If a pitcher can't win for Bill McKechnie, he can't win for anybody.
- Pitcher Paul Derringer on 'Deacon' McKechnie, who molded the 1939 and '40 Reds pitching staffs into the best in the National League
Bill McKechnie was born in 1886 in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, and he managed the Reds from 1938-1946. In his first season, the Reds finished in fourth place and only six games behind the Cubs -- no small feat considering that the closest the Reds had come to first in the NL in the eleven seasons prior to his arrival was sixteen games (1928). In his second season, the Reds were second to no one in the National League. They won the pennant, but fell to the Yankees in the World Series. In 1940, everything came together for McKechnie and the Reds. They steamrolled through the NL, and captured the pennant by twelve games. The club then ousted Detroit in a seven-game World Series, winning the deciding game at Crosley Field.
McKechnie was a quiet man, sang in his church choir, and did not smoke, drink, or use profanity. Because of this, McKechnie was nicknamed "The Deacon," and he amassed a then-record 744 wins as Reds manager (Sparky Anderson would later tally 863). He was the first manager in history to win the World Series with two different teams (the first came with the Pirates in 1925), and he is one of only two managers to win pennants with three teams (St. Louis Cardinals in 1928). Bill McKechnie was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, and he was inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in 1967.