Thursday, July 15, 2010

Will the Real Joe McCarthy Please Stand Up

If you are a fan of talk radio and the passionate political media wars between right and left wing political pundits, you know that Joe McCarthy is a hot topic these days. But the pundits are ranting and raving about Joe McCarthy the Senator from Wisconsin who made headlines in the 1950s for his highly publicized attacks on all things communist. Unfortunately, the debate has overheated the media and the Internet to the point where our favorite Joe McCarthy, the legendary Major League Baseball manager who is father to the 10 Commandments of Baseball, has been silenced by the sound and fury of politics. So for those who are unaware, let us introduce you to another Joe McCarthy whose commandments are central to J. D. Thorne's great book The 10 Commandments of Baseball: An Affectionate Look at Joe McCarthy's Principles for Success in Baseball and Life --available at

Baseball's Joe McCarthy as Described by J. D. Thorne in The 10 Commandments of Baseball

Elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1957, Joe McCarthy never played a day of major league baseball. However, he went on to manage seven World Series Championship teams. This is a record equaled by only one other manager: Casey Stengel. McCarthy’s winning percentage as a manager is the best of all time: .614. For the New York Yankees alone, McCarthy managed the team to 1,460 victories, playing 154 game regular seasons in an eight-team league. To put this achievement in perspective, Joe Torre’s record as Yankee skipper is second best to McCarthy at 1,173 regular season games. McCarthy’s record was secured for the foreseeable future once Torre moved on to manage the Los Angeles Dodgers.

McCarthy managed many great players, including National Baseball Hall of Fame stars Rogers Hornsby, Hack Wilson, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, and Ted Williams. From 1926 to 1930, he managed the Chicago Cubs, taking them from last place in 1925 to the National League Pennant in 1929. Unfortunately for McCarthy, the Cubs lost in the World Series against what some observers believe was the finest team ever assembled: the Philadelphia Athletics of Connie Mack.

McCarthy had turned the Cubs around and made the team a contender. In 1931 he was selected as manager of the New York Yankees. He managed for a 15-year stretch with the Yankees until 1946, when the owners considered him too “traditional” for the post war era. In 1948, he was hired to manage the Boston Red Sox, the last of the three storied franchises for which he worked. McCarthy retired during the 1950 season.

Many experts consider Joe McCarthy to be the best manager of all time. His record speaks for itself, although he meant more to the game than wins and losses. McCarthy was skilled at handling top talent and considered an excellent teacher by those who knew the game. Joe DiMaggio is quoted as saying, “Never a day went by when you didn’t learn something from Joe McCarthy.”

So that's our guy, Joe McCarthy. Not the Senator and if you are interested in reading more about McCarthy who wrote baseball commandments, we've got a great book for you that provides a little history on the great manager and the great game -- and then looks at each of the baseball commandments illustrating them with brief stories from America's game (no commies here - oh sorry let's not go there).

The 10 Commandments of Baseball is perfect for an airplane trip, a couple hours in the sun on vacation, or just a nice afternoon on the deck. Get away from all the politics of the day! Please.

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