John McGraw

John McGraw

2B, OF, SS, 3B, 1B
Mugsy, Little Napoleon
April 7, 1873
5' 7"
155 lbs
Major League Debut:
8-26-1891 with BL3
Hall of Fame:


John McGraw was one of the most influential figures in baseball history. He was an outstanding player, starring for the talented 1890s Baltimore Orioles. He was integral in the early wars and reconciliations between the American and National leagues, and he helped place baseball in New York in the AL. His stubborn will prevented the playing of the 1904 World Series between his Giants and Boston of the AL. He led the Giants with an iron fist to 10 pennants and three World Championships, managing such stars as Christy Mathewson, Frankie Frisch, Rogers Hornsby, Bill Terry, Carl Hubbell, and Mel Ott.

Quotes From

"There are two kinds of people: those who are Irish, and those who wish they were."

Minor Leages

1890: Olean (New York/Penn League) 1891: Cedar Rapids (Illinois-Iowa League) 1891: Baltimore (American Association)

Best Season

McGraw's first World Championship team, this club was led by the pitching staff. They had three aces: Christy Mathewson (31-9, 1.28), Joe McGinnity (21-15, 2.87) and Red Ames (22-8, 2.74). Yet the offense was formidable as well, leading the National League in runs scored (5.03 per) behind a .273 average and league-best 291 stolen bases. Seven players stole at least 20 bases, led by third baseman Art Devlin (59), right fielder Sam Mertes (52), shortstop Bill Dahlen (37) and left fielder "Turkey Mike" Donlin (33). The Giants also led the NL in homers and OBP. Only the Cubs committed fewer errors. The G-Men steamrolled Connie Macks' Athletics in the World Series, outscoring their AL rivals 15-3, while their staff threw four shutouts.

Factoid 1

Despite the fact that he had retired, McGraw was chosen as manager of the 1933 National League All-Stars, in the first Mid-Summer Classic ever played.


Competitive fire. McGraw fought his own players, opposing players, and umpires. He probably holds the all-time record for being ejected. By most accounts, he was a fine handler of pitchers and a good in-game strategist.


Communication skills. McGraw once told a player, "Don't ever talk to me. I speak to you and you just shuttup!" McGraw was also surprisingly unscrupulous and hypocritical. While he demanded loyalty from his players, when his club was out of the race, he frequently left his team before the season was finished to pursue his own interests. He was also a central figure in many gambling scandals, most of which never received much publicity or were ignored because of his prominence.


McGraw was sort of the Billy Martin of his day, fighting anyone he had to wherever he had to. The many opponents he fought included Willie Keeler, Tommy Tucker, Ad Brennan, Ty Cobb, Lord Byron ("The Singing Umpire"), and William Boyd, an actor who went on to fame as "Hopalong Cassidy. According to authors Nicholas Acocella and Donald Dewey ("The Black Prince of Baseball: Hal Chase and the Mythology of Baseball"), McGraw, not Hal Chase, is the prime candidate for the most crooked man in baseball during the Deadball Era. Their book details several incidents which portray McGraw as the mastermind behind gambling scandals and fixes, dating to his playing days in the 1890s. It's doubtful that these scandals will ever besmirch McGraw's Hall of Fame reputation, but their book makes a compelling argument that John "Muggsy" McGraw was as crooked as any player or manager of his era.

The 1890s Baltimore Orioles

In 1892 Ned Hanlon took over the reigns of the Baltimore Orioles, in their first season in the National League after a decade of mediocrity in the American Association. The Orioles lost 101 games that year and finished dead-last in the 12-team league. Within two years Baltimore was the premier team in the league, thanks in large part to Hanlon's genius. Jennings and others formed a Hall of Fame lineup which steamrolled opponents for three seasons. The Orioles boasted six Hall of Famers in their everyday lineup: Wilbert Robinson behind the plate, Dan Brouthers at first, John McGraw at third, Hughie Jennings at shortstop, Joe Kelley in center field and Wee Willie Keeler in right field. They won the NL pennant in 1894, 1895 and 1896. In 1897 and 1898 they finished a close second. In 1899, when Hanlon jumped to the Brooklyn team, Jennings, Kelley, and Keller went with him and the quartet won two more pennants, in 1899 and 1900.

Most Times Ejected, Manager, All-Time

1. John McGraw... 131 2. Leo Durocher... 124 3. Bobby Cox... 117 4. Earl Weaver... 98 5. Frankie Frisch... 86 6. Paul Richards... 80 7. Tony LaRussa... 73 8. Lou Piniella...71 9. Clark Griffith... 67 10. Bill Dahlen... 65 11. Joe Torre... 64

1905 World Series, 1937 Hall of Fame, Baltimore Orioles, Baseball History, John McGraw, New York Giants
Share |