Lee MacPhail, Executive
Leland Stanford MacPhail, Jr. (October 25, 1917 – November 8, 2012) was an American front-office executive in Major League Baseball. MacPhail was a baseball executive for 45 years, serving as the director of player personnel for the New York Yankees, the president and general manager of the Baltimore Orioles, chief aide to Commissioner of Baseball William Eckert, executive vice president and general manager of the Yankees, and president of the American League.
Lee MacPhail graduated from Swarthmore College and entered baseball in his father’s Brooklyn Dodger organization, served in the United States Navy during World War II, then joined the Yankees when Larry MacPhail became a co-owner of the team in 1945.
From New York Times Obituary:
Lee MacPhail, a former president of the American League, a general manager of the Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles, and the oldest member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, died on Thursday night at his home in Delray Beach, Fla. He was 95.
The Hall of Fame, in Cooperstown, N.Y., announced the death.
In a baseball career that spanned five decades, Mr. MacPhail held virtually every baseball executive position except commissioner. He and his father, Larry, are the only father-and-son pair in the Baseball Hall of Fame, and the MacPhail family now includes four generations of baseball men.
Lee MacPhail was a calm presence, a conciliator, in contrast with Larry MacPhail, a combative executive who introduced night baseball to the major leagues in 1935 when he ran the Cincinnati Reds and later moved on to the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Yankees.
After the 1942 season, MacPhail was accepted into the Navy V7 officer’s program. He encountered some difficulties with his physical (a racing pulse), which delayed his entrance for more than a year. During the interval he worked as a math teacher and coach at the Deerfield Academy, a prep school in Massachusetts. He was finally sworn in to the Navy on May 25, 1944, and spent most of the next two years on the USS Turner, a radar picket ship that did not see combat. He returned home in April 1946.
By this time Larry MacPhail was running the Yankees, and when Lee was discharged his father had a job waiting for him to run the Kansas City Blues of the American Association, one of the Yankees’ top farm clubs. Lee spent three years in Kansas City, winning the league pennant in 1947.