Bill McGunnigle

  • Card series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Brooklyn
  • Team: Bridegrooms
  • League: American Association

William Henry McGunnigle (1855-1899) was a most beloved field general, piloting his Brooklyn Bridegrooms to consecutive pennants in two leagues, the only man to accomplish that feat. The splendidly arrayed Irishman in his patent leather spikes and lavender trousers cut an unmistakeable figure on the diamond from his days in Buffalo in 1879 and ’80 to the rough-and-tumble National League of the 1890s. Always creative and sometimes diabolical, “Mac” pioneered signals from the dugout, sign-stealing, and may have invented the catcher’s glove along with his aforementioned removable-spike shiny shoes. Caught in the turmoil of the early 90s, Bill lost his post at the helm of the Bridegrooms as the Players’ League was reabsorbed into the NL and John Ward replaced him in Brooklyn. As a result, the manager with the highest winning percentage in franchise history never lasted long enough for Hall of Fame recognition.

  • Nicknamed “Gunner” for his strong arm and, possibly, the hunting rifle he carried onto the field answering a call to replace an injured catcher for Brockton in 1873
  • Died of injuries suffered when he was struck by a trolley back in Brockton

Auction History