From John Owens at the Chicago Tribune on July 21, 2013, with mention of SABR members Paul Dickson and David Fletcher:
When people visit her home in far northwest suburban Huntley, Margaret Manning sometimes will break out the family’s most prized possession: the “golden pass.”
The pass, signed by the long-ago heads of Major League Baseball, offers free lifetime access to any game in any stadium in the National or American leagues. It was issued more than 50 years ago to her aunt, Margaret “Midge” Donahue, for her “long and meritorious service” with the Chicago Cubs.
“We were always in awe of it growing up,” said Andrea Manning, Margaret Manning’s daughter.
But Margaret Donahue is more than just a point of pride for her relatives, who knew her as “Aunt Midge.” She is recognized by historians as a groundbreaking baseball executive, and her fame is likely to grow next year when the Cubs include her story in festivities marking the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field.
Donahue, who worked for the team from 1919 to 1958, was the first female front-office executive in Major League Baseball who was not also an owner. She was an innovator who changed professional baseball by introducing the concept of season tickets in 1929. And she came up with other novel ideas that are now commonplace, from selling tickets at off-site locations to offering a reduced ticket price for children under 12.
Originally published: July 22, 2013. Last Updated: July 22, 2013.