Sport: Larry Says Goodbye

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At first,, no one quite believed Yankee Boss Larry MacPhail when he said he was through (TIME, Oct. 13). Not that MacPhail, tearful and waving an empty beer bottle, had not made it plain: "That's it, goddamit, that's my retirement," he roared in the first moment of the Yankees' World Series victory. Even Dan Topping and Del Webb, Larry's wealthy co-partners, were disbelieving. "He's a sentimental fellow," said Topping. "I wouldn't put too much stock in what he's saying now."

Twenty-four hours later, there was no doubt that MacPhail was out, though not, as he had first declared, "just because I wanna be." The question was settled at the Yankees' beery victory celebration at the Biltmore Hotel. MacPhail blustered in late, demanded a private room for his own party, began to celebrate with a tirade against teetotaling Dodger President Branch Rickey, whom Larry does not like. When one of MacPhail's friends defended Rickey, MacPhail punched him in the eye. His outbursts against his own partners made Topping so angry that guests had to break in to head off a brawl.

Fireworks & Hoopla. Fed up, Topping and Webb called a meeting with their lawyers then & there. It lasted all night and most of the next day. They then announced that they had bought MacPhail's one-third interest, and were now accepting his resignation as Yankee president, treasurer, director and general manager.

Raucous, rowdy Leland Stanford MacPhail, 57, had left a mark on baseball. He had been the most successful promoter and showman the game had ever known. A year after he took over as general manager of the wobbly Cincinnati Reds in 1933, he introduced night baseball to the majors, began luring droves of fans through the turnstiles with fireworks and hoopla. Moving east to Brooklyn, he masterminded the mortgaged Dodgers into their first pennant in 20 years, drew crowds of over a million four years in a row.

Nylons & Bars. He won his first—and only—world championship with the Yankees, whose purchase he engineered in 1945 at a bargain price of about $3,000,000. With fashion shows, free nylons, plushy bars and season tickets, he boosted attendance to a major-league peak of nearly 2,300,000 in 1946. MacPhail said he sold out for $2,000,000 (his ex-partners would neither confirm nor deny it), which would leave him a net profit for the three years of at least $1,000,000.

As his successor. Topping and Webb chose a man as unlike MacPhail as they could find. The Yanks' new general manager is stout, shy George Weiss, 52, originator and operator since 1932 of the Yankees' crack scouting and farm system. Under Weiss, the Yankees will probably return to their old conservative ways, which were good enough to bring the Yanks seven pennants and six world championships in a decade.

The end of the series also left the Dodgers with a managerial problem. Rowdy Leo ("The Lip") Durocher, whose suspension for a year from baseball was partly brought on by Larry MacPhail (TIME. April 21), had served his sentence. Boss Rickey had to choose between him and 62-year-old Burt Shotton, who had stepped into his place and won a pennant without kicking dust on a single umpire. Rickey had long conferences with both last week, and said nothing.

Other season's-end managerial moves:

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