Neyer: Connie Mack makes his mark on the 1929 World Series

From SABR member Rob Neyer at The National Pastime Museum on March 23, 2017:

When it happened in 1929, it was almost certainly the most unorthodox managerial move in World Series history (which stretched back to 1903).

The move might still deserve that label, nearly 90 years later.

It was so unorthodox—not only surprising, but practically indefensible without the benefit of hindsight—that we can rank it among the greatest managerial moves for just one reason: It worked so incredibly well.

In 1914, Connie Mack managed his Philadelphia Athletics—they really were his Athletics, as just the year before he’d upped his stake in the club to 50 percent—to their sixth American League pennant in 13 years. In the World Series, the A’s were swept by Boston’s “Miracle” Braves . . . after which, Mack blew up his team. They finished in last place for seven straight seasons, and there were three straight losing seasons after that. But beginning in 1925, the A’s, still managed by Mack, were once again contenders.

In 1928, the A’s won 98 games but finished just out of the money, behind the dynastic Yankees. In 1929 the A’s broke through with 104 wins, obliterating the Yankees (and everyone) else in the American League.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: March 23, 2017. Last Updated: March 23, 2017.