Hardball Times: How Old Is Jack McKeon, Really?

JUPITER, FL - FILE: Manager Jack McKeon of the Florida Marlins poses during the Florida Marlins Portrait Day.

Chris Jaffe, one of The Hardball Times' resident historians, has come up with a fantastic piece that really puts Jack McKeon's now-continuing career into some perspective. Just a snippet (and you really should RTFA) ...

McKeon was Rickey Henderson's first manager. Henderson, you might recall, is a member of the 3,000 hit club who played in four decades - and left MLB eight years ago.

McKeon was George Brett's first manager. Brett retired 18 years ago after a 21-year career. Bill James once criticized McKeon for not giving a Brett a chance earlier than he did to play in the majors. Somehow McKeon has managed more games since Brett's retirement than during his career.

McKeon managed Harmon Killebrew, who died earlier this year. McKeon managed Lindy McDaniel and Vada Pinson. McKeon was the last manager Orlando Cepeda ever had.

It's been 38 years since McKeon first managed a major league game. Once he fills out his first lineup card of 2011, McKeon will have managed under eight presidential administrations. You want a complete list of others who still worked as a manager 38 years after their debut? OK, here it is: Connie Mack.

Even this (slightly) understates the story. It's been 38 years since McKeon's first game as a major-league manager ... But he first managed in 1956, when (almost) everyone liked Ike. That's right: 55 years ago, McKeon served as player-manager with the Pioneer League's Missoula Timberjacks.

At the risk of excessive morbidness, I will point out that many of the players who McKeon managed in the minors -- he managed the Timberjacks through 1958, and the Fox Cities Foxes in '59 -- have already passed from this Earthly Sphere.

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