(Born December 22, 1862) -- The story of Connie Mack’s remarkable baseball life comes with something of a twist, and it happened right here in Buffalo.
Cornelius McGillicuddy was born in Massachusetts during the Civil War, and worked his way to the roster of the Washington Nationals in 1886. After the 1889 season, he plunked down his life savings ($500) on a new venture called the Players League ... which had a team in Buffalo.
Mack was the starting catcher on the 1890 team, hitting .266. However, the league lost its war with the rival National League, and Mack lost his money. He joined the Pirates in 1891, and eventually became the manager of that team too.
Mack worked in Milwaukee for a few years, and then took over the Philadelphia Athletics as manager and eventually owner of the Philadelphia Athletics of the new American League in 1901. He stayed in that managing role for an amazing 50 seasons. Mack won 3,582 games in that span. Naturally, he never fired himself.
Mack relied on baseball income for his income, so he had good stretches (five titles) and bad stretches in that span. After coming close to bankruptcy, the Athletics were sold to Kansas City interests in 1954. Mack died in 1956 at the age of 93.
--- Budd Bailey