Past Time: Baseball as History

By Jules Tygiel | Go to book overview

Incarnations of Success

Charles Comiskey, Connie Mack,
John McGraw, and Clark Griffith

Few Americans in the early I9I0s were more renowned or celebrated than a quartet of former baseball players who had come to symbolize not only the national pastime but also the contours of the American dream. Charles Comiskey, Connie Mack, and Clark Griffith, each an owner of an American League franchise, and John McGraw, who had left the ownership ranks for the more financially rewarding position of manager of the New York Giants, epitomized the promise of the nation. Sons of immigrants or dirt-poor southern farm folk, they now reigned as men of substantial prestige and wealth. Skilled baseball players who had achieved stardom on the field and played prominent roles in player rebellions against owner exploitation, they had risen through the ranks and become first managers and then owners. Each had played a key role in the ambitious creation of the American League in I90I, and each had reaped handsome rewards for his foresight. By I9I3 Comiskey, Mack, and Griffith proudly bore the lofty mantle of "magnate," the pretentious designation by which major league owners identified themselves. McGraw reigned as the highest sal

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