John McGraw, second all-time winningest baseball manager, is born

On April 7, 1873, John McGraw, one of the winningest managers in Major League Baseball history, is born in Truxton, New York. McGraw’s career total of 2,763 wins ranks second only to Connie Mack.

McGraw played for St. Bonaventure University and in 1891 joined the Baltimore Orioles, where he spent the majority of his 16-season major league playing career. He developed a reputation as a talented batter and star third baseman, while also becoming known for his aggressive, arrogant personality. McGraw ended his days as a player with the New York Giants in 1906. His career stats included 1,024 runs, 1,309 home runs, 462 RBI, a .334 batting average and a .466 on base percentage. His career on base percentage is the third all-time highest, after Ted Williams (.482) and Babe Ruth (.474).

McGraw is best known, however, for his accomplishments as a manager. In 1902, while still a player, he became manager of the New York Giants, a position he held until 1932. During those years, his teams won 10 pennants, came in second place 11 times and won three World Series championships. The Giants claimed the pennant each year from 1921 to 1924, making McGraw the only National League manager to take home the title four seasons in a row.

McGraw had a keen understanding of baseball and was instrumental in developing such plays as the hit-and-run, the squeeze play and the Baltimore chop. His domineering, abrasive style earned him the nickname “Little Napoleon” and he is second only to Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox in total ejections, with 131 (some of which came while he was a player). He finished his career as a manager with 2,763 wins and 1,948 losses. Connie Mack, manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates (1894-1896) and Philadelphia Athletics (1901-1950) had 3,731 wins.

McGraw died at age 60 on February 25, 1934, and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1937.


Tito is made president for life

On April 7, 1963, a new Yugoslav constitution proclaims Tito the president for life of the newly named Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Formerly known as Josip Broz, Tito was born to a large peasant family in Croatia in 1892. At that time, Croatia was part of the more

Hammarskjold elected U.N. head

By a vote of 57 to 1, Dag Hammarskjold is elected secretary-general of the United Nations. The son of Hjalmar Hammarskjold, a former prime minister of Sweden, Dag joined Sweden’s foreign ministry in 1947, and in 1951 formally entered the cabinet as deputy foreign minister. The more

Civil war erupts in Rwanda

On this day in 1994, Rwandan armed forces kill 10 Belgian peacekeeping officers in a successful effort to discourage international intervention in the genocide that had begun only hours earlier. In approximately three months, the Hutu extremists who controlled Rwanda brutally more

Italy invades Albania

On this day in 1939, in an effort to mimic Hitler’s conquest of Prague, Benito Mussolini’s troops, though badly organized, invade and occupy Albania. Although the invasion of Albania was intended as but a prelude to greater conquests in the Balkans, it proved a costly enterprise more

Lewis and Clark depart Fort Mandan

After a long winter, the Lewis and Clark expedition departs its camp among the Mandan Indians and resumes its journey West along the Missouri River. The Corps of Discovery had begun its voyage the previous spring, and it arrived at the large Mandan and Minnetaree villages along more

The Rwandan genocide

Rwandan armed forces kill 10 Belgian peacekeeping officers in a successful effort to discourage international intervention in their genocide that had begun only hours earlier. In less than three months, Hutu extremists who controlled Rwanda murdered an estimated 800,000 innocent more

Battle of Shiloh concludes

Two days of heavy fighting conclude near Pittsburgh Landing in western Tennessee. The Battle of Shiloh became a Union victory after the Confederate attack stalled on April 6, and fresh Yankee troops drove the Confederates from the field on April 7. Shiloh began when Union General more

Auto pioneer Henry Ford dies

On this day in 1947, Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motor Company, which developed the first affordable, mass-produced car–the Model T–and also helped pioneer assembly-line manufacturing, dies at his estate in Dearborn, Michigan, at the age of 83. Ford was born July 30, 1863, on more