Bill McKechnie

William Boyd McKechnie (August 7, 1886 – October 29, 1965) was an American professional baseball player, manager and coach. He played in Major League Baseball as a third baseman during the dead-ball era. McKechnie was the first manager to win World Series titles with two teams (1925 Pittsburgh Pirates and 1940 Cincinnati Reds), and remains one of only two managers to win pennants with three teams, also capturing the National League title in 1928 with the St. Louis Cardinals. His 1,892 career victories ranked fourth in major league history when he ended his managing career in 1946, and trailed only John McGraw's NL total of 2,669 in league history. He was nicknamed "Deacon" because he sang in his church choir and generally lived a quiet life.

Bill McKechnie
Third baseman / Manager
Born: August 7, 1886
Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania
Died: October 29, 1965 (aged 79)
Bradenton, Florida
Batted: Switch Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 8, 1907, for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Last MLB appearance
September 20, 1920, for the Pittsburgh Pirates
MLB statistics
Batting average.251
Home runs5
Runs batted in240
Games managed3,647
Managerial record1,896–1,723
Winning %.524
As player

As manager

Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Election MethodVeteran's Committee

Early life

McKechnie was born on August 7, 1886 to Archibald and Mary McKechnie, two Scottish immigrants who had settled in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania shortly before Bill was born.[1]

Playing career

Bill McKechnie

McKechnie made his major league debut in 1907 with the Pittsburgh Pirates, appearing in three games, before reemerging with the team in 1910 in a more substantial role. A utility infielder for the first half of his career before playing more substantially at third base later on, McKechnie played with the Pirates (1907, 1910–12, 1918, 1920), Boston Braves (1913), New York Yankees (1913), Indianapolis Hoosiers/Newark Peppers (1914–15), New York Giants (1916) and Cincinnati Reds (1916–17). His best offensive season came in 1914 with the Hoosiers, when he scored 107 runs, batted .304 and stole 47 bases.

Managing career

Newark Peppers

In 1913, McKechnie had his worst season as a full-time player, batting only .134. However, Yankees manager Frank Chance thought McKechnie had a keen baseball mind, and had him sit next to him on the bench during games.[2] Two years later, McKechnie got his first taste of managerial duties, when he served as player-manager of the Newark Peppers of the Federal League, leading the team to a 54–45 record.[3]

Post–playing career

After he retired as a player, he managed for a year in the minors before assuming the helm of the Pirates in 1922. He managed the Pirates from 1922 to 1926, St. Louis Cardinals in 1928, St. Louis Cardinals again after they rehired him in 1929, Boston Braves from 1930 to 1937, and Cincinnati Reds from 1938 to 1946. He compiled 1,896 wins and 1,723 losses for a .524 winning percentage over his managerial career.[3] His teams won four National League pennants (1925, 1928, 1939 and 1940) and two World Series championships (1925 and 1940), and he remains the only manager to win National League pennants with three teams (Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Cincinnati).

Pittsburgh Pirates

McKechnie's tenure in Pittsburgh came unraveled in 1926 when several of his players thought part-owner, vice president and de facto bench coach Fred Clarke was undermining him. Several of them thought Clarke was trying to regain the job he'd held from 1900 to 1915. Three veteran players—Max Carey, Carson Bigbee and Babe Adams—demanded Clarke's removal from the bench. McKechnie, who by inclination was a player's manager, initially appeared to support them. However, fearing that he'd be seen as opposing the ownership, he was forced to denounce his own players. Ownership struck fast and hard, releasing Bigbee and Adams and waiving Carey. The dispute cut the legs out from under the Pirates, who fell to third. McKechnie was fired after the season.[2]

St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals finished the 1928 season in first place with a record 95 wins and 59 losses.[3] They were swept in the World Series by the New York Yankees.[4] McKechnie left the club after the World Series. Billy Southworth started the 1929 season with 43 wins and 45 losses.[5] Gabby Street managed for a game before McKechnie returned as manager.[3] He finished the 1929 season with a record of 34 wins and 29 losses.[5]

Boston Braves

Bill McKechnie, John H. McCooey, and Max Carey NYWTS
McKechnie (left), and the Dodgers' Max Carey watch as John H. McCooey throws out the first ball of Brooklyn's 1932 season

McKechnie was not nearly as successful in Boston as he was at his other managerial stops, but he managed to finish "fourth or fifth with teams that should have been eighth." according to baseball historian Lee Allen.[6] The only year in which the Braves did not even do moderately well during McKechnie's time as manager was in 1935, when Babe Ruth was with the team. According to Allen, McKechnie claimed that Ruth's presence made it nearly impossible to enforce discipline. Ruth drew a huge salary, and lived apart from the team on the road.[6] Additionally, years of high living had rendered him a shadow of his former self. He couldn't run, and he made so many errors that three pitchers threatened to go on strike if he was in the lineup. Ruth lasted only about a month before retiring, and hit .181.[7] Despite fielding essentially the same team that finished fourth a year earlier, the Braves won 38 games that year and lost 115—the worst record in modern National League history. The team improved in the next two years, going 71-83 (with three ties) and 79-73 before McKechnie was hired to manage the Cincinnati Reds in 1938.

Cincinnati Reds and later career

Bill McKechnie Reds
McKechnie as Reds manager

According to one baseball reference work, McKechnie had a poor sense of direction, which did not improve when, as the Reds' manager, he began traveling by plane. He arrived in an airport when the Reds were to play the Pirates at Forbes Field. He hailed a taxi and asked the driver to take him to the Schenley Hotel. "I never heard of it", said the driver. McKechnie gave him the names of the nearby streets. "Never heard of them either", the cabbie said. "How long have you been driving a cab here? the manager asked. "Twenty-five years and then some", said the driver, "But so help me I never heard of the Schenley Hotel! You must be in the wrong town! Where do you think you are?" "Pittsburgh", McKechnie said. "Pittsburgh, hell!" retorted the driver. "You're really lost. This is Detroit!"

McKechnie was an unusual kind of manager for his era. A very religious man, he did not smoke, drink alcohol or use profanity. When he had a problem player who was likely to go out carousing, McKechnie's simple solution was to room with him.

In his first season with the Reds, he led them to an 82-68-1 record, finishing 4th in the NL behind the Chicago Cubs. In his second year, he led them to a 97-57-2 record, finishing 1st by 4½ games over the St. Louis Cardinals. This was McKechnie's third pennant, with each occurring with a different team. In the World Series that year, they were swept by the New York Yankees. In the following year, the Reds managed to improve, winning 100 games (a team first) while winning the NL once again, this time by 12 games over the Brooklyn Dodgers. In the World Series that year, they beat the Detroit Tigers in seven games. The Reds didn't win more than 90 games in the rest of McKechnie's tenure, but they did manage to finish with a winning record in four of his six final years, including a 2nd place in 1943. 1946 was his final year with the team, managing them to a 64-86 record (with 2 ties), with Hank Gowdy managing the final four games. His last game managed was on September 25 at St. Louis, winning 6-0.[8]

He was hired as a coach to be the right-hand man of young Cleveland Indians manager Lou Boudreau the following year. The Boudreau–McKechnie Indians won a World Series in 1948. McKechnie coached with Boudreau for five seasons, with the Indians (1947–49) and Boston Red Sox (1952–53).

McKechnie was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962 and into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 1967.

Managerial record

Team From To Regular season record Post–season record
G W L Win % G W L Win %
Newark Peppers 1915 1915 99 54 45 .545
Pittsburgh Pirates 1922 1926 702 409 293 .583 7 4 3 .571
St. Louis Cardinals 1928 1928 154 95 59 .617 4 0 4 .000
St. Louis Cardinals 1929 1929 63 34 29 .540
Boston Braves 1930 1937 1226 560 666 .457
Cincinnati Reds 1938 1946 1375 744 631 .541 11 4 7 .364
Total 3619 1896 1723 .524 22 8 14 .364

Personal life

McKechnie died at age 79 in Bradenton, Florida. The Pirates' spring training home, McKechnie Field in Bradenton, was named after him until the name changed to LECOM Park in 2017.

McKechnie's son Bill, Jr. was the farm system director of the Cincinnati Redlegs in the mid-1950s and later served as president of the Pacific Coast League, and he was also the father of former Syracuse radio station WNDR sportscaster Jim McKechnie.

See also


  1. ^ Stinson, p. 8
  2. ^ a b James, Bill (1997). The Bill James Guide to Baseball Managers. Diversion Books.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Bill McKechnie". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 8, 2016.
  4. ^ "1928 St. Louis Cardinals". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 8, 2016.
  5. ^ a b "1929 St. Louis Cardinals". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 8, 2016.
  6. ^ a b Allen, Lee. The National League Story. Hill & Wang, 1961.
  7. ^ Neyer, Rob (2005). Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Blunders. New York City: Fireside. ISBN 0-7432-8491-7.
  8. ^


  • Koppett, Leonard (2000). The Man in the Dugout: Baseball's Top Managers and how They Got that Way. Temple University Press. p. 352. ISBN 9781566397452.
  • Stinson, Mitchell Conrad (2012). Deacon Bill McKechnie: A Baseball Biography. McFarland & Company. p. 246. ISBN 9780786492367.
  • Waldo, Ronald T. (2011). The Battling Bucs of 1925: How the Pittsburgh Pirates Pulled Off the Greatest Comeback in World Series History. McFarland & Company. p. 293. ISBN 9780786487899.

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Frank Shellenback
Boston Red Sox Pitching Coach
Succeeded by
Joe Dobson
1914 Indianapolis Hoosiers season

The 1914 Indianapolis Hoosiers season was a season in American baseball. The Hoosiers won the inaugural Federal League championship, finishing 88–65, 1½ games ahead of the Chicago Federals.

1928 World Series

In the 1928 World Series, the New York Yankees swept the St. Louis Cardinals in four games. This was the first time a team had swept consecutive Series.

Babe Ruth hit .625 (10 for 16) as the Yankees demolished their opponents by a combined score of 27 to 10. As he had done against the Cards in the 1926 Series, Ruth rocketed three home runs over the right field pavilion in Sportsman's Park in Game 4, the only one to do it twice in the World Series through the 2016 season. Unlike 1926, however, it occurred in the final game of a Series won by the Yanks and put an exclamation mark on their two consecutive World Series sweeps.

Lou Gehrig also had a good Series, hitting .545 (6 for 11) with four home runs. He drove in as many runs by himself (9) as the entire Cardinal team combined.

Bill McKechnie became the second manager to lead two different teams to the World Series, and like Pat Moran, won one and lost one.

1929 Major League Baseball season

The 1929 Major League Baseball season.

1929 St. Louis Cardinals season

The 1929 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 48th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 38th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 78–74 during the season and finished 4th in the National League.

1930 Boston Braves season

The 1930 Boston Braves season was the 60th season of the franchise.

1931 Boston Braves season

The 1931 Boston Braves season was the 61st season of the franchise. The team finished seventh in the National League with a record of 64–90, 37 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals.

1932 Boston Braves season

The 1932 Boston Braves season was the 62nd season of the franchise.

1933 Boston Braves season

The 1933 Boston Braves season was the 63rd season of the franchise.

1937 Major League Baseball season

The 1937 Major League Baseball season.

1940 World Series

The 1940 World Series matched the Cincinnati Reds against the Detroit Tigers, the Reds winning a closely contested seven-game series for their second championship 21 years after their scandal-tainted victory in 1919. This would be the Reds' last World Series championship for 35 years despite appearances in 1961, 1970, and 1972. Meanwhile, Bill Klem worked the last of his record 18 World Series as an umpire.Other story lines marked this series. Henry Quillen Buffkin Newsom, the father of Detroit's star pitcher Bobo Newsom, died in a Cincinnati hotel room the day after watching him win Game 1. Newsom came back to hurl a shutout in Game 5 in his memory. Called on to start a third time after a single day of rest by Tiger manager Del Baker, he pitched well in Game 7 until the seventh inning, when the Reds scored two runs to take the lead and eventually the game and the Series.

The Reds' star pitchers Paul Derringer and Bucky Walters won two games apiece, with Derringer winning the decisive seventh game. Walters hurled two complete games, allowing only eight hits and three runs combined. He also hit a home run in Game 6 in the midst of his 4–0 shutout, which sent the Series to a Game 7.

It was redemption of sorts for the Reds, who returned to the World Series after being swept by the Yankees squad in 1939. The Reds' win in Game 2 against Detroit snapped a 10-game losing streak for the National League in the Series going back to Game 6 in 1937.

The victory culminated a somewhat turbulent season for the Reds, who played large stretches of the season without injured All-Star catcher Ernie Lombardi. And on August 3, Lombardi's backup, Willard Hershberger, committed suicide in Boston a day after a defensive lapse cost the Reds a game against the Bees. Hershberger was hitting .309 at the time of his death. The Reds dedicated the rest of the season to "Hershie." One of the stars in the World Series was 40-year-old Jimmy Wilson. Wilson had been one of the Reds' coaches before Hershberger's suicide forced him back onto the playing field as Lombardi's backup. With Lombardi hurting, Wilson did the bulk of the catching against Detroit and hit .353 for the Series and recorded the team's only stolen base.

Reds' manager Bill McKechnie became the first manager to win a World Series with two different teams, at the helm of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1925, after trailing three games to one against Walter Johnson and the Washington Senators.

1942 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1942 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. The team finished fourth in the National League with a record of 76–76, 29 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals.

1943 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1943 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. The team finished second in the National League with a record of 87–67, 18 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals.

1946 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1946 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. The team finished sixth in the National League with a record of 67–87, 30 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals.

1962 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1962 followed a new system for even-number years. Since 1956 the Baseball Writers' Association of America and Veterans Committee had alternated in their duties, but the BBWAA, voting by mail to select from recent major league players, had elected no one for 1958 and no one for 1960. Now there would be a second, "runoff" election in case of no winner. At the same time the Veterans Committee resumed meeting annually to consider executives, managers, umpires, and earlier major league players.

The provision for a runoff election was not necessary yet, for the writers elected two new candidates on their first ballot, Bob Feller and Jackie Robinson. The Veterans Committee also selected Bill McKechnie and Edd Roush, both of whom were still alive to be interviewed and invited to the induction ceremonies.

Bill Phillips (pitcher)

William Corcoran Phillips (November 9, 1868 – October 25, 1941), nicknamed "Whoa Bill" or "Silver Bill", was an American right-handed pitcher and manager in Major League Baseball.

Born in Allenport, Pennsylvania, Phillips is best remembered for managing the 1914 Indianapolis Hoosiers to the Federal League pennant. His top hitter was Benny Kauff and the top pitcher was Cy Falkenberg. Later he and Bill McKechnie managed the Newark Pepper, finishing the 1915 season fifth in the Federal League.

At the age of 21, Phillips broke into the big leagues on August 11, 1890, playing his first 10 games for the Pittsburgh Alleghenys. As a player, he pitched for seven seasons in the majors. In 1895 he came back to play 18 more games for the Cincinnati Reds. In 1899 he went 17–9 on a team that featured 19-year-old rookie Sam Crawford and manager Buck Ewing. Phillips played for the Reds from 1899 to 1903, playing his last game on September 22. He died at age 72 in Charleroi, Pennsylvania, and was buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery in Fayette City, Pennsylvania.

Buckshot May

William Herbert "Buckshot" May (December 13, 1899 – March 15, 1984) was a Major League Baseball pitcher who appeared in one game for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1924. The 24-year-old right-hander stood 6'2" and weighed 169 lbs.

On May 9, 1924, May came in to pitch the top of the 9th inning in a home game against the Boston Braves at Forbes Field. He pitched a scoreless inning, with one strikeout, but the Pirates lost 10-7. His lifetime ERA stands at 0.00.

His manager was future Hall of Famer Bill McKechnie. Other notable teammates who would one day be members of the Baseball Hall of Fame were Max Carey, Kiki Cuyler, Rabbit Maranville, and Pie Traynor.

May died in his hometown of Bakersfield, California at the age of 84.

List of Atlanta Braves managers

The Atlanta Braves are a professional baseball team based in Atlanta, Georgia. The Braves are members of the National League (NL) East division in Major League Baseball (MLB). Since the franchise started as the Boston Red Stockings (no relationship to the current Boston Red Sox team) in 1871, the team has changed its name several times and relocated twice. The Braves were a charter member of the NL in 1876 as the Boston Red Caps, and are one of the NL's two remaining charter franchises (the other being the Chicago Cubs). In baseball, the head coach of a team is called the manager, or more formally, the field manager. The duties of the team manager include team strategy and leadership on and off the field. The Braves franchise has employed 45 managers.The franchise's first manager was Hall of Famer Harry Wright, who managed the team for eleven seasons. Frank Selee was the next manager to have managed the team for eleven seasons, with a total of twelve with the formerly named Boston Beaneaters. The formerly named Boston Braves made their first postseason appearance under George Stallings in 1914, winning the World Series that year. Several other managers spent long tenures with the Braves. Bill McKechnie managed the Braves from 1930 to 1937, while Casey Stengel managed the team from 1938 to 1942. The franchise was known as the Boston Bees from 1936 to 1940, and was again named the Boston Braves until 1952. Stengel also managed the Braves in 1943.From 1943 to 1989, no managerial term lasted as long as five complete seasons. The Braves were managed by Billy Southworth from 1946 to 1949, and again from 1950 to 1951. Southworth led the team into the 1948 World Series, which ended the Braves' 34-year postseason drought; the World Series ended in a losing result for the Braves. In 1953, the team moved from Boston to Milwaukee, where it was known as the Milwaukee Braves. Its first manager in Milwaukee was Charlie Grimm, who managed the team from mid-season of 1952 to mid-season of 1956. Fred Haney took over the managerial position after Grimm, and led the team to the World Series in 1957, defeating the New York Yankees in a game seven to win the series.In 1966, the team moved from Milwaukee to its current location, Atlanta. Its first manager in Atlanta was Bobby Bragan, who managed the team for three seasons earlier in Milwaukee. Lum Harris was the first manager to have managed the team in Atlanta for more than four seasons. Harris led the team into the NL Championship Series (NLCS) in 1969, but failed to advance into the World Series. Joe Torre was the next manager to manage the Braves into the postseason, but like Harris, led the team into the NLCS with a losing result. Bobby Cox was the manager of the Braves from 1990 till 2010. Under his leadership the Braves made the postseason 15 times, winning five National League championships and one World Series title in 1995. Cox has the most regular season wins, regular season losses, postseason appearances, postseason wins and postseason losses of any Braves manager. He was named NL Manager of the Year three times, in 1991, 2004 and 2005.After Cox retired upon the conclusion of the 2010 season, Fredi González was hired to take over as manager.

Several managers have had multiple tenures with the Braves. John Morrill served three terms in the 1880s as the Braves manager, while Fred Tenney, Stengel, Bob Coleman, Southworth, Dave Bristol and Cox each served two terms. Ted Turner and Vern Benson's term each lasted only a single game, as they were both interim managers between Bristol's tenures.

List of Cincinnati Reds managers

The Cincinnati Reds are an American professional baseball franchise based in Cincinnati, Ohio. They are members of the National League Central Division in Major League Baseball. In chronological order, the Reds have played their home games in the Bank Street Grounds, League Park, the Palace of the Fans, Redland Field (later known as Crosley Field), and Riverfront Stadium (later known as Cinergy Field). Since 2003, the Reds have played their home games at Great American Ball Park.There have been sixty-one different managers in the team's franchise history: four while it was known as the Cincinnati Red Stockings (1882–1889), four while it was known as the Cincinnati Redlegs (1953–1958) and the other fifty-three under the Cincinnati Reds (1882–1952, 1959–present). In baseball, the head coach of a team is called the manager, or more formally, the field manager. Pop Snyder was the first manager of the Reds and managed from 1882 to 1884. Sparky Anderson is the franchise's all-time leader in regular-season games managed (1,450) and regular-season game wins (863). He is followed by Bill McKechnie in both categories with 1,386 and 744, respectively. Anderson is the only Reds manager to have won the World Series twice, in 1975 and 1976. Pat Moran, Lou Piniella, and McKechnie have one World Series victory each; Moran was the manager during the Black Sox Scandal, which refers to the events that took place in the 1919 World Series. McKechnie led the team to the championship in 1940, while Piniella led the team to it in 1990. Jack McKeon is the only manager to have won the Manager of the Year Award with the Reds, which he won in 1999. The most recent manager of the Reds is Jim Riggleman, and the current owner is Robert Castellini.

The manager with the highest winning percentage over a full season or more was Pop Snyder, with a winning percentage of .648. Conversely, the worst winning percentage over a full season or more in franchise history is .382 by Donie Bush, who posted a 58–94 record during the 1933 season.

List of Pittsburgh Pirates managers

The Pittsburgh Pirates are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They play in the National League Central division. The team began play in 1882 as the Alleghenies (alternatively spelled "Alleghenys") in the American Association. The franchise moved to the National League after owner William Nimick became upset over a contract dispute, thus beginning the modern day franchise. The team currently plays home games at PNC Park which they moved into in 2001. Prior to PNC Park, the Pirates played games at Three Rivers Stadium and Forbes Field, among other stadiums.There have been 46 managers for the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise. The Pirates' first manager upon joining the National League was Horace Phillips, who had coached the team before their move to the National League. In 1900, Fred Clarke began his tenure with the franchise. Clarke's 1422 victories and 969 losses lead all managers of the Pirates in their respective categories, Clarke also had the longest tenure as manager in his 16 years in the position. Clarke managed the franchise to its first World Series victory, a feat that would also be accomplished by Bill McKechnie, Danny Murtaugh, and Chuck Tanner. Thirteen Pirates managers have been player-managers—those who take on simultaneous roles as a player and manager. McKechnie, Connie Mack, and Ned Hanlon were inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum as managers. Five Pirates managers were inducted into the Hall of Fame for their performance as players. Billy Meyer's number 1, Pie Traynor's number 20, Honus Wagner's number 33, and Murtaugh's number 40 have been retired by the franchise. Hired before the 2011 season, the Pirates' current manager is Clint Hurdle.

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