Jackson: The apprenticeship of Connie Mack

From SABR member Frank Jackson at The Hardball Times on August 18, 2015:

Connie Mack died in 1956 at the age of 93. Though I was only 6 years old, I certainly knew who he was. My grandfather was a lifelong A’s fan, so he revered Mack as something close to a demigod. The A’s transfer to Kansas City left the city to the Phillies, a taste my grandfather never acquired. He might have been the only man in town who reveled in the infamous 1964 Phillie Phold.

Ironically, every trip to see the Phillies took me to Connie Mack Stadium, renamed from Shibe Park in 1953. Benjamin Shibe, a sporting goods magnate, had been the president of the A’s from their 1901 founding till his death after the 1921 season, but Mack served as treasurer and handled all baseball matters. Shibe and Mack were the most dominant figures in A’s management during the tenure of the franchise in Philadelphia, so it is fitting that the ballpark honored the two founding fathers in tandem.

Beginning with the 1957 season, a statue of Connie Mack stood at Reyburn Park across the street from the stadium named after him (it was later relocated to Veterans Stadium and eventually Citizen’s Bank Park). The statue shows Mack in a characteristic position, scorecard in hand and one foot on the dugout step.

Read the full article here: http://www.hardballtimes.com/the-apprenticeship-of-connie-mack/

Originally published: August 18, 2015. Last Updated: August 18, 2015.