Connie Mack’s ’29 Triumph

The Rise and Fall of the Philadelphia Athletics Dynasty

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About the Book

It has been said that Connie Mack managed only two kinds of teams during his half-century in the City of Brother Love—unbeatable and lousy. His teams collected nine pennants and five World Series titles, balanced by 17 last place finishes. While Mack, an enterprising businessman, had a gift for discovering talented players and molding them into a team, by the time he was well into his sixties, Philadelphians suspected that the A’s skipper had lost his ability. Mack went on to disprove all doubts, however, with a second championship dynasty in 1929 that vindicated the “Tall Tactician.”
This work chronicles the rise and fall of the 1929 Philadelphia Athletics and their six-year rivalry with the New York Yankees, 1927 to 1932. Based primarily on newspaper accounts, the book tells the story of the “Grand Old Man of Baseball”—and the 1929 A’s team that is unfairly overlooked in favor of the 1927 Yankees as baseball’s greatest all-around team. This history is packed with photographs, notes and statistical appendices, and includes a foreword by The Sporting News writer Dave Kindred.

About the Author(s)

SABR member William C. Kashatus is a professional historian at the Chester County Historical Society in West Chester, Pennsylvania. He is also a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania. A regular contributor to the Philadelphia Daily News, he is also the author of Diamonds in the Coalfields (2002), Mike Schmidt (2000) and One-Armed Wonder (1995).

Bibliographic Details

William C. Kashatus
Foreword by Dave Kindred; ; Afterword by Ted Taylor
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 224
Bibliographic Info: photos, maps, notes, bibliography, appendices, index
Copyright Date: 2005 [1999]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2165-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     v

Foreword by Dave Kindred     1

Introduction

The Legend of Connie Mack     5

Chapter One

Philadelphia in the Roaring Twenties     17

Chapter Two

Rebuilding the A’s, 1924–26     31

Chapter Three

Cobb Comes to Town, 1927     57

Chapter Four


Challenging the Yankees, 1928     79

Chapter Five


Revenge of the White Elephant, 1929     97

Chapter Six

The 1929 World Series     115

Chapter Seven

Repeating, 1930     133

Chapter Eight

Establishing a Dynasty, 1931     147

Chapter Nine

Mack the Knife, 1932–35     159

Conclusion

What Happened to the ’29 A’s     171

Afterword by Ted Taylor, President, Philadelphia Athletics Historical Society     179

Appendix A

Phildaelphia Athletics Team Statistics, 1929–31     183


Appendix B

World Series Statistics, 1929–31     187


Appendix C

Philadelphia Athletics, 1929–31, vs. New York Yankees, 1926–28: A Statistical Comparison     193

Notes     197

Selected Bibliography     209

Index     212

Book Reviews & Awards

“find out how Connie Mack’s crew can stake a rightful claim as the greatest ever”—USA Today Sports Weekly; “makes a compelling case for the proposition that Mack’s 1929 A’s were the best team of all time…fascinating historical background…dozens of black-and-white photos, extensive notes, and a great bibliography”—Booklist; “attractively produced, very well written, and will be a volume that every fan of baseball history will greatly enjoy”—Baseball Almanac; “a deeply enjoyable telling of a unique and special part of baseball history”—Nine; “a great book…how the elderly Mack challenged the mighty Ruth/Gehrig Yanks and took the pennant away from them in 1929, ’30 and ’31”—The Diamond Angle; “a thrilling…head-to-head battle for American League supremacy…. Lefty Grove, George Earnshaw, Jimmy Foxx and Al Simmons provided the arms and the bats in support of the…‘Grand Old Man of Baseball’”—Sports Collectors Digest; “provides good portraits of these A’s stars…a valuable addition to Philadelphia baseball history”—Philadelphia Inquirer; “thanks to…diligent research, the story of the Philadelphia Athletics and its peerless manager Connie Mack has been resurrected and can now astonish and delight general readers as well as baseball fans everywhere”—Pennsylvania Heritage; “impressive…fans will enjoy retracing the franchise’s origins…meticulously researched and passionately written”—Athletics; “a fine addition…sure to add fuel to the still-burning debate over what team can claim to be the best in the history of the game”—Pennsylvania Magazine of History & Biography; “reconstructs and explicates some of the more elusive aspects of the “Grand Old Man of Baseball”—Public Library Quarterly.