June 1, 1932: John McGraw’s Final MLB Game as New York Giants Manager


From 1902 to 1932, the New York Giants had one manager: John McGraw. Under his leadership, the Giants won the National League pennant 10 times (tied with Casey Stengel for the record) and the World Series 3. Only Tony LaRussa and Connie Mack managed more games than McGraw, and only Mack has more victories. The early June 1932 retirement announcement by the “Little Napoleon” shocked the baseball world. John McGraw’s final game as Giants manager is one of the 18 excised chapters from my second book, “The Games That Changed Baseball: Milestones In Major League History”, now available for pre-order from McFarland!

Date: June 1, 1932

Site: Polo Grounds V

Teams: Philadelphia Phillies vs. New York Giants

Significance: John McGraw manages his last MLB game

Impact: The end of an era in New York City and in MLB

“McGraw eats gunpowder every morning for breakfast and washes it down with warm blood.” — New York Giants’ coach Arlie Latham


“McGraw’s very walk across the field in a hostile town was a challenge to the multitude.” — baseball writer Grantland Rice

“There has only been one manager—and his name is McGraw.” — Philadelphia Athletics’ owner/manager Connie Mack, in 1927

“One thing is for certain: [McGraw] remains, still to this very day, one of the most interesting and puzzling characters, personality-wise, in baseball history.” — excerpt from John McGraw’s biography in TheDeadballEra.com

On Thursday, June 2, 1932, the last-place New York Giants were scheduled to play a doubleheader versus the Philadelphia Phillies at the Polo Grounds. Even though rain washed away the twin bill, the biggest news in sports still came from the waterlogged ballpark: John McGraw made the surprising announcement that he was stepping down as Giants’ manager after nearly 30 years of service.

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