him a lot of credit for that long run because of his platooning, we see that just because you hacve a great team doesnt mean your in there every year, but the Yankees with the exception of a couple years for the Indians, were in there every year.

  62. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    @59/ Jimmy -
    Thanks for responding, you make reasonable points, except for *. Well, we'll just have "agree to disagree" on Connie Mack. He was one of the most important figures in the history of MLB; his significance goes waaaay beyond a simple W-L%. We can only evaluate him in the context in which he operated, not in present-day circumstances. Owners can't be managers nowadays, thanks to Ted Turner..

    * You do understand that the RC (reserve clause) should have been illegal, and it was the Supreme Court's hopelessly sentimental view of baseball (which they defined legally as a game and not a business) that allowed the RC to exist decades after it should've been abolished (famous decision of 1922).

    Once sports unions had sufficient strength, it was inevitable that the reserve clause be done away (and free-agency introduced) in all professionals sports.

    Labor deals are now collectively bargained in all four major sports, so it would be impossible for a team to own the playing rights to a player in perpetuity, the main purpose of the RC. We may get all misty-eyed and nostalgic over the players of many decades ago, but there is no logical reason to do the same about the unfair and one-sided labor situation back then.

    There is a "reserve clause" in the sense that a MLB team has the right to player for his minor league career and his first six full years.

  63. argman Says:

    @33 and others -
    No love for Dick Williams?
    One of the few who have managed three different teams to pennants, and also teams in both leagues.
    All three teams he managed to pennants were basically losers, and long-term losers, before he got there. (Although the Sox and A's did have good young talent that he managed to success.)
    And although he didn't win with the Expos, he got close there too.

  64. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    @63/ Argman -

    Yes, I admit that I did think of Dick Williams after I posted my list above; he definitely belongs in the Top-20, but the question is "where?". I'd say he's maybe a half-notch better than Herzog (hi Ed) who also belongs in the Top-20.

    So I'd say D. Williams is about 12-15, and Herzog 16-18.

  65. kds Says:

    Jimmy, Mack's A's won the pennant 1910, 11, 13 and 14. Their attendance dropped by more than 50% while winning almost every year. It collapsed much more in 1915 after he started to break up his great team. The story is much the same for his 2nd great team, 1929-31. So his bad teams were primarily due to economic reasons out of his control.

    As a manager he was also the GM, the head of development and the chief scout, (there are stories about him taking days off in the season to check out prospects).
    Of the many HoFers and other good to great players who came to prominence for his A's, he developed almost all of them. They did not come from trades, and few of them had extensive minor league training before Mack got them. He thought that having a teen aged Foxx sit by him on the bench was better training than playing every day in the minors. The results don't prove him wrong. Mack was not a manager stuck in time. When the game changed as the lively ball came in he also changed. He won with dead ball teams playing the tactics of that time, and he won with power hitting teams in a power hitting era.
    Mack was a great manager. He may have stuck around too long, but he lost primarily for reasons that had nothing to do with him as a manager.

  66. Jimmy Says:

    Yes I do fully understand the Reserve Clause, it should have been illegal, but at the time it came in came in it was legal to sell your children into slavery. Free Agency not good either just in how it drove player salaries up WAY too high, baseball is much better than the other sports in that you have to earn that pay though instead of how with the NFL the rookies are usually the highest paid players on teams that dont have Brady or Manning. So many of these guys bitch about their salaries when the economy in this country is awful and the unemployment rate is sky high, the guys that played under the RC had a good reason to complain and I dont blame the ones that gambled and threw games the least bit. I do consider Mack an historical figure for the game, but that does that mean he should be considered a great manager, I dont think so. Chick Gandils a pretty big historical figure as well, but do you consider him a great player for that? Those are two seperate things.

  67. Jimmy Says:

    @65 Yeah Ive read that before about the attendance drop being part of the dismantling of the $100,000 infield team, some blame Pennsylvania Blue Laws, made since, that along with FL screwed him, still though those guys wouldve left had he not dumped them because of horrible salaries, I d have to do research on the others but Collins for example made double for Comiskey than for Mack, and we're talking about the Ebeneezer Scrooge of baseball there. He has those excuses for the first team, but they played 7 days a week in the 30's, he was a miser and atleast most of it was in his control. About the changing styles, come on any one with half a brain can play to your teams strengths, the players mostly do that without the managers help anyway. I'll give him that he had great scouts,Jack Dunn liked him (I bet he regretted not taking Babe Ruth) and could handle his players, he was the only guy that could handle Rube Waddell, and Bender never wouldve been a HOFer without Mack babying him, are great examples of that.

  68. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    @66/ Jimmy - "Chick Gandils a pretty big historical figure as well, but do you consider him a great player for that? Those are two seperate things."

    Yes, they are indeed two separate things:

    Gandil was an important figure in one event, the throwing of the 1919 WS. He was a peripheral figure otherwise in MLB history. Connie Mack was one of the most important figures in the entire history of baseball, involved for many decades. The two are not remotely comparable for their importance.

  69. Jimmy Says:

    Lawrence I agree bad example, but he was the best I could muster at the time, my point still stands though, Mack was an important historical figure for his longevity, the fact that he owned, GMed and managed the A's and for his contribution to establishing the AL, Gandil was an important figure for setting up the White Sox's throwing of the World Series, which brought in Landis and the Commisioner and had a hand the offensive explosion of the 20's and 30's to get the fans back. I dont believe though a person being famous or Gandils case infamous for things beyond the playing field should give them credit for onfield performance. Of course this does depend on in what way you feel Mack was an inportant historical figure.

  70. Jimmy Says:

    I do think your right though, we'll have to agree to disagree about Ol Cornelius McGillicuddy, in my humble opinion he belongs at the bottom of the list at the top of this page.

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