Share this article

print logo

This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History; Joe McCarthy -- April 21, 1887

It would take a much longer space than this to describe all of the accomplishments of Joe McCarthy. But it boils down to the fact that he's clearly one of the greatest managers in the history of major league baseball.

McCarthy was born in Philadelphia and was one of the rare pro baseball players of his time to attend college for two years -- in this case, Niagara University. Needing money, McCarthy left school and played in the minors during a 15-year career, including a stint with the Bisons.

Before retiring from playing, he tried his hand at managing in Louisville, where he won a couple of American Association pennants. That got the attention of the Cubs, who hired him in 1926 and watched him win the 1929 National League pennant. McCarthy was fired by the Cubs in 1930, only to land the same job with the Yankees in 1931.

There McCarthy guided the Yankees to five World Series titles, including four in a row (1936 to 1939). He won three more pennants in the 1940s.

From there it was on to Boston in 1948, where he became known as Ted Williams' favorite manager. McCarthy came close a couple of times but couldn't win a pennant with the Red Sox in two plus years there before retiring in 1950.

McCarthy spent the final years of his life at his farm in Tonawanda. He died here in 1978, and is buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Tonawanda.

-- Budd Bailey

Sports Ink blog at