John Joseph McHale Sr

Baseball Executive

John J. McHale Sr. retired after a sports career of more than 60 years as a player, farm director, general manager and owner, chiefly as a baseball executive. He died in Florida at 87 January 17, 2008.

John was born in Detroit Sept. 21 1921. He attended Catholic Cent7ral High School and was graduated cum laude in economics from the University of Notre Dame, where he played football. His university studies were interrupted by three World War II years in the Navy.

After the Detroit Tigers recruited him, John made his Major League debut in 1945, brought up from the Tigers' minor league system as a late-inning substitute. He played in three World Series games against the Chicago Cubs.

In 1948, the Tigers spotted a talent. They suddenly reassigned John from first baseman to their front office. He adapted to administrative duties, continuing them while becoming a lawyer. He headed minor league operations for the Tigers. In 1957 at age 36, he was promoted to Detroit general manager, the youngest major executive in baseball.

From 1959 through 1966 he was president/general manager of the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves, then served as baseball deputy commissioner in New York City from 1967 through 1968.

In 1968 he joined a group of Montreal industrialists to organize the Montreal Expos expansion team in the National League. He continued with the Montreal Expos as president, general manager and vice chairman. During his watch the Expos earned a playoff appearance in 1981. John stepped down from the club presidency in 1986. His tenure in Montreal in various capacities spanned 22 years.
After retiring from Major League Baseball, he joined the Japan Sport Systems, president in 1990. JSS Sports owned minor league clubs in Vancouver, BC and Visalia, CA. John is also the current president of the Association of Professional Baseball Players of America and a director of baseball’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. He is a member of baseball’s rules committee.

John served as president of the Association of Professional Baseball Players of America. He is a member of baseball's Veterans Committee, which elects long-overlooked managers, umpires, club executives and retired players and Negro League former players to the Hall of Fame.

John is a retired director of the Perirti Corporation of Boston, and trustee of the Schwartz Value Fund and of the Ave Maria Catholic Value Fund. He is a member of the Palm Beach County and Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

Along with so many executive achievements since 1948, John the ex-player enjoys reminiscing. For his best Major League season, 1947, the Tiger lefty recorded a .316 slugging percentage.

He lives in Palm City, FL. He and his late wife Patricia have 6 children and 15 grandchildren. His son, John McHale Jr., is executive vice president of Major League Baseball.