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Getting to Know MLB Hall of Fame Manager Connie Mack

The successful skipper was an interesting man and a baseball force of nature

During his playing career, Mack was a good fielding catcher with a light bat. In his 11 seasons with three teams (1886–1896), he hit just .244 with five home runs and 265 RBIs in 724 games. He was swift for a backstop, swiping 127 bases but his primary value was in his glove and as a leader.

Those leadership skills helped Mack transition to a new phase in his career when his playing days ended. He was a player manager in his final three seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He then moved on to be a player/manager for the minor league Milwaukee Brewers for three years, where his most noteworthy act was signing young pitcher Rube Waddell, who became a star and followed his benefactor to the majors.

In 53 years manning a big-league dugout, he produced a record of 3,731–3,948 (with 76 ties), winning nine pennants and five World Series. As the game evolved, he stayed fast to tradition, always wearing a natty suit and hat as manager, eschewing the practice of dressing in a uniform. From a distance, he appeared serious and perhaps a bit stern, but as James C. Isaminger of the Philadelphia Inquirer found out, he was anything but.

*Mack refused to acknowledge himself as old.

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