The Man Who Succeeded John McGraw – Sports Blog

McGraw fined me once. We were in Chicago and someone had some tickets to a show. So we went, and after the show we went backstage to say goodbye to an actor we knew. We looked at the clock and saw that it was almost curfew. We ran all the way back to the hotel and arrived two minutes late. McGraw was sitting in the lobby and saw us. The next morning the club secretary, Jim Tierney – I didn’t like him – gave me a letter. It said, “You will be fined $50.” I gave it back to him and said, “Take it and tell him to make it a hundred and I’ll go home.”

We went to St. Louis and I’m sitting on the bench during the game. At the end of the game, McGraw tells me, “Take the bat.” I stood up and stopped in front of him, knelt down and tied my shoelaces, took the bat. The pitcher came down the middle with one and I hit it out of the park. That night at the hotel, I said to Freddie Lindstrom and Travis Jackson, “Come up to my room. I have free beer. I charged it to the old man and ordered an ice bath to cool it down and charged it to him as well.

The last two years McGraw was managing the Giants, we didn’t talk to each other.

In 1932 we trained for the first time in Los Angeles. We were in good shape. Then McGraw decided we were going to go to San Francisco for the last ten days, the worst decision he’s ever made. It was the worst weather you’ve ever seen. When we left there, nobody was fit. Sufferers couldn’t throw hard. We opened in New York and lost 10 of our first 15 games and were in last place. Then McGraw got sick—well, that was enough to make him sick.

On Friday, June 3, McGraw called me and said, “I want to see you.”

I thought I was gone. I said to the others, “Bye guys.” I had no idea I could make it. I went into McGraw’s office and he said, “How would you like to be the manager of this ball club?”