On January 19, 1938 — After resigning as the Reds’ general manager at the end of the 1936 season, Larry MacPhail is coaxed back into baseball by the Dodgers. The Brooklyn Board of Directors, anxious to improve the club’s poor performance on the field and to reverse its financial woes, sign the fiery innovator to a contract that gives him complete control of the franchise.

He was promoted to team president, a position that had been vacant for about a year after the death of the previous team president Stephen McKeever, on May 4, 1939. In 1939, he received the Sporting News Executive of the Year Award.

MacPhail was pivotal in the development of pioneering sportscaster Red Barber, who announced Reds and Dodgers games for MacPhail. MacPhail’s innovations include nighttime baseball, regular game televising, and flying teams between cities. MacPhail resigned as president of the Dodgers on September 23, 1942, to accept a commission in the United States Army. By the end of World War II, MacPhail held the rank of colonel.

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