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Larry MacPhail Sr.

Profiles of Valor

Leland Stanford “Larry” MacPhail Sr., born on February 3, 1890 and father to Hall of Famer Lee MacPhail, was a colonelin the army and had a long baseball career.

 

He was commissioned in United States Army in 1917 close to the beginning of WWI and rejoined to help during WWII.In WWI, he was an artillery captain in France and Belgium. He participated in a mission towards the end of the war to kidnap the former German emperor, risking his life and almost getting imprisoned. In WWII, he served and completed public relations work for the War Department.

 

In 1934, MacPhail was hired to be the general manager of the struggling Cincinnati Reds. He brought a sense ofinnovation to Cincinnati, establishing them as the first baseball team to fly in an airplane to their games. He worked thereuntil 1937 when he left to work as banker before being asked by the Brooklyn Trust Company to bail out the Dodgers. With the Dodgers, he introduced regular radio broadcasts and hired Red Barber as the team’s play-by-play announcer. Healso invested in the development of protective batting helmets after a Dodgers’ outfielder was struck in the head. Hewitnessed the Dodgers win a pennant and served as their president until 1942, when he reenlisted to join the fight in WWII.

 

Following World War II, MacPhail served as the President, Co-Owner, and General Manager of the New York Yankees. With a long list of achievements throughout his military and baseball career, one of the most notable memories was a swap that never happened. While drinking with the Boston Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey, the two of them decided to swap Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams, however after sobering up they decided against the move. He even helped the Yankees to their 1947 World Series title.

 

He is part of the only father-son duo to be inducted into the Hall of Fame; his acceptance into the Hall of Fame came in1978. Larry MacPhail is recognized for his commitment and service to his country and his innovation in the world of baseball.