NY Yankees: The five best Yankee managers of all-time

Manager Billy Martin #1 of the New York Yankees - (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Manager Billy Martin #1 of the New York Yankees - (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /
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Joe McCarthy, manager of the New York Yankees – (Photo Mark Rucker/Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images) /

New York Yankee all-time greatest managers – No.1: Joe McCarthy

Joe McCarthy was a predecessor to Stengel who adeptly managed the Yankees from 1931 through 1945 and part of 1946. Like Stengel, McCarthy had seven World Series wins, with four in succession between 1936 and 1939. He also won eight pennants, two less than Stengel.

However, he won an amazing 1,460 games and lost only 867 games, for a record-setting .627 winning percentage, as the Yankee skipper. He also managed four more seasons than Stengel, which speaks volumes about his unbelievable success and staying power as a manager, and the consistently superior job he performed in that role.

In 1936 McCarthy’s bombers began a run in which they won seven of eight pennants. During that time his teams thrashed the AL second-place clubs by a double-digit margin and dominated the AL.

He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1957. A plaque in his honor was included in Monument Park by the Yanks in 1976.

McCarthy was regarded as an excellent teacher and was revered for his ability to develop talent. He was especially skilled at handling temperamental players such as Babe Ruth, who had wanted to become New York’s manager and who opposed the decision to hire an “outsider” to manage the club.

McCarthy utilized a low-key, gentleman’s approach to managing, never going to the mound to remove a pitcher or arguing with an umpire except when specific rules were at issue. Instead, he preferred to remain in his seat in the middle of the dugout bench.

For these and other reasons, the media referred to him as, “Master Joe.” Based on his spectacular accomplishments and his ability to consistently guide his players and teams to greatness, I place McCarthy ahead of Stengel as the best skipper the Bombers ever had in their history.

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The Yanks have been extremely fortunate to have had many superb managers throughout their history, especially the likes of Martin, Huggins, Torre, Stengel, and McCarthy. While it is true that the organization has also been lucky to have many of the greatest players who have ever played the game on its teams, it was the managers who set the table and effectively guided the Yanks to dominance over time.