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"He ate gunpowder every morning," complained one umpire, "and washed it down with warm blood." That described John McGraw, who in the 1890s was the rowdiest member of the ferocious Baltimore Orioles, the club that pioneered the hit-and-run, the cutoff, the squeeze play, and the "Baltimore chop." In 1902 he began his thirty-season reign as manager of the Giants, winning ten pennants-a record matched only by Casey Stengel. His career in baseball spanned forty years and two eras-from the game's raucous early days to its ...

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