Baltimore Orioles: The passing of Lee MacPhail


One thing upon which we haven’t yet touched is the passing of former Orioles executive Lee MacPhail last week. MacPhail became the Baltimore Orioles’ General Manager in 1959, and he served as the club’s President from 1960-1965. He was the man behind the 1965 trade that sent Milt Pappas, Dick Simpson, and Jack Baldshun to Cincinnatti in exchange for Frank Robinson. MacPhail of course had previously worked in the Brooklyn Dodgers organization under his father, and he moved to the cross-town New York Yankees when his Dad purchased a piece of the team. MacPhail would go on to return to the Yankees in the GM’s role after leaving the Orioles.

Courtesy of the NY Daily News

The MacPhail family of course is to baseball executives what the Bush or Kennedy families are to American politics. Lee’s father, Larry MacPhail, worked with the Brooklyn Dodgers (as is stated above), and of course the tradition goes all the way down to Larry’s grandson, Andy, who most recently held his father’s old position as the GM of the O’s. (Lee) MacPhail was also the President of the American League until 1984, and is credited with expanding the DH into the American League.

On behalf of Birds Watcher and the Fansided Network, I wish to extend my condolences to the MacPhail family, especially Andy MacPhail. Last season Andy MacPhail was offered the chance to stay with the Orioles, however he turned that down to spend more time with his Dad. And now we can see that was with good reason. I hope that Andy and his family are able to mourn Lee’s passing and begin their healing processes as soon as is humanely possible. But they should also know that the game of baseball, along with several different franchises (including the Orioles) are better of as a result of his fingers being on their strings.