McGraw began a playing career with the Baltimore Orioles of the American Association in 1891, moving to the National League the following season. McGraw was one of the games best players in the late nineteenth century. Although some of his stats may seem inflated due to it being a livley ball era, McGraw hit over .300 for nine straight seasons including a .391 average in 1899. He would lead the league in on base % twice, walks & runs scored twice.
In 1897 at the height of his playing fame, he married his first wife Minnie Doyle, daughter of a big time Baltimore Politician. Sadly she passed away at age 23 after complications from an appendectomy. In 1899 he became a player/ manager with the Orioles, & then went to play in St. Louis for one season. He returned to Baltimore in 1901-1902 before moving on to join the New York Giants in 1902, taking many of his players with him. That year he married Blanche Sindall whom would outlive McGraw by almost thirty years.
He would win 106 games and the National League title in 1904 but refused to acknowledge the newly formed American League so there was no World Series. The next season his Giants finished first again & this time played Connie Mack & the Philadelphia Athletics in the World Series, beating them in five games. Three more second places would follow over the next five years including finishing just one game back of the Chicago Cubs in 1908. This was the famous season where rookie Fred Merkle’s base running blunder occurred.
|McGraw with Connie Mack|
McGraw would manage until 1932 being replaced by Hall of Famer Bill Terry. The 1924 World Series would be McGraw’s last, and he would finish in second place three more times before walking away from the game. McGraw would manage in 4769 career games winning 2763 while losing 1790, good enough for a .586%.
He won ten National League Pennants & three Word Series titles. McGraw had four 100 plus win seasons, and would finish in second place eleven other times. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1937.
McGraw loved to bait umpires & certainly had his battles with them on the field. McGraw was ejected 131 times in his career, second to only Bobby Cox who beat out McGraw in 2007.