Cover image for The man in the dugout : baseball's top managers and how they got that way
The man in the dugout : baseball's top managers and how they got that way
Koppett, Leonard.
Personal Author:
Expanded edition.
Publication Information:
Philadelphia : Temple University Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
xiv, 352 pages ; 26 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Antecedents -- John McGraw -- Connie Mack -- Branch Rickey -- Miller Huggins -- Joe McCarthy -- Bill McKechnie -- Casey Stengel -- Leo Durocher -- Al Lopez -- Frank Frisch -- Paul Richards -- Loose ends -- Walter Alston -- Ralph Houk -- Alvin Dark -- Billy Martin -- Dick Williams -- Earl Weaver -- Sparky Anderson -- Tommy Lasorda -- Rest of the story -- Looking ahead.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV865.A1 K67 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Baseball fans love to second-guess managers' strategies and speculate about their styles of managing, and Leonard Koppett is no exception. Koppett brings 52 years as a working baseball writer to his understanding of these men in the dugout.His analysis is based on personal interaction with all of the managers active since 1950 and their descriptions and judgments of the generation of men who preceded them. Every manager inherits his method from some influential manager he played for. Three seminal figures -- John McGraw, Connie Mack, and Branch Rickey -- form the trunk of a genealogical tree whose branches have eventually intertwined, but whose key characteristics remain identifiable nearly a century later in the style of current headliners like Joe Torre, Jim Leyland, Tony LaRussa, Dusty Baker, and Bobby Cox.This highly acclaimed study, first published in 1993, has been updated to the year 2000 and now includes some recent winning managers and completes the careers of others.

Author Notes

Leonard Koppett has been writing about baseball since the 1940s for the New York City newspapers, the San Francisco Bay Area newspapers, and The Sporting News. He is author of half a dozen baseball books He is the winner of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award from the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Koppett is the only sportswriter named to the writers' wing of both baseball and basketball Halls of Fame

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

In analyzing how the role of the manager has evolved throughout the history of baseball, Koppett argues that the position was really defined by three men: John McGraw, Branch Rickey, and Connie Mack. He then follows the "family tree" of their followers, showing how the ideas of the three "fathers" were passed down, refined, and modified through the years. In the process, Koppett offers anecdotal minibiographies of more than 20 managers (Stengel, Durocher, Alston, and Weaver, among them), exploring their influences, experiences, and contributions. While the biographies are both entertaining and informative, the book suffers from a split personality. Apparently unsure of his intended audience, Koppett will sometimes define a term that is so elementary as to be understandable even to casual fans but then will refer to events without explaining their context, expecting the reader to know the story already. Still, the book will interest anyone who enjoys baseball history. (Reviewed Feb 15, 1993)0517585456W. Scott Wilkens

Publisher's Weekly Review

The theory espoused by Koppett, a former New York Times sports columnist, is that all modern managers are descended from three seminal figures: John McGraw, who established the principle that the manager is the unquestioned boss of his team; Branch Rickey, who organized the teaching fundamentals; and Connie Mack, whose concentration on finding talented players enabled him to build two dynasties decades apart. Koppett's genealogy, for example, traces the influence of McGraw through Frankie Frisch and Leo Durocher to Bill Rigney. This otherwise splendid and original book overemphasizes New York managers, however. Among the 19 in-depth portraits, 11 are of men who led the Yankees, Giants, Dodgers or Mets. Photos not seen by PW. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

In December 1992, Koppett was selected for the writer's wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame, in recognition of over 40 years of high-quality baseball writing for the Sporting News , the New York Times , and many other publications. He is also an entertaining and insightful author best known for A Thinking Man's Guide to Baseball ( LJ 8/67). This book provides an anecdotal analysis of the various qualities of the most successful and influential managers of this century. Koppett examines their backgrounds, skills, and weaknesses, and then traces their lineage to three seminal figures: John McGraw, Connie Mack, and Branch Rickey. An appendix lists the managers for teams that finished in first place since 1960, along with the managerial lines to which they belong. This title will be an excellent addition to any sports collection.-- John Maxymuk, Rutgers Univ. Lib., Camden, N.J. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Award-winning sports journalist Leonard Koppett's long fascination with "the national pastime" is well chronicled in his Concise History of Major League Baseball (CH, Apr'99). This "expanded edition" of an earlier work (1993) offers a selected view into the men who inhabit the dugout--the managers of major league baseball. Koppett focuses on managers whom he identifies as being both successful and influential in the sport. The text is divided into four distinct time periods, characterized as the creators, developers, descendants, and moderns. The birth of the profession and its evolution are addressed and followed by individual case profiles or sketches of managers ranging from McGraw to Mack and from Durocher to Lasorda. Koppett's managerial analysis is based on five decades of personal interaction with all active baseball managers since 1950; it includes descriptions and judgments of the men and their personalized networks. The manuscript is informative, anecdotal, and recommended to all baseball enthusiasts, as well as to students interested in sports studies. M. L. Krotee; University of Minnesota

Table of Contents

Preface to the Expanded Editionp. ix
Introductionp. xi
Part I The Creators
1. The Antecedentsp. 3
2. John McGrawp. 23
3. Connie Mackp. 53
4. Branch Rickeyp. 67
Part II The Developers
5. Miller Hugginsp. 83
6. Joe McCarthyp. 93
7. Bill McKechniep. 103
8. Casey Stengelp. 109
Part III The Descendants
9. Leo Durocherp. 129
10. Al Lopezp. 141
11. Frank Frischp. 147
12. Paul Richardsp. 155
13. Loose Endsp. 165
Part IV The Moderns
14. Walter Alstonp. 177
15. Ralph Houkp. 189
16. Alvin Darkp. 201
17. Billy Martinp. 219
18. Dick Williamsp. 235
19. Earl Weaverp. 249
20. Sparky Andersonp. 257
21. Tommy Lasordap. 265
22. The Rest of the Storyp. 277
23. Looking Aheadp. 327
A Final Wordp. 331
Appendixp. 333
Indexp. 337