100 years since John McGraw’s 1,000th win

Exactly 100 years ago today, John McGraw passed one memorable milestone in his managerial career.

On that day, McGraw’s first-place Giants played the last-place Braves and rather predictably won, 10-4. That win, New York’s 41st on the season, was #1,000 in John McGraw’s managerial career.

Currently, there are 56 skippers with 1,000+ victories in their major league careers, but McGraw was only the seventh man to do so. Here were the records for the winningest managers of all-time, as of sunset on June 29, 1911:

Manger	                 Record
Ned Hanlon	    1,313-1,164
Cap Anson	      1,295-947
Frank Selee	      1,284-862
Fred Clarke	      1,241-843
Harry Wright	      1,225-885
Connie Mack	      1,026-772
John McGraw	      1,000-674

I would’ve guessed that McGraw would’ve beaten Mack to 1,000, but Mack beat him to it by a few weeks. Mack has the advantage of starting earlier, as a player-manager for the Pirates in 1890s, hence Mack’s lead in overall games managed above. McGraw also had some rocky moments at the very beginning. In 1901 he managed two teams—Baltimore in the AL and New York in the NL—and both came in last. I believe he’s still the only person to manage two last place teams in one season.

What’s striking about the managers above is how young they all are. When he won his 1,000th game, John McGraw was only 38 years old. Not exactly Jack McKeon or Davey Johnson, is it? Heck, the youngest manager nowadays is Manny Acta, age 42.

It was a younger game back then and all the above names began as player-managers. Fred Clarke got his start skippering at age 23. Cap Anson, retired from the dugout for 13 seasons by 1911, was only 59 years old when McGraw got #1,000. That’s barely older than Rays skipper Joe Maddon currently is. Even Connie Mack, who we always envision as ancient, was 48 years old when he and McGraw both joined the 1,000-win club. In contrast, Red Sox skipper Terry Francona is 52 years old—and still a month from his 1,000th win.

Everyone on the list except for Selee served as the game’s all-time win leader for managers. Harry Wright, the first great manager, held the record until he retired in 1893. Then Cap Anson, a long-time player manager for the Cubs, passed him later in the 1890s. Hanlon passed up Anson in the final months of his career in 1907, and was still #1 when McGraw joined the 1,000-win club.

Hanlon’s time atop was short, as Fred Clarke passed him up in 1912. Clarke became the first manager with over 1,500 win, ending his career in 1915. with 1,602 wins. That remained the record until Apr. 20, 1918 when McGraw won #1,603. Mugsy (as he hated to be called) went on to win over 2,700 games, which remained the record until Connie Mack passed him up on June 9, 1934. Mack has remained top dog ever since, with John McGraw safely tucked away in the #2 slot.

Well, it’s been safe until now. No one’s remotely challenged McGraw’s 2,763 wins for second-most ever—until now. Tony LaRussa should pass him up next year.

Here are some other items celebrating their anniversary or “day-versary” (which is an event occurring X-thousand days ago) today. The better ones are in bold for those who just want to skim the list:


2,000 days since the Padres drafted Adam Easton and two others to the Rangers for Chris Young, Adrian Gonazlez, and Termel Sledge.

3,000 days since Curt Schilling walks the lead-off batter in a game, the only time he does that in his final 232 starts.

3,000 days since Scott Rolen’s only four-walk game. Only one was intentional, as the Cards beat the Astros, 3-0.

3,000 days since the worst start Pedro Martinez ever had: 4.1 IP, 9 H, 10 R, 10 ER, 4 BB, and 5 K for a Game Score of 6.

4,000 days since MLB debut of Mark Buehrle.

8,000 days since Jim Rice plays his last game.

15,000 days since draft day 1971. Some of the better picks include: Reds drafting Ray Knight, Pittsburgh taking Dave Parker, St. Louis picking John Denny, the Giants selecting Dave Kingman, the Brewers getting Darrell Porter, and the Cubs getting Big Daddy Rick Reuschel. The big winners were the White Sox, though, as they got Bucky Dent, Jerry Hariston, Terry Forster, and Rich Gossage.

Homestretch: The 1967 AL Pennant Race, Part 3
A tight race shows no signs of letting up.

Finally, the following players were also drafted but not signed: Duane Kuiper (Reds); Fred Lynn (Yankees), Phil Garner (Brewers), Roy Smalley Jr. (Expos), and Mike Krukow (Angels). Last but not least the Senators drafted but failed to sign both Jerry Remy and Bruce Sutter.


1863 Wilbert Robinson, Hall of Fame manager, born.

1876 St. Louis performs the first triple play in NL history. (Not the St. Louis Cardinals. The 1876 St. Louis team folded before the 1880s began).

1881 Harry Frazee, Red Sox owner famous for selling Babe Ruth to the Yankees to finance his play “No, No Nanette,” born.

1886 The 100th game Harry Wright and Cap Anson manage against each other. It’s one of the first time a pair of managers faced off that often.

1887 Bob Caruthers, star pitcher, hits two home runs in one game. He’s one of the best hitting pitchers of all-time and in fact was playing right field in this game.

1888 Bobby Veach, great Tigers outfielder, born.

1897 Chicago Cubs 36, Louisville Colonels 7.

1904 MLB debut: Sherry Magee, one of the best sluggers of the Deadball Era.

1905 Moonlight Graham, made famous in “Field of Dreams,” plays his only game, a defensive replacement in right field in that game for McGraw’s Giants. As it happens, McGraw hadn’t yet finished his playing career yet, and appeared in a handful of games himself that season. From memory, the movie moved Graham to the 1920s, which allowed Burt Lancaster to remember McGraw as an old legendary figure at the end of the dugout, not as a 32-year-old who wasn’t even the oldest man in the dugout. Graham continued to play minor league ball until 1908.

1907 MLB debut: Ed Konetchy, a fine fielding first baseman.

1909 Walter Johnson allows his first home run since 1907.

1912 Hick Cady gets two hits in one at bat. He hits a single, only to have an umpire nullify it by claiming the pitcher balked in his wind up. Cady goes back to the plate and doubles.

1912 Rube Marquard, Giants pitcher, wins again, putting his record to 18-0 on the season.

1913 MLB debut: Wally Pipp, famous as the guy Lou Gehrig replaced at first base. That said, Pipp once led the AL in homers himself.

1915 Dizzy Trout, pitcher, born.

1923 Jack Fournier of the Dodgers gets six hits in one game.

1925 Tris Speaker laces his 658th career double, passing Nap Lajoie for the #1 slot all-time in doubles. Exactly 86 years later, Speaker is still #1 in doubles.

1926 George Sisler gets his 2,000th hit in only his 1,415th game played.

1931 Jimmie Foxx hits his 100th home run. He’s only the 36th person to do it. Six days earlier his teammate Bing Miller became #35.

1931 MLB debut: Yankee third baseman Red Rolfe.

1933 Jimmie Foxx collects his 1,000th hit.

1934 Lou Gehrig hit in head with a pitch in an exhibition game and is out cold for five minutes. He’s expected to miss a few games with a concussion, but manages to keep his streak going anyway.

1935 Yankee centerfielder Earle Combs hit his 23rd and final inside-the-park home run.

1936 Harmon Killebrew born.

1937 Hall of Fame second baseman Billy Herman hits his only career grand slam.

1941 Joe DiMaggio breaks George Sisler’s AL record of 41 consecutive games with a hit. That said, in the same doubleheader the Browns end New York’s team streak of 25 consecutive home victories.

1946 Red Ruffing suffers a broken knee cap when a line drive nails him. Despite that, and despite being in his 40s and considerably overweight, Ruffing will come back to pitch in 1947.

1948 Johnny Antonelli, amateur free agent, signed by the Boston Braves.

1950 Red Sox 22, A’s 14. It’s Boston’s third 20-run performance of the month, The two teams combine for 18 different players scoring, an AL record tied on May 5, 2000 by the A’s and Rangers.

1950 Bizarre moment in American Association game between Milwaukee and Minnesota: when Minnesota outfield Bama Rowell hits a lazy fly ball, its trajectory is altered by two birds who peck at it in the air. It falls for a double and Rowell will score the winning run.

1950 The Yankees call up Whitey Ford from the minor leagues.

1952 The Reds have an 8-2 lead over Chicago with the Cubs down to their last out in the bottom of the ninth. Improbably, the Cubs win, 9-8.

1954 Rick Honeycutt, reliever, born.

1955 Well-regarded AL skippers Paul Richards and Casey Stengel manage against each other for the 100th time.

1955 The Cubs lose a game, dropping their franchise overall record to 6,064-5,064. It’s the last time they’re 1,000 games over .500.

1956 Pedro Guerrero born.

1957 AL beats NL in the All-Star Game, as five Reds start for the NL.

1958 Cardinals leftfielder Del Ennis throws out two runners in one inning in game against the Phillies.

1958 Hank Aaron hits his first of 17 homers off of Don Drysdale, the most he hits off any single pitcher.

1961 Willie Mays homers three times in a game for the second time. The first time was two months earlier when he hit four homers in all.

1966 Mickey Mantle homers twice for the second straight game. He’ll do it again three days later.

1967 Cardinals legend Bob Gibson has the worst start of his career: 0.2 IP, 7 H, 9 R, 9 ER, 2 BB, 1 K. Game Score: 1.

1968 Frank Howard becomes the first player to hit 100 homers for the Senators (now Rangers) franchise. He’s the first person to do it for any expansion franchise.

1968 Gary Nolan has a great day with the Reds. Not only does the 20-year-old throw a complete game shutout against the Giants, but he hits a home run in the 3-0 win.

1968 Jim Northrup, Detroit, hits his third grand slam of the week, tying a record set by Rudy York in May 1938.

1969 Billy Williams breaks Stan Musial’s NL record of 896 consecutive games played.

1969 Lou Brock has possibly his worst day at the plate, going 0-for-4 with 4 Ks.

1969 Tom Seaver wins his 44th game as a Met, passing Al Jackson as all-time franchise win leader. 42 years later, he’s still their win leader.

1969 Tony Oliva gets eight consecutive hits in a doubleheader versus the Royals.

1970 Ernie Banks has his 42nd and final multi-home run game.

1970 MLB debut: Bobby Grich, the ultimate sabermetric darling.

1971 The Braves release Hoyt Wilhelm.

1971 Tom Seaver records his 1,000th strikeout – Willie Montanez.

1972 The Braves trade Orlando Cepeda to the A’s for Denny McLain.

1973 Pete Rose hits an inside the park home run. It’s the second of three in his career.

1974 Lou Brock steals base #700.

1976 Rick Wise of Boston tosses his second one-hitter of the month.

1977 Willie Stargell hammers his 400th home run, four years and one day since #300.

1979 MLB debut: Dave Stieb.

1983 Mark Fidrych retires.

1984 Andre Davis of Minnesota hits a home run in his first MLB at bat. It’s all downhill from here as he never gets a second home run.

1984 Pete Rose plays in his 3,309th game, breaking Carl Yastrzemski’s record.

1984 Steve Sax triples in the first inning and then steals home.

1986 The White Sox trade Tom Seaver to the Red Sox for Steve Lyons. No wonder Seaver retired after the year: he’s being traded straight up for Steve Lyons.

1986 Sparky Anderson becomes the third manager to win over 600 in each league, behind Dick Williams and Gene Mauch. Williams did it two years before and Mauch did it earlier in 1986. Since then, only Joe Torre and Tony LaRussa have joined the club.

1987 Dennis Eckersley picks off a runner, something he won’t do again for four more years. The runner? It’s Kenny Williams, GM of the 2005 world champion White Sox.

1987 Wade Boggs gets a career-best 7 RBIs by going 3-for-5 with a triple and home run.

1988 MLB debut: Rob Dibble.

1989 Padres GM Jack McKeon trades his son-in-law, Greg Booker.

1989 Boise Hawks manager Mal Fichman is ejected, but sneaks back on the field disguised as team mascot Humphrey the Hawk, earning him a one-game suspension.

1990 Dave Stewart tosses a no-hitter: A’s 5, Blue Jays 0.

1990 Fernando Valenzuela tosses a no-hitter. I guess it was the thing to do on June 29, 1990.

1992 Pittsfield Mets pitcher James Popoff gets his first professional win in style, fanning 19 in a New York-Pennsylvania League game.

1993 Kenny Lofton gets his first grand slam on only his sixth career home run. In the next 14 seasons, Lofton gets only one more slam.

1994 Edgar Martinez has two odd achievements in one game. First, he steals two bases, the only time he ever does that. (He only steals four bases in all 1994 and 49 in his full career). Second, he homers against David Wells on the 11th pitch of the at bat, his longest battle to result in a home run.

1996 Mike Piazza hits three home runs in one game.

1998 Aside from All-Star breaks, this day marks the first time since April 30, 1973, there are zero scheduled MLB games.

1999 MLB debut: Vincente Padilla, one of the only pitchers to have a career win against all 30 teams.

1999 WPA’s favorite Vlad Guerrero game: 0.906 WPA. He went 2-for-3 with a home run, walk, sac fly, scored one run and drove in four as the Expos beat the Braves, 6-5. The big blast was a walk-off, three-run home run off John Rocker in the bottom of the ninth.

2000 The Indians trade David Justice to the Yankees for Zach Day, Jake Westbrook, and Rickey Ledee.

2000 John Rocker first pitches at Shea Stadium since his infamous Sports Illustrated interview in which he bashed NYC.

2001 Dmitri Young has his second straight four-hit game, giving him hits in nine straight at bats.

2003 Arizona releases Matt Williams

2004 Randy Johnson has strikeout #4,000.

2007 The A’s trade Milton Bradley to the Padres.

2007 Mike Mussina gives up a leadoff walk for the first time in 136 games (9-13-02) and only the second time in 242 games (9-23-96).

2010 Denard Span, Minnesota, hits three triples in one game.

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