Dennis Joseph Mack
born Dennis Joseph McGee
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 7", Weight 164 lb.
- School Villanova University
- Debut May 6, 1871
- Final Game September 27, 1883
- Born March 14 1850 in Mauch Chunk, PA USA
- Died April 10, 1888 in Wilkes-Barre, PA USA
Denny Mack was a first baseman and shortstop in the National Association, National League, and American Association. He played in all three leagues in their initial seasons, and managed the 1882 Louisville Eclipse to a 42-38 record in their initial year. He was also an umpire.
He also pitched 13 innings, and while he is listed as giving up only 5 earned runs, he is credited with 25 unearned runs.
He was the first major league player from Villanova University, attending there from 1867 to 1870. As a 20-year-old in 1871, he played in the same infield for the Rockford Forest Citys as 19-year-old Cap Anson. In 1872, he and Anson both moved over to the Philadelphia Athletics.
In 1885, he managed the Lancaster Lancasters for part of the season.
He was supposedly involved in a conspiracy to throw a game in 1874, one that got John Radcliff expelled from the team. (www.baseballlibrary.com/baseballlibrary/chronology/1874Year.stm) However, Mack continued to play and manage for years after that, and Radcliff played in 1875.
A newspaper archive shows Mack as playing for an Indianapolis team in March 1876, perhaps a barnstorming team. Against a Dallas team, Mack and The Only Nolan pulled off a trick where Mack at shortstop scooped up a hit ball along with a dirt clod and threw the dirt to Nolan, while pocketing the ball. Then, when the runner on second was moving to third, Mack tagged him out. (freepages.history.rootsweb.com/~jwheat/sports.html) Since the newspaper article is dated 1886, one probably has to take the memory of the writer with a grain of salt.
He worked a number of games as an umpire beginning in the National Association in 1873. In 1875, he worked 23 games, making him one of the busiest arbiters in the circuit. He then worked 6 games in the American Association in 1886.
He died in 1888, around the age of 37 as a result of injuries he suffered after falling at his home.