The Little General: Gene Mauch A Baseball Life
Gene Mauch’s five decades in baseball as player and manager stands as a testament to perseverance. From the minor leagues, the Pacific Coast League, and Major League Baseball Gene Mauch’s career has had more than his share of ups and downs. Known as an intense competitor and brilliant strategist he presided over 1,902 Major League victories. As one of the twelve managers with more than 1900 wins only Gene Mauch is not in the Hall of Fame.
Mauch had a reputation for taunting opposing teams and was frequently involved in fiery exchanges with umpires and players. His bombastic personality, brilliant baseball mind, and loyalty to his players earned him the moniker of the Little General.
“If you had the best club, you had a chance to beat him; if he had the best club, you had no chance; if the clubs were even, he had the advantage. I managed against him for a long time. I always had the better teams. (Gene) Mauch wasn’t aloof (a common accusation), he was only intense.”
– Sparky Anderson
Gene Mauch played major league baseball in Brooklyn, St. Louis, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Boston where over a period of thirteen years he spent parts of nine seasons playing in just 240 games. During that same period he played in 1,061 in the minors including three years in the Pacific Coast League.
He is best known for his years as a manager of big league clubs in Philadelphia, Montreal, Minnesota, and Anaheim. During this period from 1960 through 1987 Gene Mauch amassed 1,902 victories against 2,037 losses. Some remember Mauch for the collapse of 1964 Phillies, but to this day only one Phillies manager has more wins. Others might recall his Angels teams’ misfortune in the 1982 and again 1985 playoffs, but to this day no Angels’ manager in team history with more than 30 games coached has a better winning percentage.
Controversial, brilliant, and intense Gene Mauch’s career in baseball and contribution to the game is something every baseball fan can appreciate.
Mel Proctor has more than three decades of professional baseball broadcast experience calling play-by-play for the Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles, Washington Nationals, and San Diego Padres. He has conducted more than 2,000 sports interviews over his career and is the author of I Love the Work, but I Hate the Business. Currently operates Mel Proctor Sports Media where he coaches college and pro athletes, executives, and coaches about the different types of media and develops their skill set and game plan to effectively communicate with the media.