In a baseball career that spanned five decades, Mr. MacPhail held virtually every baseball executive position except commissioner. He and his father, Larry, are the only father and son in the Baseball Hall of Fame, and the MacPhail family now extends to four generations of baseball men.
Leland Stanford MacPhail Jr. was born Oct. 25, 1917, in Nashville. He graduated from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, where he played baseball and football. In 1941 he became the business manager of the Dodgers’ Interstate League farm team in Reading, Pa., while his father was bringing a pennant to Brooklyn for the first time in 21 years as the Dodgers’ general manager.
Mr. MacPhail left the Yankees to become general manager of the Orioles in 1959. He developed a farm system in Baltimore that produced the Hall of Famer Jim Palmer, and he engineered the trade that brought the Hall of Fame slugger Frank Robinson from the Reds after the 1965 season.
He returned to the Yankees in October 1966 as their general manager. Mr. MacPhail became the A.L. president in 1974 with the retirement of Joe Cronin and served two five-year terms.
Mr. MacPhail is survived by three sons from his marriage to the former Jane Hamilton, who died in 1972: Bruce, Allen and Andy. Andy MacPhail was the Orioles’ president for baseball operations, the general manager of the Minnesota Twins when they won the World Series in 1987 and 1991, and president of the Chicago Cubs.
Mr. MacPhail is also survived by grandchildren and great-grandchildren. One grandson is Lee MacPhail IV, the Orioles’ director of professional scouting, representing a fourth generation of MacPhails in baseball.
Mr. MacPhail’s brother, Bill, who died in 1996, was a pioneering television sports executive. A son, Lee MacPhail III, was the general manager of the minor league Reading Phillies when he was killed in an automobile accident in 1969. Mr. MacPhail’s second wife, the former Gwen Dayton, whom he married in 1974, died in 2002.
Elected a director in 1974, Leland S. MacPhail was also elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998. A front office executive for 45 years, he gained widespread respect and admiration for his work with the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles, and for his years as President of the American League. MacPhail is a member of the Board's Development Committee.more » « less