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Larry MacPhail

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Larry MacPhail
Born February 3, 1890
Cass City, Michigan
Died October 1, 1975
Miami, Florida
Resting place Elkland Township Cemetery, Cass City
Education Ludington High School, Staunton Military Academy, Beloit College, University of Michigan, George Washington University Law School
Occupation Lawyer, Department store executive,
Major League Baseball executive, Racehorse owner/breeder
Board member of Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Yankees, Bowie Race Track
Spouse(s) 1 Inez Frances Thompson
2) Jean Bennett Wanamaker
Children Children with Inez:
Bill, Lee, Marian
Child with Jean:
Parents Curtis W. MacPhail

Leland Stanford "Larry" MacPhail, Sr. (February 3, 1890 – October 1, 1975) was an American lawyer, and an executive and innovator in Major League Baseball.



MacPhail's father founded State Savings Bank of Scottville, Michigan in 1882 as well as twenty other small banks in that state. Larry MacPhail obtained a LL.B. from the George Washington University Law School where he became friends with Branch Rickey. He worked for a time with a Chicago law firm. [1] Prior to World War I Larry MacPhail was an executive of a department store in Nashville, Tennessee and during World War I, he served as an artillery captain in France and Belgium. He accompanied his commander, Colonel Luke Lea, on an unsanctioned mission to Amerongen in the Netherlands in January 1919 to attempt to arrest the exiled German Kaiser, Wilhelm II, and bring him to the Paris Peace Conference to be tried for war crimes. MacPhail would also serve in World War II, resigning on September 23, 1942 as president of the Brooklyn Dodgers to accept a commission in the United States Army. By war's end, MacPhail held the rank of Colonel. [2]

After his discharge from military service, MacPhail opened a law office in Columbus, Ohio where he would eventually purchase an interest in a minor league affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. That was short lived, but in 1933 he was hired by the Cincinnati Reds and became its chief executive. He went on to serve as president of the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Yankees. MacPhail's innovations include nighttime baseball, regular game televising and the flying of teams between games.

He was pivotal in the development of pioneering sportscaster Red Barber, who announced Reds and Dodgers games for MacPhail and whom he tried unsuccessfully to recruit to the Yanks when he became the Bronx team's co-owner in 1945. (Barber joined the Yankees crew in 1954, years after MacPhail sold his share in the club.)

MacPhail's career as a major-league owner ended after the Yankees clinched the 1947 World Series, when he got into confrontations at the team's post-game celebrations at Yankee Stadium and then in Manhattan. Though he had already quit as chief executive in the Yankee locker room, books by Roger Kahn and others indicate MacPhail's behavior at the victory parties led to co-owners Dan Topping and Del Webb buying out his share of the ballclub.

MacPhail was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1978; his son Lee MacPhail was elected to the Hall in 1998, making them the only father and son inductees[citation needed]. His other son Bill MacPhail was president of CBS Sports and later was President of CNN Sports, brought on by Reese Schonfeld to create the department upon the network's launch. Larry's grandson, Andy MacPhail, is the former Chicago Cubs and Minnesota Twins general manager and currently serves as president of baseball operations for the Baltimore Orioles. A great-grandson and namesake, Lee MacPhail IV, is the Orioles' director of professional scouting.

Thoroughbred racing

Larry MacPhail owned a 400-acre farm near Bel Air, Maryland. [3] An owner/breeder of Thoroughbred racehorses, his colt General Staff won the 1952 Narragansett Special. In March 1952, MacPhail was appointed President of Bowie Race Track in Bowie, Maryland. He held the position for thirrteen months. [4]

Awards and honors

Larry MacPhail Trophy

See Baseball awards#U.S. minor leagues

External links


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