Larry MacPhail

Leland Stanford "Larry" MacPhail, Sr. (February 3, 1890 – October 1, 1975) was an American lawyer and an executive in Major League Baseball. He served as an executive with several professional baseball teams, including the Cincinnati Reds, Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees. MacPhail's sons and grandsons were also sports executives. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1978.

Larry MacPhail
Larry MacPhail
Born: Leland Stanford MacPhail
February 3, 1890
Cass City, Michigan
Died: October 1, 1975 (aged 85)
Miami, Florida
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 MethodVeterans Committee

Early life

MacPhail was born in Cass City, Michigan, on February 3, 1890. His father founded State Savings Bank of Scottville, Michigan, in 1882 as well as twenty other small banks in that state. He obtained an LL.B. from the George Washington University Law School, where he became friends with Branch Rickey. He worked for a time with a Chicago law firm.[1] Prior to World War I Larry MacPhail was an executive of a department store in Nashville, Tennessee.

During World War I, he served as an artillery captain in France and Belgium. He accompanied his commander, Colonel Luke Lea, on an unsanctioned mission to Amerongen in the Netherlands in January 1919 to attempt to arrest the exiled German Kaiser, Wilhelm II, and bring him to the Paris Peace Conference to be tried for war crimes. MacPhail reportedly stole an ashtray that belonged to the Kaiser and received an official reprimand for the mission.[2]

Entry into baseball

After his discharge from military service, MacPhail opened a law office in Columbus, Ohio, where he eventually purchased an interest in the Columbus Red Birds, a minor league affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. While in the role of president of the Red Birds, MacPhail came up with a plan to create a geographically based playoff system for determining the league champion of the American Association. It was not well-received and lasted only two years. In 1933 he was hired by the Cincinnati Reds and became its chief executive and general manager. MacPhail had been recommended for the Reds position by Branch Rickey, who said that MacPhail was "a wild man at times, but he'll do the job."[3] After leaving the Reds, he spent about a year with his father's investment business before becoming executive vice-president and general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1938.[3] He was promoted to team president, a position that had been vacant for about a year after the death of the previous team president Stephen McKeever, on May 4, 1939.[4] In 1939, he received the Sporting News Executive of the Year Award.

MacPhail was pivotal in the development of pioneering sportscaster Red Barber, who announced Reds and Dodgers games for MacPhail. MacPhail's innovations include nighttime baseball, regular game televising, and flying teams between cities. MacPhail resigned as president of the Dodgers on September 23, 1942, to accept a commission in the United States Army. By the end of World War II, MacPhail held the rank of colonel.[5] Returning from the war, MacPhail served as president, co-owner and general manager for the New York Yankees.

MacPhail was well known for his unpredictable behavior which was fueled by bouts of heavy drinking. MacPhail's grandson Andy said, "My grandfather was bombastic, flamboyant, a genius when sober, brilliant when he had one drink and a raving lunatic when he had too many."[6] In one incident, MacPhail was drinking with Boston Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey when the men decided to swap stars Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams in what would have been the biggest swap of baseball stars in many years. The men decided not to execute the trade after they sobered up.[7]

Leo Durocher, the Dodgers manager who had a tempestuous relationship with MacPhail, recalled, "There is a thin line between genius and insanity, and in Larry's case, it was so thin you could see him drifting back and forth."[7] As the Dodgers returned by train to Grand Central Terminal after winning the 1941 league pennant, Durocher did not want his players to get off early at the 125th Street stop, so he ordered the conductor to pass the stop. MacPhail was planning to board the same train at that stop. He told Durocher that night that he was fired, but he changed his mind the next morning.[7]

MacPhail's career as a major-league owner ended after the Yankees clinched the 1947 World Series, when he got into confrontations at the team's post-game celebrations at Yankee Stadium and then in Manhattan. Though he had already quit as chief executive in the Yankee locker room, books by Roger Kahn and others indicate MacPhail's behavior at the victory parties led to co-owners Dan Topping and Del Webb buying out his share of the ballclub.[8]

Later life and legacy

MacPhail owned a 400-acre (1.6 km2) farm near Bel Air, Maryland, called Glenangus.[9] An owner/breeder of Thoroughbred racehorses, his colt General Staff won the 1952 Narragansett Special at Narragansett Park and five other stake races that year. In March 1952, MacPhail was appointed President of Bowie Race Track in Bowie, Maryland. He held the position for thirteen months, until he was removed from the position and barred entirely from the track; he was accused of "using profanity to three horse owners" and "charged with being drunk and disorderly."[10][11]

MacPhail died in a Miami nursing home on October 1, 1975, two days after well-known manager Casey Stengel.[3] MacPhail was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1978.

Several of MacPhail's family members have become sports executives. His son (and namesake) Lee MacPhail enjoyed a long career in baseball, most notably as president and general manager of the Baltimore Orioles, general manager of the Yankees, and president of the American League. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998, making him and Larry MacPhail the only father and son inductees.[12] His other son Bill MacPhail was president of CBS Sports and later was President of CNN Sports, brought on by Reese Schonfeld to create the department upon the network's launch. Larry's grandson Andy MacPhail, the former general manager of the Minnesota Twins and Chicago Cubs and the former president of baseball operations for the Orioles, became president of the Philadelphia Phillies at the close of the 2015 season. A great-grandson, Lee MacPhail IV, is a professional scout for the New York Mets. Another, Drew MacPhail, is a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers' front office.

Since 1966, Minor League Baseball has annually awarded the Larry MacPhail Award to recognize the top promotional effort by a minor league team.[13]

See also

  • The Victory Season: The End of World War II and the Birth of Baseball's Golden Age


  1. ^,9240761&dq=larry+macphail+daughter&hl=en
  2. ^ "The bizarre tale of a kidnapping attempt, the German kaiser and a beloved ashtray". Washington Post. August 14, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "Larry MacPhail, baseball impresario, dies". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. October 2, 1975. Retrieved November 29, 2014.
  4. ^ "M'Phail is Advanced – Named President of Dodgers and Given Extension of Contract". New York Times. May 5, 1939. p. 30. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
  5. ^ Proquest -
  6. ^ Walker, Childs. "Lee MacPhail, Hall-of-Fame baseball executive with Orioles and others, dies at 95," The Baltimore Sun, Friday, November 9, 2012.
  7. ^ a b c "Larry MacPhail was wacky genius," The Washington Times, Monday, June 25, 2007.
  8. ^ Kahn, Roger (1993) The Era, 1947–1957: When the Yankees, the Giants, and the Dodgers Ruled the World. New York: Ticknor and Fields, pages 141-147.
  9. ^ St. Petersburg Times - Google News Archive Search
  10. ^,1134637&dq=larry+macphail&hl=en
  11. ^ "M'Phail Still Barred". New York Times. April 24, 1953. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
  12. ^ Chass, Murray (March 4, 1998). "Baseball – Doby Again Follows Robinson". New York Times. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
  13. ^ "Larry MacPhail Award". Retrieved February 23, 2016.

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Cincinnati Reds general manager
Succeeded by
Warren Giles
Preceded by
Stephen McKeever
Brooklyn Dodgers president
Succeeded by
Branch Rickey
Preceded by
Ed Barrow
New York Yankees general manager
Succeeded by
George Weiss
Preceded by
Ed Barrow
New York Yankees president
Succeeded by
Dan Topping
Preceded by
Jacob Ruppert Estate
Owner of the New York Yankees
with Dan Topping and Del Webb 1945–1947
Succeeded by
Dan Topping and Del Webb
1945 New York Yankees season

The 1945 New York Yankees season was the team's 43rd season in New York and its 45th overall. The team finished in fourth place in the American League with a record of 81–71, finishing 6.5 games behind the Detroit Tigers. New York was managed by Joe McCarthy. The Yankees played at Yankee Stadium.

1946 New York Yankees season

The 1946 New York Yankees season was the team's 44th season in New York, and its 46th overall. The team finished with a record of 87–67, finishing 17 games behind the Boston Red Sox. New York was managed by Joe McCarthy, Bill Dickey, and Johnny Neun. The Yankees played at Yankee Stadium.

1947 New York Yankees season

The 1947 New York Yankees season was the team's 45th season in New York, and its 47th season overall. The team finished with a record of 97–57, winning their 15th pennant, finishing 12 games ahead of the Detroit Tigers. New York was managed by Bucky Harris. The Yankees played their home games at Yankee Stadium. In the World Series, they defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers in 7 games. It was the first ever season of the Yankees to be broadcast live on television with WABD providing the television broadcast feed to viewers in the city.

1978 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1978 introduced a new system that would continue to 1994. The special committee on Negro Leagues had disbanded after its 1977 meeting. Two of its members were appointed to the Veterans Committee, as part of expanding that body from twelve to eighteen members, and its responsibilities were extended to cover the Negro Leagues. Where the special committee had elected nine people in seven years from 1971, the expanded Veterans Committee would elect two in seventeen years up to 1994, before the next reform.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and

elected Eddie Mathews.

The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider older major league players as well as managers, umpires, executives, and figures from the Negro Leagues.

It selected Addie Joss and Larry MacPhail.

Andy MacPhail

Andrew Bowen MacPhail (born April 5, 1953) is an American baseball executive and currently the President of Baseball Operations for the Philadelphia Phillies of Major League Baseball (MLB). He has previously served as general manager for the Minnesota Twins and Chicago Cubs, and as president for the Baltimore Orioles.

MacPhail is the son of Lee MacPhail and the grandson of Larry MacPhail, both of whom were inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame for their careers as executives in MLB.

Chuck Dressen

Charles Walter Dressen (September 20, 1894 – August 10, 1966), known as both Chuck and Charlie, was an American third baseman, manager and coach in professional baseball during a career that lasted almost fifty years, and was best known as the manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers of 1951–53. Indeed, Dressen's "schooling" of a young baseball writer is one of the most colorful themes in Roger Kahn's classic memoir, The Boys of Summer. He threw and batted right-handed and was listed at 5 feet 5 inches (1.65 m) tall and 145 pounds (66 kg) during his days as an active player.

Columbus Red Birds

The Columbus Red Birds were a top-level minor league baseball team that played in Columbus, Ohio, in the American Association from 1931 through 1954. The Columbus club, a member of the Association continuously since 1902, was previously known as the Columbus Senators — a typical appellation for a team based in a state (or national) capital. It was independently and locally owned through the 1920s.

The economic distress of the Great Depression was accompanied by the rise of the farm system — pioneered by the St. Louis Cardinals' Branch Rickey. The Cardinals purchased minor league teams at all levels to develop their talent as if on an assembly line, and when they needed a second top-level farm club (St. Louis already owned the Rochester Red Wings of the International League), they purchased the struggling Senators club and dubbed it the Red Birds, a popular nickname for the big-league club.

The first business manager of the Red Birds was a baseball novice named Larry MacPhail. A bold promoter, he supervised the building of Redbird Stadium, championed night baseball games, and tried to make baseball more fan-friendly. Attendance tripled between 1930 and 1932. MacPhail left Columbus after a dispute with the Cardinals' ownership, and moved up to Major League Baseball as the general manager of three teams between 1933 and 1947, and earned a place in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The 1933 Red Birds were recognized as one of the 100 greatest minor league teams of all time.Columbus produced a number of great players, including Hall of Famers Enos Slaughter and Billy Southworth. Slaughter (who batted .382 for the 1937 Red Birds with 245 hits), and won Association titles in 1933, 1934, 1937, 1941–43 and 1950. Southworth managed the 1932 Red Birds. In the early 1950s a series of losing teams, and the encroachment of television, depressed the Red Birds' attendance, and the club moved to Omaha, Nebraska, for the 1955 season and was re-christened the Omaha Cardinals.

Columbus immediately gained a new AAA team when the Ottawa A's franchise of the International League began playing there in 1955. This club, the Columbus Jets, moved to Charleston, West Virginia, in 1970. Ohio's capital was without baseball for seven years until 1977, when the Columbus Clippers joined the IL. The Clippers have played there ever since, most notably as the longtime AAA affiliate (1979–2006) of the New York Yankees. After a two-year stint as the Washington Nationals' top affiliate, in 2009 they became the AAA affiliate of the Cleveland Indians.

Dan Topping

Daniel Reid Topping (June 11, 1912 – May 18, 1974) was a part owner and president of the New York Yankees baseball team from 1945 to 1964. Daniel Reid Topping was the son of Rhea Reid and Henry J. Topping. Rhea Reid, the daughter of Daniel G. Reid, known as the "Tinplate King" for his vast wealth in the tin industry, was the mother of three sons, Daniel Reid Topping, Henry J. Topping (1914), and John Reid Topping (1921). Daniel Topping, along with Del Webb and Larry MacPhail, purchased the Yankees for $2.8 million from the estate of Jacob Ruppert on January 25, 1945. MacPhail sold his share of the team to Topping and Webb in 1947, and the two sold controlling interest in the team to CBS in 1964, after which Topping remained as team president until 1966, when he sold his remaining stake in the Yankees.

Topping also was co-owner, along with John Simms Kelly, of the National Football League's Brooklyn Dodgers starting in 1931, eventually owning the team outright. By the mid-1940s, Topping wished to move his football team from Ebbets Field into the newer and larger Yankee Stadium. Tim Mara, owner of the New York Giants, who played in the Polo Grounds, held NFL territorial rights, and refused to permit this. Topping moved the team anyway, joining the newly formed All-America Football Conference. Topping's team retained most of its players during the jump and became the football New York Yankees. The team was not one of the AAFC teams admitted to the NFL in 1950, and folded.

Endurance Gold Cup Stakes

The Endurance Gold Cup Stakes was an American Thoroughbred horse race run annually during the latter part of November at Bowie Race Track in Bowie, Maryland. Open to two-year-old horses, it was contested on dirt over a distance of a mile and a sixteenth (8.5 furlongs).

Inaugurated as the Endurance Handicap at a distance of one mile, seventy yards, its name was changed in 1952 by new track President, Larry MacPhail.

Hilda Chester

Hilda Chester (September 1, 1897 – December 1, 1978), also known as Howlin' Hilda, was a Brooklyn Dodgers fan, and arguably the most famous fan in baseball history.

Larry MacPhail Award

The Larry MacPhail Award is presented annually by Minor League Baseball (MiLB) to recognize the top promotion effort in the minor leagues. MiLB teams are known for using promotions such as theme nights, in-game promotions and giveaways, specialty foods, and fireworks shows to increase attendance at games. The award is named after Baseball Hall of Fame member Larry MacPhail, who introduced innovations such as night games, team travel by airplane, pension plans, and batting helmets. The award was first presented in 1966 and is usually awarded during baseball's Winter Meetings.Forty-five teams have won the Larry MacPhail Award. The Columbus Clippers, El Paso Diablos, and Nashville Sounds have each won the award on three separate occasions, the most of any team, followed by the Charleston RiverDogs, Hawaii Islanders, Reading Phillies, Richmond Braves, and Rochester Red Wings, who have each won the award twice. International League teams have won the award seven times, the most of any league, followed by the Eastern League, Pacific Coast League, and Southern League and Texas League (6); the American Association, Florida State League, and Midwest League (4); the Pioneer League and South Atlantic League (3); the California League and New York–Penn League (2); and the Carolina League, Northwestern League, and Western Carolinas League (1). Eighteen teams have competed at the Double-A classification level, the most of any class, followed by Triple-A (15); Class A (10); Class A-Advanced (5); and Class A-Short Season and Rookie (3).

Lee MacPhail

Leland Stanford MacPhail Jr. (October 25, 1917 – November 8, 2012) was an American front-office executive in Major League Baseball. MacPhail was a baseball executive for 45 years, serving as the director of player personnel for the New York Yankees, the president and general manager of the Baltimore Orioles, chief aide to Commissioner of Baseball William Eckert, executive vice president and general manager of the Yankees, and president of the American League.

List of Cincinnati Reds owners and executives

This page is a list of the owners and executives of the Cincinnati Reds.

The Cincinnati Reds are an American professional baseball team based in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Reds compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) Central division. They were a charter member of the American Association in 1882 and joined the NL in 1890.

List of Los Angeles Dodgers owners and executives

This is a list of Los Angeles Dodgers owners and executives.

List of New York Yankees owners and executives

The New York Yankees are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in The Bronx, New York City, New York. They play in the American League East division. This list consists of the owners, general managers (GMs) and other executives of the Yankees. The GM controls player transactions, hires the manager and coaching staff, and negotiates with players and agents regarding contracts.The longest-tenured general manager in team history is Ed Barrow, who served in that role for 23 years. He was inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1953. The longest-tenured owner in team history is George Steinbrenner, who was the team's principal owner from 1973 until his death in 2010.

Luke Hamlin

Luke Daniel Hamlin (July 3, 1904 – February 18, 1978) was an American professional baseball pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Detroit Tigers (1933–34), Brooklyn Dodgers (1937–41), Pittsburgh Pirates (1942), and Philadelphia Athletics (1944).

Born in Ferris Center, Michigan, Hamlin won the nickname "Hot Potato" because of his tendency to juggle the ball while getting ready to pitch. He pitched two years with the Tigers, going 3–3 in 23 games for the Bengals.

After two years out of the major leagues, Hamlin returned in 1937 with the Dodgers, where he played five seasons from 1937 to 1941. His best year was 1939 when he went 20–13 and had 10 complete games in 269-2/3 innings pitched. Hamlin's 20 wins was 4th best in the National League, his WHIP was 1.146 (3rd in the NL), and he also finished #10 in the National League Most Valuable Player voting in 1939. He had another strong year in 1940 with a 3.06 earned run average for an Adjusted ERA+ of 131 (4th best in the NL). He was also #1 in the National League in 1940 with a strikeout to walk ratio of 2.68.

Hamlin's performance declined after 1940, as his ERA jumped from 3.06 to 4.24 in 1941. Dodgers manager Leo Durocher lost faith in "Hot Potato", who had blown a number of leads over the 1941 season. When Dodgers boss Larry MacPhail sent a messenger between games of a double header telling Durocher to start Hamlin in the second game, Durocher erupted in anger. But Durocher complied with the boss's order and started Hamlin, who gave up 4 runs before getting an out and lasted only 2 innings. After seeing an old political campaign poster for the Abe Lincoln–Hannibal Hamlin ticket, Durocher once quipped: "It proves Lincoln was a great man; he could even win with Hamlin." Hamlin died in 1978 at age 73 in Clare, Michigan.


MacPhail may refer to:

In education:

MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USPeople with the surname MacPhail:

Agnes Macphail (1890–1954), Canadian feminist and first woman to be elected to the Canadian House of Commons

Andrew Macphail (1864–1938), Canadian physician, author, professor of medicine and soldier.

Andy MacPhail (born 1953), president of baseball operations for the Baltimore Orioles and son of the former American League president Lee MacPhail and grandson of Larry MacPhail.

Angus MacPhail (1903–1962), English screenwriter known for his work with Alfred Hitchcock; credited with the creation of the term "MacGuffin"

John MacPhail (born 1955), former Scottish footballer

Joy MacPhail, former Canadian New Democratic Party of British Columbia politician

Larry MacPhail (1890–1975), American executive and innovator in Major League Baseball

Lee MacPhail (born 1917), former administrator in Major League Baseball

Mark MacPhail (died 1989), police officer and murder victim

Robert Lloyd George MacPhail (1920–1995), Canadian politician and the 36th Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island; Member of the Order of Canada

Catherine Macphail (born 1964), Scottish-born author

Dan Macphail, fictitious engineer of the Vital Spark.

Stephen McKeever

Stephen W. McKeever (October 31, 1853 in Brooklyn, New York – March 7, 1938 in Brooklyn, New York) was a construction contractor in Brooklyn, New York in the early 1900s. He and his brother Ed bought half of the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team from Henry Medicus on January 2, 1912. Together with Charles Ebbets, who owned the other half of the team, they built Ebbets Field. When Ebbets died on April 18, 1925, Ed McKeever took over as team president. However, he caught a cold at Ebbets' funeral and died on April 29. Steve McKeever became the acting team president until Wilbert Robinson was elected team president on May 25, 1925. Steve McKeever was elected team president on October 12, 1932, and remained a 50% owner of the Dodgers until his death in 1938. He was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn.

Warren Giles

Warren Crandall Giles (May 28, 1896 – February 7, 1979) was an American professional baseball executive. He spent 33 years in high-level posts in Major League Baseball as club president and general manager of the Cincinnati Reds (1937–51) and president of the National League (1951–69), and was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Born in Tiskilwa, Illinois, Giles attended Washington & Lee University and served as an infantry officer in France during World War I. Before becoming a full-time baseball executive he worked as a football and basketball official in the Missouri Valley Conference, a major U.S. college sports league.

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