Manager Connie Mack

connie-mack-hof-1Here is another fact off my tear-off White Sox trivia calendar.  Who holds the record for most years as a Major League manager?  Connie Mack (53 years)

He is the longest-serving manager in MLB history, holds records for wins (3,731), losses (3,948), & games managed (7,755), with his victory is almost 1,000 wins more than any other manager.  Mack was the manager of the Philadelphia Athletics for the club’s first fifty years before retiring at the age of 87 in 1950.

Connie played eleven years (10 in the NL & one in the Players League) in the major leagues, as a light hitting catcher, .245 career average.  He hit five home runs in 2,931 at bats, three in 1888, when he sacrificed average for power, batting only .187 (his only season below .200).   His best season as a player was in the Players League in1891 when he batted .266 with12 triples, he was HBP 20 times.  His last three seasons as a player, were also his first three as a manager, as he was the Pittsburgh Pirates player/manager (even back then they were trying to save money).

Mack wanted men who were self-directed, self-disciplined, and self-motivated; his ideal player was Eddie Collins.  As a manager, he won nine pennants and appeared in eight World Series, winning five.

Over the course of his career he had three pennant-winning teams.  His original team, with players like Rube Waddell, Ossee Schreckengost, and Eddie Plank, won the pennant in 1902 and 1905, losing the 1905 World Series to the New York Giants.  During that season, New York’s manager John McGraw said that Mack had “a big white elephant on his hands” with the Athletics.  Mack adopted a white elephant as the team’s logo, which the Athletics still use today.

As his first team aged, Mack acquired a core of young players to form his second great team, which featured Mack’s famous “$100,000 infield” of Eddie Collins, Home Run Baker, Jack Barry, and Stuffy McInnis.  These Athletics, captained by catcher Ira Thomas, won the pennant in 1910, 1911, 1913, and 1914, beating the Cubs in the World Series in 1910 and beating the Giants in 1911 and 1913, and losing to the Boston Braves in 1914.

That team was dispersed due to financial problems, from which Mack did not recover until the twenties, when he built his third great team.  The 1927 Athletics may have been the best second-place team in history, featuring several future Hall of Fame players including veterans Ty Cobb, Zack Wheat, and Eddie Collins as well as players in their prime such as Mickey Cochrane, Lefty Grove, Al Simmons, and rookie Jimmie Foxx.  That team won the pennant in 1929, 1930, and 1931, beating the Chicago Cubs in the World Series in 1929 and beating the St. Louis Cardinals in 1930, and losing to the Cardinals in 1931.

The Veterans Committee voted Connie Mack into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1937.

Discussion Area - Leave a Comment