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Sunday, June 8, 2014

This Day in Baseball History (June 8, 1961) - MacPhail's Reds Fly

'The Reds becomes the first team to travel in an airplane when Cincinnati GM Larry MacPhail flies 19 of his players to Chicago for a series against the Cubs. In 1946, New York will be the first team to fly on a regular basis, using a chartered a Douglas DC-4, that will become known as the 'Yankee Mainliner'.'

Larry MacPhail was a great baseball innovator. Along with introducing air travel (which opened America up to expansion), he brought night baseball to the major leagues (also in Cincy). He also began broadcasting Dodger games on radio, breaking a pre-existing agreement with the Giants and Yankees to not do so, fearing people would stop coming to the ballpark.

Initially a lawyer here in Columbus, OH who became owner and President of the AAA Red Birds, MacPhail went from Cincinnati to Brooklyn and converted the pathetic Daffiness Boys into a World Series squad.

MacPhail is (rightfully) in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Hall of Fame announcer Red Barber's book, "1947: When All Hell Broke Loose in Baseball" is primarily about the relationship (and feud) between MacPhail and Branch Rickey during Jackie Robinson's rookie season. Here's my review of that one.

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