Wyatt: Mr. Manager, Connie Mack

From Daniel Wyatt at The National Pastime Museum on March 30, 2015:

Cornelius Alexander McGillicuddy was born six months before the Battle of Gettysburg on December 22, 1862, in Brookfield, Massachusetts. A high school dropout at 14, he took to baseball at an early age, and in the minors he shortened his name to fit on scorecards. A Major League catcher for 11 years, his forte was managing, best known for 50 seasons with the Philadelphia Athletics, where he was also majority owner from 1937 to 1953. He was a thin man, standing over six feet tall and weighing around 160 pounds. Dignified and highly respected by his peers, the press tagged him “The Tall Tactician” and “The Grand Old Man of Baseball.” He was one of the biggest names ever in baseball—Connie Mack.

Or “Mr. Mack” to his players.

A below-average hitter in the Majors, he began his managing career as player-skipper of the Pittsburgh Pirates in late 1894, a job he held for two full seasons, where he had a 149–134 overall record. From 1897 to 1900 he managed the Western League Milwaukee Brewers and played occasionally as a backup catcher. His last season was his best, a second-place finish.

Mack then joined the Philadelphia A’s in 1901 as the team’s manager, treasurer, and 25 percent owner. As one of the original American League founders, he quickly helped to establish the new circuit as viable competition to the National League. Mack also managed his teams to above-.500 finishes for the first 13 of 14 seasons and took six American League pennants.

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/mr-manager

Originally published: March 30, 2015. Last Updated: March 30, 2015.