6/23/11 – HOW OLD is McKeon?

Of all the so-called important jobs in professional team sports, I’ve often said a Major League Baseball manager is the least important. Do we need further proof than the Florida Marlins hiring 80-year-old Jack McKeon as their interim manager?

This isn’t about age discrimination. I’m no spring chicken myself. And this isn’t a knock against McKeon. In fact, I’ve known McKeon since 1959 when he was a spry 28-year-old manager of the Wilson Tobs of the old Class A Carolina League. I was reintroduced to McKeon in 1968 when I worked for the High Point (N.C.) Enterprise and McKeon managed the local pro team.

McKeon is a good baseball man but he’d been pretty much out of the game for several years. In fact, the Marlins had to call him away from his North Carolina mountain home. The fact that I think he’ll do fine managing the Marlins makes my case how unimportant big league managers are. McKeon is the kind of guy just about everybody likes, and that’s the most important asset for a Major League manager.

I rest my case.



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