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Boston Globe[Includes] many fascinating details of baseball from the 1880s to 1914.—Boston Globe
— Katherine A. Powers
Norman L. Macht chronicles Mack’s little-known beginnings, recounting how Mack, a school dropout at fourteen, created strategies for winning baseball and principles for managing men long before there were notions of defining such subjects. And ...
Norman L. Macht chronicles Mack’s little-known beginnings, recounting how Mack, a school dropout at fourteen, created strategies for winning baseball and principles for managing men long before there were notions of defining such subjects. And he details how, as a key figure in the launching of the American League in 1901, Mack won six of the league’s first fourteen pennants while serving as manager, treasurer, general manager, traveling secretary, and public relations and scouting director (all at the same time) for the Philadelphia Athletics.
This book brings to life the unruly origins of baseball as a sport and a business and provides the first complete and accurate picture of a character who was larger than life and yet little known: the tricky, rule-bending catcher; the peppery field leader and fan favorite; the hot-tempered young manager. Illustrated with previously unpublished family photographs, it affords unique insight into a colorful personality who helped shape baseball as we know it today.
— Katherine A. Powers
— Bob Willis
Seeking to produce an authoritative biography of the great Philadelphia Athletic owner-manager, Macht examines Mack's early life, playing career, and first years as a Major League skipper. While a mammoth undertaking, this book covers only the period through the first of Mack's great dynasties with the Philadelphia Athletics, which ended following the disastrous 1914 World Series. Barely mentioned are the long, tough years, when Philadelphia skidded to the bottom of the American League standings before rebounding as one of baseball's legendary teams by the end of the 1920s. Also left for another story is the breakup of Mack's second Athletic dynasty and the ensuing even lengthier drift into the baseball wilderness. Nevertheless, the tale Macht offers is often riveting, spanning the years of labor strife, the birth of the American circuit, and the evolution of the World Series. Linked with President Ban Johnson and Cleveland owner Charles Somers, Mack helped to ensure the American League's viability. Along the way, he coped, sometimes successfully, sometimes not, with idiosyncratic players like Rube Waddell and Joe Jackson and featured other stars, including Eddie Plank, Home Run Baker, and Eddie Collins. Mack also went head to head with New York Giants manager John McGraw in three memorable World Series. Recommended for general libraries.
“No other baseball manager is going to win—or lose—as many games as Connie Mack did in his fifty years managing the Philadelphia Athletics. A biography of Mack cannot help but be a history of baseball in the first half of the twentieth century, and this biography is a feast of interesting facts and judgments.”
—George F. Will, syndicated columnist and author of Men at Work: The Craft of Baseball
“As a catcher and manager, Connie Mack deserves much of the credit for writing ‘The Book’ on baseball strategy and the managing of men. How he did it all is told here for the first time.”
—Roland Hemond, three-time winner of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year award