Gerald Robert MacKay
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 165 lb.
MacKay played for the Brandon Greys in the Man-Dak League from 1949-1951 then was signed by the Chicago Cubs. He split 1952 between the Sioux Falls Canaries (.347/.451/.477 in 60 G) and Visalia Cubs (.291/.397/.350, 26 R in 28 G). The outfielder would have led the Northern League in average had he qualified; the winner was future major leaguer Joe Caffie (.342) while second was future Hall-of-Famer Hank Aaron (.336). He spent most of 1953 with Sioux Falls, hitting .335/.445/.506 while also playing six games for Visalia. He was 5th in the Northern League in average (between Ray Maurer and Bob Hale), in the top 5 in slugging, drew 89 walks, scored 115 runs, stole 21 bases and drove in 80. He was 6th in runs, 7th in steals and tied Blas Fernandez for the most triples (14).
MacKay saw limited action in 1954 with the Williamsport Grays (4 for 20) and Denver Bears (0 for 1). He had a great campaign with the '55 El Paso Texans - .371/.447/.563, 121 R, 36 2B, 10 3B, 17 HR, 74 BB, 86 RBI. In the high-offense West Texas-New Mexico League, he was 4th in average among those with 500+ AB, tied for 7th in doubles, tied for first in triples, was 4th in hits (208, between Don Stokes and Hank Paskiewicz) and didn't crack the top 10 in runs.
Moving up to AA in 1956 with the Birmingham Barons, he hit 3 homers in the opener but finished at .248/?/.427 with 10 HR in 91 G and was demoted to the Winston-Salem Twins, where his production declined further (.184/?/.312 in 41 G) to end his career. His average in the minors was around .317 in 499 games.
MacKay returned to Canada and hit .257 for the 1957 Brandon Greys in their final season in the Man-Dak League. He later guided the Brandon Gloverleafs to Manitoba Senior Baseball League titles in 1966 and 1967.
He was picked as the first manager for Team Canada. He had difficulties forming the team as many provinces did not want their top players to join the fledgling entity; the team finished 1-7 in the 1967 Pan American Games. Their lone win, though, came against Silver Medalist Cuba. He had the team significantly improved by the 1971 Amateur World Series (4-5) then guided them to a 4-4 record in the 1971 Pan American Games, when they just missed a Bronze Medal, losing a 7-6 game to Colombia that wound up being the tiebreaker for the Bronze. Canada would not win a baseball medal in the Pan American Games until 1999. Canada then had their first over-.500 performance at 8-7 in the 1972 Amateur World Series, MacKay's last tournament at the reigns. MacKay was director of the Canadian Federation of Amateur Baseball from 1967-1974.
He was inducted into both the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame and Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame (which he helped form).