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John McGraw
John McGraw 1924.jpg
McGraw in 1924
Third baseman / Manager
Born: (1873-04-07)April 7, 1873
Truxton, New York
Died: February 25, 1934(1934-02-25) (aged 60)
New Rochelle, New York
Batted: Left Threw: Right

As player

As manager

Career highlights and awards

John Joseph McGraw (April 7, 1873 – February 25, 1934), nicknamed "Little Napoleon" and "Mugsy", was a Major League Baseball (MLB) player and manager of the New York Giants. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1937. While primarily a third baseman throughout his career, he also played shortstop and the outfield in the major leagues.

Much lauded as a player, McGraw was one of the standard-bearers of dead-ball era baseball. He was known for his quick temper and for bending the rules, but he also stood out as a great baseball mind. McGraw was a key player on the pennant-winning 1890s Baltimore Orioles, and later applied his talents and temper while a captain (playing)-manager, transitioning in 1902 to the New York Giants, for whom he became a bench manager in 1907 until his retirement in 1932.

Even with his success and fame as a player, he is best known for his managing, especially since it was with a team as popular as the New York Giants. His total of 2,763 victories in that capacity ranks second overall behind only Connie Mack; he still holds the National League record with 2,669 wins in the senior circuit. McGraw is widely held to be "the best player to become a great manager" in the history of baseball. McGraw also held the MLB record for a manager (132) until Bobby Cox broke the record in 2007.

Personal life

John McGraw 1910

McGraw married Minnie Doyle, the daughter of prominent Baltimore politician Michael Doyle, on February 3, 1897. This was at the height of his fame as a player for the old Baltimore Orioles of the National League. Two years later, while McGraw was on a road trip with his team, Minnie developed appendicitis. An emergency appendectomy was performed, and McGraw was called back from Louisville, Kentucky. Her condition worsened; and, surrounded by McGraw and other members of the family, Minnie died on September 1, 1899 at the age of 23.

McGraw married his second wife, Blanche Sindall, on January 8, 1902. She outlived McGraw by nearly 30 years, dying on November 4, 1962. Even after her husband's death, Mrs. McGraw was a devoted fan of the team he had managed for so long. In 1951, she threw out the first pitch during a World Series game in which her beloved Giants played the New York Yankees. The Yankees won that day, 6–2, and went on to win the championship — their third in a row — in six games.

As owners of a bowling, billiards, and pool hall in Baltimore, McGraw and Wilbert Robinson introduced the sport of duckpin bowling within the city of Baltimore in 1899.

Later years and death

GiantsJohn McGraw
Retired player Giants John McGraw

In 1923, only nine years before he retired, McGraw reflected on his life inside the game he loved in his memoir My Thirty Years in Baseball. He stepped down as manager of the New York Giants in the middle of the 1932 season. He was reactivated briefly when he accepted the invitation to manage the National League team in the 1933 All-Star Game.

Less than two years after retiring, McGraw died of uremic poisoning at age 60 and is interred in New Cathedral Cemetery in Baltimore, Maryland.

McGraw was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1937; his plaque stated that he was considered the greatest assessor of baseball talent. In honor of the days he spent coaching at St. Bonaventure, St. Bonaventure University named its athletic fields after McGraw and his teammate, fellow coach and fellow Hall of Famer Hugh Jennings.

In 2011, he was inducted into the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame.

Although McGraw played before numbers were worn on jerseys, the Giants honor him along with their retired numbers at AT&T Park.

The John McGraw Monument stands in his hometown of Truxton.

Images for kids

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