Cornelius McGillicuddy, Sr. (December 22, 1862 – February 8, 1956), better known as Connie Mack, was an American professional baseball player, manager, and team owner. The longest-serving manager in Major League Baseball history, he holds records for wins(3,731), losses (3,948), and games managed (7,755), with his victory total being almost 1,000 more than any other manager.
Mack managed the Philadelphia Athletics for the club's first 50 seasons of play, starting in 1901, before retiring at age 87 following the 1950 season, and was at least part-owner from 1901 to 1954. He was the first manager to win the World Series three times, and is the only manager to win consecutive Series on separate occasions (1910–11, 1929–30); his five Series titles remain the third most by any manager, and his nine American League pennants rank second in league history. However, constant financial struggles forced repeated rebuilding of the roster, and Mack's teams also finished in last place 17 times. Mack was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1937
He was widely praised in the newspapers for his intelligent and innovative managing, which earned him the nickname "the Tall Tactician". He valued intelligence and "baseball smarts", always looking for educated players. (He traded away Shoeless Joe Jackson despite his talent because of his bad attitude and unintelligent play.) "Better than any other manager, Mack understood and promoted intelligence as an element of excellence." He wanted men who were self-directed, self-disciplined and self-motivated; his ideal player was Eddie Collins
Over the course of his career he had nine pennant-winning teams spanning three peak periods or "dynasties." His original team, with players like Rube Waddell, Ossee Schreckengost, and Eddie Plank, won the pennant in 1902 (when there was no World Series) and 1905, losing the 1905 World Series to the New York Giants (four games to one, all shutouts, with Christy Mathewson hurling three complete game shutouts for a record 27 scoreless innings in one World Series). During that season, Giant manager John McGraw said that Mack had "a big white elephant on his hands" with the Athletics. Mack defiantly adopted the white elephant as the team's logo, which the Athletics still use today.
As that first team aged, Mack acquired a core of young players to form his second great team, which featured Mack's famous "$100,000 infield" of Eddie Collins, Home Run Baker, Jack Barry and Stuffy McInnis. These Athletics, captained by catcher Ira Thomas, won the pennant in 1910, 1911, 1913 and 1914, beating the Cubs in the World Series in 1910 and the Giants in 1911 and 1913, but losing in 1914 in four straight games to the "Miracle"Boston Braves, who had come from last place in late July to win the National League pennant by 6 1/2 games over the Giants.
That team was dispersed due to financial problems, from which Mack did not recover until the twenties, when he built his third great team. The 1927 Athletics featured several future Hall of Fame players including veterans Ty Cobb, Zack Wheat and Eddie Collins as well as young stars like Mickey Cochrane, Lefty Grove, Al Simmons and rookie Jimmie Foxx. That team won the pennant in 1929, 1930 and 1931, beating the Chicago Cubs in the 1929 World Series (when they came from 8-0 behind in Game 4, plating a Series record ten runs in the seventh inning and winning the game 10-8, and then from two runs down in the bottom of the ninth in Game 5 for a walk-off Series win) and easily defeating the St. Louis Cardinals in 1930, who then turned around and beat them in seven games in 1931 led by the brilliant Pepper Martin.
That team was dispersed after 1932 when Mack ran into financial difficulty again
He was born in East Brookfield, Massachusetts to Irish immigrants, Michael McGillicuddy and Mary McKillop. He did not have a middle name, but many accounts erroneously give him the middle name "Alexander"; this error probably arose because his son Cornelius McGillicuddy Jr. took Alexander as his confirmation nameHome of Connie Mack on Cliveden Avenue in Northwest Philadelphia
In 1877, Mack left school at the age of fourteen after finishing the eighth grade. Partly this was because he needed to help support his large extended family, since his father, whose health had been ruined in the Civil War, was an alcoholic and no longer worked. Mack always regretted his lack of education and advised college players to finish their degrees before they began their baseball careers.
On November 2, 1887, he married Margaret Hogan, whom the Spencer Leader described as having "a sunny and vivacious disposition." They had three children, Earle, Roy, and Marguerite. Margaret died in December 1892 after complications from her third childbirth.
He married a second time on October 27, 1910. His second wife was Catherine (or Katharine) Holahan (or Hoolahan); the census records disagree. (The wedding register reads "Catarina Hallahan".) The couple had four daughters and a son, Cornelius Jr. A faithful Catholic his entire life, Mack was also a longtime member of theKnights of Columbus (Santa Maria Council 263 in Flourtown, Pennsylvania).
From early on in life he was known as "Mack", as his father had been. However, he never formally changed his name. On the occasion of his second marriage, at age 48, he signed the wedding register "Cornelius McGillicuddy". His nickname on the field was "Slats."