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Baseball Personalities - John McGraw

John McGraw


McGraw dominated the game for four decades, first as a star infielder on the great Baltimore Orioles of the 1890s and then as the manager of the New York Giants from 1902 to 1932. He led them to ten pennants and three world championships (along with 11 second-place finishes). Many fans, umpires, and players from opposing teams hated his arrogance and abusiveness. McGraw ruled with an iron first, demanding his men to follow his every order, yet he ruled with absolute fairness. “His players suffered his tyranny as the price of victory, proud to be Giants.” (The Ballplayers)

McGraw’s early Giants teams were led by the great pitcher Christy Mathewson and won five pennants between 1904 and 1913. Yet McGraw reached the pinnacle of his career when he won four straight pennants from 1921 to 1924. In ’21 and ’22 he faced and defeated the New York Yankees and Babe Ruth in the World Series, winners of their first two pennants.