Happy Halloween folks! Anybody who dresses up as our inductee today gets triple the candy at my parents’ house than they would if they dressed up as something cliché like a witch, goblin, ghost, grim reaper or eggplant. (Seriously, if I had a quarter for every time I’ve seen one of those stupid eggplant costumes…well, actually, I still wouldn’t have enough money to play the claw game once at Denny’s) But I digress.
Wow, what a great intro for our hero today, Mr. Cornelius McGillicuddy, Sr.! (1862-1956) The man better known as Connie Mack is a baseball legend. McGillicuddy is the longest-serving manager in baseball history, holding the record for wins, losses and games managed. Heck, the guy managed the Philadelphia A’s for their first 50 seasons! Fifty! He retired at the ripe old age of 87, in 1950. Well, it helped that he owned or partly-owned the A’s for all those years, but his incredible feat is still pretty incredible. Mack managed the A’s to five World Series victories, nine AL pennants, and get this…17 last place finishes. The man also played in his fair share of games, racking up a respectable 659 hits in a career spanning from 1886-1896. Mack was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1937.
Nicknamed “the Tall Tactician,” Mack was praised for his intelligent managing, and he had a love for smart, disciplined, motivated players. He also did not drink and preferred his players refrain as well, but was a bit of an easygoing manager, putting up with players such as the wacky but exceptional Rube Waddell because it was in the best interest of the team (even if Waddell’s animal cracker crumbs kept Ossee Schreckengost awake at night). He was also known for being one of the first managers to reposition his fielders during the game.
He was also known for one unusual habit – he liked to wear a business suit and top hat when managing. Gotta love the professionalism of Mr. Mack, even if it is hard to picture any of today’s managers walking out to make a pitching change while wearing a tie!
To close, here’s another doozy from Ogden Nash:
Q is for Don Quixote
Neither Yankees nor years
Can halt his attack
You go, Cornelius!