Clark Griffith

The Old Fox of Washington Baseball


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About the Book

Famed Washington sportswriter Shirley Povich once said that Clark Griffith’s life was a true Horatio Alger story. Born in a frontier log cabin in Missouri in 1869, Griffith enjoyed a successful 64-year career in baseball that ended with his death in 1955. He spent 20 seasons as a major league pitcher, another 20 seasons as a manager—including five as the first manager of the New York Yankees—and 35 years as owner of the Washington Senators, where he won three American League pennants and the 1924 World Series. One of the game’s greatest ambassadors, Griffith made his lasting mark as a labor leader and as one of the founders of the American League in 1901. This biography chronicles the Old Fox’s long life in baseball, revealing in the process a vast trove of sporting history and illuminating the changing landscape of both baseball and American culture.

About the Author(s)

Ted Leavengood is managing editor of and a regular contributor to He is the co-host of “Outta the Parkway,” which airs weekly on Blogtalk Radio as part of the Seamheads Podcast Network, and he is the author of two other books on Washington baseball history.

Bibliographic Details

Ted Leavengood
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 321
Bibliographic Info: 11 photos, tables, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6386-2
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8626-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

1. From Jesse James to Hoss Radbourn      7

2. Playing for Cap Anson’s Chicago Colts      18

3. Radical Beginnings of the American League      32

4. American League Champions      44

5. Playing Off Broadway      58

6. Second Fiddle to Muggsy McGraw      69

7. Losing Ground      78

8. Clark Griffith Comes to Washington      89

9. A Minor Chord      102

10. This Is My Home      112

11. Putting the Pieces Together      123

12. When It Became Griffith Stadium      138

13. Griffith’s Folly      145

14. Finally, a Championship Match Against John McGraw      161

15. All the Eggs, One Elegant Basket      175

16. The Big Train in the Big Rain      186

17. While the Hunting Is Still Good      202

18. Shopping a New Market for Talent      217

19. Last Hurrah      227

20. Finding the Road Tilts Upward      243

21. The War Years      258

22. Clark Griffith and the Homestead Grays      265

23. Peace      273

Epilogue      286

Appendix I: Career Player Stats      291

Appendix II: Career Managerial Record      292

Notes      293

Bibliography      303

Index      307

Book Reviews & Awards

“well researched biography”—Baseball America.