Summary

Birth:
07 Aug 1886 1
Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania 2
Death:
29 Oct 1965 2
Oct 1965 1
, Bradenton, Florida 2
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Full Name:
William Boyd McKechnie 2
Full Name:
William Mckechnie 1
Also known as:
Bill McKechnie 2
Birth:
07 Aug 1886 1
Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania 2
Death:
29 Oct 1965 2
Oct 1965 1
, Bradenton, Florida 2
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Social Security:
Card Issued: Florida 1
Social Security Number: ***-**-6627 1

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Stories

Bill McKechnie was born in 1886 in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, and he managed the Reds from 1938-1946. In his first season, the Reds finished in fourth place and only six games behind the Cubs -- no small feat considering that the closest the Reds had come to first in the NL in the eleven seasons prior to his arrival was sixteen games (1928). In his second season, the Reds were second to no one in the National League. They won the pennant, but fell to the Yankees in the World Series. In 1940, everything came together for McKechnie and the Reds. They steamrolled through the NL, and captured the pennant by twelve games. The club then ousted Detroit in a seven-game World Series, winning the deciding game at Crosley Field.

McKechnie was a quiet man, sang in his church choir, and did not smoke, drink, or use profanity. Because of this, McKechnie was nicknamed "The Deacon," and he amassed a then-record 744 wins as Reds manager (Sparky Anderson would later tally 863). He was the first manager in history to win the World Series with two different teams (the first came with the Pirates in 1925), and he is one of only two managers to win pennants with three teams (St. Louis Cardinals in 1928). Bill McKechnie was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, and he was inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in 1967

Raised in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, William Boyd McKechnie (1886-1965) was a member for 25 years of the Wilkinsburg Methodist Church choir. His background accounted in part for his nickname of “Deacon,” but his managerial skills were equally responsible.

 

 


Bill McKechnie won pennants as a pilot 
with three different teams -- Pitssburgh, 
Cincinnati, and the St. Louis Cardinals. 

 

 

 

 

That McKechnie’s record is not even more remarkable than it is can be traced largely to the fact that he never had the luck to obtain the reins of a great team. Indeed, his experience was often quite the opposite. In 1935, Mc­Kechnie had the misfortune to be at the helm of the worst team in modern National League history, a Boston Braves outfit that won just 38 of 153 games. Within two years, however, the Deacon had rebuilt the club and was named Manager of the Year.

 

McKechnie’s first managerial test in the majors came in 1915 when he took charge of the Newark team in the Federal League while still an active player. Seven years later, he got his second chance as a major-league manager when the Pirates fired George Gibson in July and gave Bill the job. After two successive third-place finishes, in 1925 McKechnie skippered Pittsburgh to its first pennant since 1909.

A year later, though, he was ousted following an internal revolution on the club that pitted him against coach Fred Clarke. Bill was hired by Branch Rickey in 1928 to manage the Cardinals and promptly won a pennant. A devastating loss to the Yankees in the ’28 World Series and a slow start in 1929, however, cost him another job within a year after he had won a pennant.

 

Hired in 1930 to reverse the fortunes of the lowly Boston Braves, McKechnie remained in the Hub through 1937. Then in 1938, he took an offer of $25,000 to pilot Cincinnati.

Following a fourth-place finish in his initial season with the Reds, Bill won back-to-back pennants in Cincinnati with a team that for many years held the record for being the only club in modern major-league history to cop consecutive pennants despite not having a player judged worthy of selection to the Hall of Fame. In 1986, that distinction was lost when Ernie Lombardi was enshrined.

 

McKechnie’s triumph with the Reds made him the first manager ever to win pennants with three different major-league teams. Some analysts consider him later to have won a flag with yet a fourth club.

In 1948, although Lou Boudreau was officially Cleveland’s player-manager and McKechnie his chief coach, Bill made many of the field decisions that resulted in the Tribe capturing the AL flag. Deacon Bill was named to the Hall of Fame in 1962.

Here are Bill McKechnie's major league totals:

W

PCT
G
1,899 1,724 28
.524
3,651 

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