October 4, 1929–(CHICAGO) We start with Cubs skipper Joe McCarthy. McCarthy was born in Philadelphia, and grew up idolizing Mr. Mack. He played baseball and took on a variety of odd jobs in Germantown as a young man. He had a 15 year career in the minors but never played in the majors. He managed Louisville from 1919-1925, when he was called up by the Cubs.
The 1925 Cubs had been managed by three different men and had finished last in the NL with a 66-86 record. McCarthy instantly turned the team around, and they went from 82 wins in 1926 to 85 wins to 91 wins to the 98 wins they accumulated in 1929. McCarthy stands by his players, but give him any lip and he’ll send you right out the door. He summed up his managing philosophy earlier this week in the Inquirer:
My philosophy in running a ball club, or in building it up, is that as long as a man is paid to run the club, he might as well RUN it.
When veteran pitchers Grover Alexander, Wilbur Cooper, and Tony Kaufmann decided to get lippy with McCarthy in his first year, he gave ’em the old bum’s rush outta town. And don’t think that Chicago’s Big Cheese has forgotten it for a minute either!
You’ll find (current Cubs pitchers) Root, Blake, and Bush taking an active part in the Cubs’ preparations for the forthcoming World Series with the Athletics. You don’t hear much of those other three pitchers any more.
There’s not much I can say that you don’t already know about the Tall Tactician, Cornelius McGillicuddy, aka Connie Mack. A former catcher with the Pirates, he took on the A’s head job in 1901, when they were founded, and has been there ever since. He managed the first A’s dynasty from 1910-1914, but then tore the team apart, and spent plenty of time at the bottom looking up at the top teams in the AL. In fact, they finished in last place every year from 1915-1921, then slowly started to build their way back to respectability.
You won’t find Connie spending any time in any juice joints, and he tries to recruit players who abstain from booze as well. He goes by the name Mr. Mack to his players, and is regarded as a living legend by nearly everyone, except for perhaps the sportswriters, who give him a hard time about his miserly ways (If you go to the Series next week, don’t expect to find any water fountains. You’ll pay for water if you want it.) But he is a beloved figure to most fans of the Philadelphia team, especially now that he has a team back in the World Series.