Jack McKeon returns to manage; I learn to spell “octogenarian”

When you look at the infield dirt at your favorite ballpark, please understand I am older than that, but Jack McKeon is older than me. The 80-year old McKeon has returned to the managerial ranks with the Florida Marlins, who lost last night to the Angels, 2-1. The Fish have lost 11 straight and are 1-19 this month.

Here’s Nine to Know about McKeon:

  1. On November 23, 1930, New York football Giants halfback Hap Moran ran a record 91 yards from scrimmage for a TD against Green Bay. The record stood for 75 years until broken by Tiki Barber on 12/31/2005. November 23, 1930 was the day that Jack McKeon was born.
  2. Wes Helms, is the oldest member of the Marlins, born May 12, 1976. McKeon was 45 when he was born.
  3. McKeon’s first managerial gig was with the Kansas City Royals in 1973. His team included: Lou Piniella, John Mayberry, Sr., Buck Martinez and up for a cup of coffee at the end of the season, George Brett.
  4. He becomes the second-oldest manager in major league history. Connie Mack managed the Philadelphia Athletics when he was 87. Then again, Mack owned the team.
  5. He has reached the age of of denial: “I look at it this way: Why should experience get penalized? Eighty doesn’t mean a thing. I’m not 80. My birth certificate says that, but I’m not 80.”
  6. In McKeon’s last season as a player (he only played in the minors) in 1959, he played for Fox Cities in Appleton WI, with Zoilo Versalles, who was the 1965 AL MVP for the Twins. Versalles passed away in 1995, at age 55.
  7. The has reached the age when he puts “the” before things: “Maybe I’m not hip with the Twitter or Facebook or something like that,” McKeon said, according to The Palm Beach Post. “Outside of that, I don’t have any problem with disciplining my kids or disciplining any of these players.
  8. McKeon also came out of retirement at 72 to take over the Marlins 38 games into the 2003 season and led that team to a World Championship.  McKeon received the NL manager of the year award for the second time. He first won it with Reds in 1999.
  9. McKeon is the “interim” manager for the Marlins, but let’s be honest, at 80 isn’t everything interim?