Longtime Rangers clubhouse manager Joe Macko passes away at the age of 86

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Some sad news to pass along this morning, as longtime Rangers clubhouse manager Joe Macko passed away yesterday in Fort Worth, Texas. He was 86 years old.

After hitting 306 home runs over 1,987 games in the minors, Macko served as a player-manager in the Cubs organization in his final four pro seasons and even briefly coached with the major league club in 1964. He worked as the general manager of the Texas League’s Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs before the Washington Senators became the Texas Rangers in 1971. Marking the start of a relationship which spanned more than four decades, Macko initially joined the team as a business manager and became the clubhouse manager one year later. He moved to the role of visiting clubhouse manager from 1995-2000 before retiring and becoming a goodwill ambassador for the team.

Here’s a statement from the Rangers:

“The Rangers organization is deeply saddened by today’s passing of Joe Macko. Joe was a loyal and dedicated member of this franchise for more than four decades as the team’s business manager, home and visiting clubhouse manager, and goodwill ambassador. Joe made hundreds of players feel at home in the home and visiting clubhouses at old Arlington Stadium and the current Globe Life Park in Arlington.

“In his later years, Joe made numerous public appearances on behalf of the team, and he was the ultimate goodwill ambassador. He spent more than 40 years promoting the Texas Rangers, and we will always be indebted for his exemplary service to the organization.

“The Rangers extend their deepest sympathies to Joe’s son Mike, his daughters Karen and Linda and all of his family and friends at this sad time.”

The Rangers recognized Macko’s contributions to the franchise by dedicating a plaque to him at Globe Life Park in Arlington earlier this summer: