Golden Baseball Magazine
May 25, 2017

Al Bridwell
Quotation

"He was a wonderful man, a real fighter. . . . Anybody wanted to argue, he was ready. I got along with him fine. He only suspended me once, for two weeks. It was on account of I socked him."

Al Bridwell on his New York Giants manager, John McGraw

Cardinals Clubhouse

FROM THE ARCHIVES Flint Went AWOL

Flint Rhem, set to start the first game of a crucial 1930 September series in Brooklyn, was nowhere to be found.

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The Ultimate Game

2002: Giants @ Angels

No rookie pitcher had won a Game 7 in 93 years.

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Remarkable Rookie

Russ Ford set an American League rookie record for wins with a new pitch he discovered.

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Baseball Odd Facts

A game that was replayed not once but twice and other interesting tidbits.

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How Would You Rule?

Bases loaded walk ends game?

Baseball Quiz

Players with most batting titles

Mauch Takes Over
One Pitch Away: The Players' Stories of the 1986 LCS and World Series,
Mike Sowell (1996)
Gene Mauch managed the 1964 Phillies, who had a 6.5-game lead with 12 games to play and blew the pennant.

Mauch ... was the boy wonder of baseball managers. Thirty-eight years old, and he had the hottest ball club around. Five years on the job, and he had turned a bunch of losers into winners.
To appreciate the magnitude of what Mauch had achieved in Philadelphia, one had to go back to April 1960, when kindly old Eddie Sawyer abruptly quit as manager of the Phillies one game into the season.
"I'm forty-nine, and I'd like to see fifty," said the exasperated Sawyer, who had grown weary of his players' drinking and carousing.
That night, the phone rang in Mauch's hotel room in Pompano Beach, Florida, where his minor-league Minneapolis team was training. It was Philadelphia general manager John Quinn, who had first gotten to know Mauch ten years earlier when Quinn worked for the Boston Braves and Mauch was a sharp young infielder on the team.
"A friend of mine wants to know if you're interested in managing a major-league club," said Quinn.
"Who is it?" Mauch asked skeptically. "The Phillies?"


L-R: Eddie Sawyer; John Quinn, Gene Mauch
The Phillies — everyone in baseball knew about them. In the words of Phila­delphia columnist Sandy Grady, "The team's feature was the 'Dalton Gang,' boozy nightriders who set records for demolishing saloons."
The Phillies also were adept at losing games. Two last-place finishes in a row. Eight years since their last winning season.
Ten years earlier, when they won their last pennant, the youthful Phillies had been known as the "Whiz Kids." These aging and inept Phillies were the "Whiff Kids."
Mauch jumped at the offer.
It didn't take him long to start cleaning up the ball club. He weeded out the trouble­makers. He laid down his set of rules and enforced them with tough words and tough actions.
"Managing that team wasn't the hardest part," Mauch later told Grady. "First, you had to go into bars or bust down hotel doors to find them. It's a good thing I was a young man. An old one would never have survived."
But Mauch survived. And he taught his Phillies to play winning ball. Success did not come overnight, and in 1961 Philadelphia set a major-league record by losing twenty-three games in a row. But even in those losing years, the Phillies were coming together as a ball club.
Slowly, Mauch began to piece together the kind of team he wanted. It was a team of scrappers and hustlers and hard-nosed ballplayers. They moved up to seventh in 1962, fourth in 1963.
They would go on the field to warm up before a game, and with every throw by a Philadelphia outfielder, the bench players would shout at the opposition: "You ain't got no arms like those!" The Philadelphia hitters would take batting practice, and those waiting their turn at the plate would yell toward the enemy dugout: "You ain't got guys who can hit like they can!"
And Mauch, the team's ringleader, never missed a trick. In right field was a corrugated iron fence that balls bounced off at crazy angles. So, Mauch moved his bullpen from left field to right and had his spare pitchers use towels to signal the Philadelphia base coaches how balls were going to strike the fence. This enabled the Philadelphia base runners to know when to take an extra base and when to stay put.
Mauch
shaved down the pitcher's mound to help his pitchers. He schemed and plotted from the dugout, once sending up seven pinch hitters in a row, another time putting three pitchers in his starting lineup. He changed pitchers while the same batter was at the plate to get the results he wanted.
No one knew the rules better than Mauch did. When an opposing catcher reached into the Philadelphia dugout to catch a pop foul, Mauch karate-chopped his arm to knock the ball loose. An argument ensued, but Mauch prevailed. The rule book stated that a player enters the other dugout at his own risk.
Mauch
also used his fierce temper to motivate his players. In a celebrated incident in Houston late in the 1963 season, he reacted to a ninth-inning loss by knocking over the post­game buffet and throwing a pan of spare ribs across the locker room. What people overlooked was that after that outburst, the Phillies won five of their final six games to squeeze into fourth place, earning each player on the squad an additional seven hundred dollars.