Connie Mack set standards for Major League managers that will never be equaled, simply out of sheer longevity. Mack made his debut as a twenty-three year old player in 1886 with the National League Washington Nationals. After a single season with the Player’s League Buffalo Bisons in 1890, he joined the Pittsburgh Pirates where he would become the player/manager in 1894. After retiring as a player he would manage the Western League Milwaukee Brewers until 1901, when the WL became the American League. It was then, upon the urging of Ban Johnson, that Mack became the owner and manager of the Philadelphia Athletics, a position he would hold for fifty years. He holds the lifetime records for managerial wins (3731) and losses (3948) and over his career he would win nine pennants and five World Series. Often conflicted between his dual roles as owner and manager, Mack twice built a Championship ball club (in the early 1910s and late 1920s) and then sold his best players to pay the bills, resulting in the Athletics finishing in the cellar seventeen times during his long career.
Mack’s grave features his given last name, McGillicuddy. The child of Irish immigrants, the shortening of the family name to Mack was a regular practice before Cornelius was born in 1862.
September 10, 2010