Joe McCarthy (manager)

Joseph Vincent McCarthy (April 21, 1887 – January 13, 1978) was a manager in Major League Baseball, most renowned for his leadership of the "Bronx Bombers" teams of the New York Yankees from 1931 to 1946. The first manager to win pennants with both National and American League teams, he won nine league titles overall and seven World Series championships – a record tied only by Casey Stengel. McCarthy was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1957.[1]

McCarthy's career winning percentages in both the regular season (.615)[1] and postseason (.698, all in the World Series)[1] are the highest in major league history. His 2,125[2] career victories rank eighth all-time in major league history for managerial wins, and he ranks first all-time for the Yankees with 1,460 wins.[3]

Joe McCarthy
Joe McCarthy
McCarthy as Red Sox manager in 1948
Born: April 21, 1887
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died: January 13, 1978 (aged 90)
Buffalo, New York
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 13, 1926, for the Chicago Cubs
Last MLB appearance
June 18, 1950, for the Boston Red Sox
MLB statistics
Games managed3,487
Managerial record2,125–1,333
Winning %.615
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
VoteVeterans Committee

Playing years

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he grew up idolizing Athletics manager Connie Mack, McCarthy is among a handful of successful major league managers who never played in the majors. After attending Niagara University in 1905 and 1906 on a baseball scholarship, he spent the next 15 years in the minor leagues, primarily as a second baseman with the Toledo Mud Hens, Buffalo Bisons, and Louisville Colonels. In 1916 he signed with the Brooklyn Tip-Tops of the Federal League—then considered a third major league—but the league folded before he could play a game with them.[4]

Team success

1936 Goudey Joe McCarthy
1936 Goudey baseball card of Joe McCarthy

McCarthy briefly served as player-manager in Wilkes-Barre in 1913. He resumed his managing career with Louisville in 1919, leading the team to American Association pennants in 1921 and 1925 before being hired to manage the Chicago Cubs for the 1926 season.[2] He turned the club around, guiding them to the 1929 NL title, but was fired near the end of the 1930 season.[2]

He was not unemployed for long, however; the Yankees hired him in 1931. The Yankees had only won three World Series since Babe Ruth's arrival in 1920, which did not sit well with owner Jacob Ruppert. McCarthy was told that he had three years to win a championship. He did so in his second year, 1932.[5]

With the Yankees, his strict but fair managing style helped to solidify the team's place as the dominant franchise in baseball. During his tenure, the Yankees won seven World Series. His most successful period came from 1936 to 1943. During that time, they won seven out of a possible eight pennants, all by nine games or more, and won six World Series—including four in a row from 1936 to 1939. They were the first American League team, and the third in major league history, to win four straight pennants, and the first to win more than two World Series in a row. The only time during this stretch that the Yankees' dominance was even threatened was in 1940, when they struggled all season and finished third. During his time with the Yankees, the team won 100 games or more six times. The worst finish he ever had with the team was fourth, achieved during his last full season in 1945, although the team finished 81-71.

McCarthy struggled to control his emotions at the moving testimonial held for Lou Gehrig at Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1939. After describing Gehrig as "the finest example of a ballplayer, sportsman, and citizen that baseball has ever known", McCarthy could stand it no longer. Turning tearfully to Gehrig, he said, "Lou, what else can I say except that it was a sad day in the life of everybody who knew you when you [...] told me you were quitting as a ballplayer because you felt yourself a hindrance to the team. My God, man, you were never that."[6]

On the debit side, McCarthy frequently battled a drinking problem; he was known for going on "benders" that lasted a week or more. His bout with alcohol ended his tenure with the Yankees early in the 1946 season. By late May, the Yankees were already six games behind the Boston Red Sox. After the Yankees lost two straight to Cleveland, a drunken McCarthy chewed out pitcher Joe Page for spending too many nights out late. After failing to show up during a series with the Detroit Tigers, he returned to his farm in Amherst, New York, near Buffalo, and resigned by telegram.[5]

After two years away from the game, McCarthy returned in 1948 as manager of the Red Sox when longtime manager Joe Cronin accepted a promotion to general manager. On the first day of spring training, McCarthy arrived in an open-collared shirt. Knowing that Ted Williams almost never wore a tie, McCarthy said he was willing to set aside his longstanding rule requiring his players to wear ties at all times, saying, "If I can't get along with a .400 hitter, they ought to fire me right now."[5]

In his first season with the Red Sox, he managed them to a 96-59 record. His team lost in the 1948 American League tie-breaker game to the Cleveland Indians 8–3, which meant they finished in 2nd place. The following year, his team finished 96-58, but they finished one game behind the New York Yankees.

The Red Sox started the 1950 season slowly; by late June, they were 31-28, eight games out of first. On June 21, McCarthy didn't show up for a game against the Chicago White Sox, leading to speculation that he was drinking again. McCarthy insisted he would remain in the dugout. However, Cronin suspected that McCarthy had lost his competitive fire, and persuaded him to resign.[5] In 24 seasons as a major-league manager, he never managed a team to a losing record.

Coaching style

Despite his teams' great performance, McCarthy was not without his detractors, who believed he was simply fortunate enough to be provided with great talent and was not a strong game tactician. During his peak period from 1936 to 1943, when the Yankees won seven pennants in eight seasons, White Sox manager Jimmy Dykes described McCarthy as a "push-button" manager. Yet McCarthy was an outstanding teacher and developer of talent, and was particularly adept at handling temperamental players such as Babe Ruth, who had hoped to become New York's manager and resented a team "outsider" being hired.[7] Ruth and McCarthy's relationship was lukewarm at best, and chilled considerably in 1934 when Ruth began openly campaigning to become manager. Partly due to this, Ruth was traded to the lowly Boston Braves after the season.[8]

While managing, McCarthy utilized a low-key approach, never going to the mound to remove a pitcher or arguing with an umpire except on a point of the rules, preferring to stay at his seat in the center of the dugout. He also declined to wear a numbered uniform with the Yankees and Red Sox.[9][10]

In order to draw attention to his presumed masterful leadership of the Yankees, McCarthy was given the nickname of "Marse Joe" by sportswriters. "Marse" is a Southern English rendition of the word "master".[11] McCarthy's success throughout his career was such that in 32 years of managing, his 1922 Louisville club was the only team which finished either with a losing record or below fourth place.

McCarthy was named Major League Manager of the Year by The Sporting News in 1936 – the first year the award was given – and again in 1938 and 1943.[12]


Joe McCarthy Plaque
Joe McCarthy's plaque in Monument Park.

In a 1969 poll by the Baseball Writers' Association of America to commemorate the sport's professional centennial, McCarthy finished third in voting for the greatest manager in history, behind John McGraw and Casey Stengel. In a similar BBWAA poll in 1997 to select an All-Century team, he finished second behind Stengel.[13] On April 29, 1976, the Yankees dedicated a plaque for their Monument Park to McCarthy. The plaque calls him "One of baseball's most beloved and respected leaders."[14] In honor of his commitment to Buffalo, McCarthy became a charter member of the Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985.[15]

McCarthy died of pneumonia at age 90 in Buffalo, New York,[16] and is buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery, (Roman Catholic) in Kenmore, New York.[17]

Ten Commandments

McCarthy's "10 Commandments for Success in the Majors":[18]

  • Nobody ever became a ballplayer by walking after a ball.
  • You will never become a .300 hitter unless you take the bat off your shoulder.
  • An outfielder who throws in back of a runner is locking the barn after the horse is stolen.
  • Keep your head up and you may not have to keep it down.
  • When you start to slide, SLIDE. He who changes his mind may have to change a good leg for a bad one.
  • Do not alibi on bad hops. Anyone can field the good ones.
  • Always run them out. You never can tell.
  • Do not quit.
  • Try not to find too much fault with the umpires. You cannot expect them to be as perfect as you are.
  • A pitcher who hasn't control hasn't anything.

Source: Baseball's Greatest Managers (1961).

Managerial record

Team From To Regular season record Post–season record
W L Win % W L Win %
Chicago Cubs 1926 1930 442 321 .579 1 4 .200
New York Yankees 1931 1946 1460 867 .627 29 9 .763
Boston Red Sox 1948 1950 223 145 .606 0 0
Total 2125 1333 .615 30 13 .698

See also


  1. ^ a b c "McCarthy, Joe | Baseball Hall of Fame". January 13, 1978. Retrieved July 16, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d "Joe McCarthy". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
  3. ^ "New York Yankees Managers". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
  4. ^ McMurray, John. "Joe McCarthy". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d Vaccaro, Mike (2006). Emperors and Idiots: The Hundred Year Rivalry Between the Yankees and Red Sox, From the Very Beginning to the End of the Curse.
  6. ^ "This Morning With Shirley Povich: Iron Horse' Breaks as Athletic Greats Meet in His Honor". July 24, 1998. Retrieved July 16, 2012.
  7. ^  . "Joe McCarthy". SABR. Retrieved July 16, 2012.
  8. ^ Neyer, Rob (2005). Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Blunders. New York City: Fireside. ISBN 0-7432-8491-7.
  9. ^ "Joe McCarthy". Retrieved July 13, 2018. [in New York, he] opted not to wear a uniform number and deferred attention as much possible to his star players.
  10. ^ "Facts, Trivia, Memories and More about Joe McCarthy". Retrieved July 13, 2018. when Joe managed the Red Sox from 1948-50, he 'chose to wear a uniform with no number during his reign.' 
  11. ^ "Marse – Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary". August 13, 2010. Retrieved July 16, 2012.
  12. ^ "Manager of the Year Award by The Sporting News on Baseball Almanac". Retrieved July 16, 2012.
  13. ^ " MLB – All-Century Team final voting". July 18, 2003. Retrieved July 16, 2012.
  14. ^ "Torre belongs in Monument Park | News". Retrieved July 16, 2012.
  15. ^ "Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame". Retrieved August 29, 2012.
  16. ^ "Joe McCarthy". Retrieved July 16, 2012.
  17. ^ Baseball in Buffalo
  18. ^ "Joe McCarthy's Ten Commandments for Success : A Legendary List on Baseball Almanac". Retrieved July 16, 2012.

External links

1929 World Series

The 1929 World Series featured the Philadelphia Athletics and the Chicago Cubs. The Athletics beat the Cubs decisively in five games.

This was the Series of the famous "Mack Attack" (so called in honor of longtime A's owner-manager Connie Mack), in which the Athletics overcame an eight-run deficit by scoring 10 runs in the home half of the seventh in Game 4 (before two straight strikeouts by Pat Malone ended it) to snatch a 10–8 victory from the jaws of a defeat which would have evened the Series at two games apiece. The Cubs were further humiliated in the middle of that record rally when center fielder Hack Wilson lost Mule Haas's fly ball in the sun for a fluke three-run inside-the-park home run, bringing the A's to within a run at 8–7. It was the last occurrence of an inside-the-park home run in a World Series game until Game 1 of the 2015 World Series.

List of Boston Red Sox award winners

This is a list of award winners and single-season leaderboards for the Boston Red Sox professional baseball team.

List of Niagara University people

This List of Niagara University people includes alumni, faculty, presidents, and other individuals associated with Niagara University.

MacCarthy Mor dynasty

MacCarthy (Irish: Mac Cárthaigh), also spelled Macarthy, McCarthy or McCarty, is a Gaelic Irish clan originating from Munster, an area they ruled during the Middle Ages. It was and continues to be divided into several great branches. The MacCarthy Reagh, MacCarthy of Muskerry, and MacCarthy of Duhallow dynasties were the three most important of these, after the central or MacCarthy Mór line.

Their name, meaning "son of Cárthach" (whose name meant "loving"), is a common surname that originated in Ireland. As a surname, its prevalent spelling in the English language is McCarthy. Several variants are found, such as McCarty (most common in North America) as well as Carthy and Carty (though these latter are also the Anglicization of an unrelated name, Ó Cárthaigh). 60% of people with the surname in Ireland still live in County Cork where the family was very powerful in the Middle Ages.

Monument Park (Yankee Stadium)

Monument Park is an open-air museum located in Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York City, containing a collection of monuments, plaques, and retired numbers honoring distinguished members of the New York Yankees. When Red Ruffing's plaque was dedicated in 2004, his son called it "the second-greatest honor you can have in baseball, in my opinion" trailing only induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.The history of the original Monument Park can be traced to the old Yankee Stadium in 1932, when the team posthumously dedicated an on-field monument to manager Miller Huggins in center field. Additional team members were honored with monuments and plaques in the area over the years. During the stadium's renovation in the mid-1970s, the center field fence was moved in 44 feet, enclosing prior monuments, plaques, and a flag pole beyond the field of play. Over time, additional plaques were added to the area and "Monument Park" became formalized; in 1985, the park was opened for public access. When the Yankees moved to their new ballpark in 2009, a replica Monument Park was built beyond the center-field fences and the contents of the old one transported over.

Thirty-seven members of the Yankee organization have been honored in Monument Park, while 22 have had their uniform numbers retired. Plaques in Monument Park are a great honor for players so distinguished. The monuments mounted posthumously on five large red granite blocks are the highest honor of all. Only six Yankees have been so recognized: manager Miller Huggins, players Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, and Joe DiMaggio, and owner George Steinbrenner.

The Pride of the Yankees

The Pride of the Yankees is a 1942 American film produced by Samuel Goldwyn, directed by Sam Wood, and starring Gary Cooper, Teresa Wright, and Walter Brennan. It is a tribute to the legendary New York Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig, who died only one year before its release, at age 37, from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which later became known to the lay public as "Lou Gehrig's disease".

Though subtitled "The Life of Lou Gehrig", the film is less a sports biography than an homage to a heroic and widely loved sports figure whose tragic and premature death touched the entire nation. It emphasizes Gehrig's relationship with his parents (particularly his strong-willed mother), his friendships with players and journalists, and his storybook romance with the woman who became his "companion for life," Eleanor. Details of his baseball career—which were still fresh in most fans' minds in 1942—are limited to montages of ballparks, pennants, and Cooper swinging bats and running bases, though Gehrig's best-known major league record—2,130 consecutive games played—is prominently cited.

Yankee teammates Babe Ruth, Bob Meusel, Mark Koenig, and Bill Dickey play themselves, as does sportscaster Bill Stern. The film was adapted by Herman J. Mankiewicz, Jo Swerling, and an uncredited Casey Robinson from a story by Paul Gallico, and received 11 Oscar nominations. Its climax is a re-enactment of Gehrig's poignant 1939 farewell speech at Yankee Stadium. The film's iconic closing line—"Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth"—was voted 38th on the American Film Institute's list of 100 greatest movie quotes.

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