John McHale, who started his career in MLB as a player for the Detroit Tigers, and then moved to the front office of several clubs where he served as a director of minor league operations, GM, president and CEO has passed away at the age of 86 in Stuart, Florida.
McHale served as the director of minor league operations before coming the general manager of the Detroit Tigers starting in 1957. He then went on to the become the GM of the then Milwaukee Braves and then when the team relocated to Atlanta.
Shortly after moving the Atlanta in 1966, McHale was replaced as GM in mid-season by Paul Richards. He then moved to the Commissioner’s Office where he became deputy commissioner to then commissioner William “Spike” Eckert.
In 1968, just before the National League was set to expand, McHale was named president, and minority owner of the team that would eventually become the Montreal Expos, where he would stay for the next 20 years before leaving in 1990. From 1978 to 1984, he assumed the dual role of general manager, as well.
(For more on McHale's role with the Expos, read my article: The Team that Nearly Wasn't: The Montreal Expos)
He was also president of the Association of Professional Baseball Players of America, and a board member of National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Commissioner Bud Selig said today of McHale's passing, “Both personally and professionally, John McHale was one of the finest gentlemen I have ever known. After his playing career with the Tigers, John became one of the game’s most distinguished officials, including in his role as general manager of that club. He was a longtime mentor of mine, and I had the pleasure of serving with him on the board of directors of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Baseball has lost one of its most respected figures. On behalf of all of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest sympathy to his family, including his son, our Executive Vice President of Administration, John, Jr., and his many friends.”
McHale Executive History
- Director of Minor League Operations/General Manager : Detroit Tigers : 1957-1959
- General Manager : Milwaukee Braves : 1959-1965
- General Manager : Atlanta Braves : 1966
- Deputy Commissioner : Major League Baseball : 1966-1968
- CEO/President/GM : Montreal Expos : 1968-1990
Sources: Major League Baseball, Press Release, National Baseball Hall of Fame