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Connie Mack

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1933tattoomack.jpg

Cornelius Alexander Mack
(The Tall Tactician)
born Cornelius Alexander McGillicuddy

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 1", Weight 150 lb.

Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1937

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[edit] Biographical Information

1887 Old Judge baseball card for Connie Mack as a catcher with the Washington Nationals

Connie Mack was the longtime owner and manager of the Philadelphia Athletics. As manager, he always wore a suit in the dugout, instead of a uniform.

Mack had previously played eleven seasons in the major leagues, primarily as a catcher. He led the Players League in hit-by-pitch with 20 in 1890. Although he later managed for decades in Philadelphia, he never played in the major leagues for Philadelphia, serving instead as a player for the Washington Nationals, the Buffalo Bisons and the Pittsburgh Pirates.

He got his start managing with the Pirates, and also managed four seasons in the minors with Milwaukee before beginning his Philadelphia managerial career in 1901, the first year that the new American League was a major league. He was also the team's part owner, in combination with his partner Benjamin Shibe. In 1937, he became team President, after the deaths of Ben Shibe in 1922, his son Tom in 1936, and Tom's brother John's illness. The Shibe-MacFarland family retained minority ownership in the team, while Connie Mack allocated some of his shares to his three sons and to his second wife Katherine (his first wife had passed away in 1892).

Mr. Mack - he was always Mr. Mack to his players - was the oldest manager in major league history (age 87). He also holds managerial records for seasons (53), games (7,755), wins (3,731), losses (3,948), and tenure with one club (50 seasons, 1901-1950). Until 2011, when Tony La Russa did so, no one else had even managed 5,000 major league games, less than two-thirds of Mack's total.

Bucky Harris, Washington Nationals baseball club manager, shaking hands with Connie Mack, Philadelphia Athletics manager

His Athletics teams would win the World Series five times. His teams won the American League pennant in 1905, 1910-1911, 1913-1914 and 1929-1931. Between 1910-1914 he had the services of the famous $100,000 infield, including Eddie Collins, while in 1929-1931 he had players such as Lefty Grove, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons, Mickey Cochrane and Max Bishop. However. he was hurt financially by the Great Depression and was forced to sell his star players to meet operating expenses.

It is clear however that Connie Mack remained a manager for far too long. His teams beginning in the 1940s were always awful (finishing in the first division once in his last 17 years as manager) and he was becoming increasingly senile while nominally the manager as coaches ran the team for him. His declining ability also affected his judgment in the front office. He feuded with his sons, leading to a costly deal to keep majority control of its Board of Directors by mortgaging Shibe Park. Lack of control over the board had already cost him, when Jimmy Dykes was named to succeed him as manager, when he had for years been grooming his son Earle to take over the job. The ballpark deal quickly became crippling for the team's finances and the remaining Macks were forced to sell to outsider Arnold Johnson after the 1954 season. Johnson moved the team to Kansas City. Connie Mack was named as the team's Honorary President and was even present at the team's inaugural game in Kansas City, but never had a say in the team from that point and died a year later.

He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on December 7, 1937 by the Centennial Commission. Even so, he would go on to manage for 13 more years.

His son, Earle Mack, was a major league player, coach, and manager. His second son, Roy Mack, was a senior executive with the Athletics. His third son by a second marriage, Connie Mack Jr., led the charge to have him ousted as the Athletics' President before being bought out in 1950 and moving to Florida; Mack's grandson and great grandson have both served as members of Congress, representing Florida.

"To me, the name of Connie Mack always has been synonymous with baseball, standing for everything that is best for the game he loved." - Will Harridge

[edit] Notable Achievements


Preceded by
Al Buckenberger
Pittsburgh Pirates Manager
1894-1896
Succeeded by
Patsy Donovan
Preceded by
N/A
Philadelphia Athletics Manager
1901-1937
Succeeded by
Earle Mack
Preceded by
Earle Mack
Philadelphia Athletics Manager
1938-1939
Succeeded by
Earle Mack
Preceded by
Earle Mack
Philadelphia Athletics Manager
1940-1950
Succeeded by
Jimmie Dykes

[edit] Year-by-Year Managerial Record

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1894 Pittsburgh Pirates National League 12-10 7th Pittsburgh Pirates replaced Al Buckenberger (53-55) on September 3
1895 Pittsburgh Pirates National League 71-61 7th Pittsburgh Pirates
1896 Pittsburgh Pirates National League 66-63 6th Pittsburgh Pirates
1897 Milwaukee Brewers Western League 85-51 3rd none
1898 Milwaukee Brewers Western League 82-57 3rd none
1899 Milwaukee Brewers Western League 55-68 6th none
1900 Milwaukee Brewers American League 79-59 2nd none
1901 Philadelphia Athletics American League 74-62 4th Philadelphia Athletics
1902 Philadelphia Athletics American League 83-53 1st Philadelphia Athletics League Champs
1903 Philadelphia Athletics American League 75-60 2nd Philadelphia Athletics
1904 Philadelphia Athletics American League 81-70 5th Philadelphia Athletics
1905 Philadelphia Athletics American League 92-56 1st Philadelphia Athletics Lost World Series
1906 Philadelphia Athletics American League 78-67 4th Philadelphia Athletics
1907 Philadelphia Athletics American League 88-57 2nd Philadelphia Athletics
1908 Philadelphia Athletics American League 68-85 6th Philadelphia Athletics
1909 Philadelphia Athletics American League 95-58 2nd Philadelphia Athletics
1910 Philadelphia Athletics American League 102-48 1st Philadelphia Athletics World Series Champs
1911 Philadelphia Athletics American League 101-50 1st Philadelphia Athletics World Series Champs
1912 Philadelphia Athletics American League 90-62 3rd Philadelphia Athletics
1913 Philadelphia Athletics American League 96-57 1st Philadelphia Athletics World Series Champs
1914 Philadelphia Athletics American League 99-53 1st Philadelphia Athletics Lost World Series
1915 Philadelphia Athletics American League 43-109 8th Philadelphia Athletics
1916 Philadelphia Athletics American League 36-117 8th Philadelphia Athletics
1917 Philadelphia Athletics American League 55-98 8th Philadelphia Athletics
1918 Philadelphia Athletics American League 52-76 8th Philadelphia Athletics
1919 Philadelphia Athletics American League 36-104 8th Philadelphia Athletics
1920 Philadelphia Athletics American League 48-106 8th Philadelphia Athletics
1921 Philadelphia Athletics American League 53-100 8th Philadelphia Athletics
1922 Philadelphia Athletics American League 65-89 7th Philadelphia Athletics
1923 Philadelphia Athletics American League 69-83 6th Philadelphia Athletics
1924 Philadelphia Athletics American League 71-81 5th Philadelphia Athletics
1925 Philadelphia Athletics American League 88-64 2nd Philadelphia Athletics
1926 Philadelphia Athletics American League 83-67 3rd Philadelphia Athletics
1927 Philadelphia Athletics American League 91-63 2nd Philadelphia Athletics
1928 Philadelphia Athletics American League 98-55 2nd Philadelphia Athletics
1929 Philadelphia Athletics American League 104-46 1st Philadelphia Athletics World Series Champs
1930 Philadelphia Athletics American League 102-52 1st Philadelphia Athletics World Series Champs
1931 Philadelphia Athletics American League 107-45 1st Philadelphia Athletics Lost World Series
1932 Philadelphia Athletics American League 94-60 2nd Philadelphia Athletics
1933 Philadelphia Athletics American League 79-72 3rd Philadelphia Athletics
1934 Philadelphia Athletics American League 68-82 5th Philadelphia Athletics
1935 Philadelphia Athletics American League 58-91 8th Philadelphia Athletics
1936 Philadelphia Athletics American League 53-100 8th Philadelphia Athletics
1937 Philadelphia Athletics American League 39-80 -- Philadelphia Athletics replaced by Earle Mack on September 4
1938 Philadelphia Athletics American League 53-99 8th Philadelphia Athletics
1939 Philadelphia Athletics American League 25-37 -- Philadelphia Athletics replaced by Earle Mack on June 29
1940 Philadelphia Athletics American League 54-100 8th Philadelphia Athletics
1941 Philadelphia Athletics American League 64-90 8th Philadelphia Athletics
1942 Philadelphia Athletics American League 55-99 8th Philadelphia Athletics
1943 Philadelphia Athletics American League 49-105 8th Philadelphia Athletics
1944 Philadelphia Athletics American League 72-82 5th Philadelphia Athletics
1945 Philadelphia Athletics American League 52-98 8th Philadelphia Athletics
1946 Philadelphia Athletics American League 49-105 8th Philadelphia Athletics
1947 Philadelphia Athletics American League 78-76 5th Philadelphia Athletics
1948 Philadelphia Athletics American League 84-70 4th Philadelphia Athletics
1949 Philadelphia Athletics American League 81-73 5th Philadelphia Athletics
1950 Philadelphia Athletics American League 52-102 8th Philadelphia Athletics

[edit] Further Reading

  • Richard Adler: Mack, McGraw and the 1913 Baseball Season, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2008.
  • Bill Kashatus: Connie Mack's '29 Triumph, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 1999.
  • Bill Kashatus: The Philadelphia Athletics, Arcadia Books, Charleston, SC, 2002.
  • Frederick G. Lieb: Connie Mack: Grand Old Man of Baseball, Kent State University Press, Kent, OGH, 2012 (originally published in 1945). ISBN 160635129X
  • Norman L. Macht: Connie Mack and the Early Years of Baseball, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE, 2007. ISBN 0803240031
  • Norman L. Macht: Connie Mack: The Turbulent and Triumphant Years, 1915-1931, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE, 2012. ISBN 0803220391
  • Norman L. Macht: "Connie Mack and Wartime Baseball — 1943", in Morris Levin, ed.: From Swampoodle to South Philly: Baseball in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley, The National Pastime, SABR, 2013, pp. 199-205.
  • Connie Mack: My 66 Years in the Big Leagues, Dover Press, Mineola, NY, 2009 (originally published in 1950). ISBN 0486471845
  • Brian A. Podoll: The Minor League Milwaukee Brewers 1859-1952, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2003.
  • John G. Robertson and Andy Saunders: A’s Bad as It Gets: Connie Mack’s Pathetic Athletics of 1916, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2014. ISBN 978-0-7864-7818-7
  • Doug Skipper: "Connie Mack", in Morris Levin, ed.: From Swampoodle to South Philly: Baseball in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley, The National Pastime, SABR, 2013, pp. 127-135.
  • Bryan Soderholm-Difatte: "Connie Mack's Second Great Athletics Team: Eclipsed by the Ruth-Gehrig Yankees, But Even Better", in Morris Levin, ed.: From Swampoodle to South Philly: Baseball in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley, The National Pastime, SABR, 2013, pp. 178-184.
  • Robert D. Warrington: "Departure Without Dignity: The Athletics Leave Philadelphia", The Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Vol. 39, Number 2 (Fall 2010), pp. 95-115.

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