Mark Armour and Dan Levitt have written a book: In Pursuit of Pennants, which examines how front offices have historically found innovative ways to build winning teams. In support of that, they are counting down the top-25 GMs of all time over at their blog. Since it’s slow season, I’m going to continue linking to the countdown as it’s great stuff we rarely read about in the normal course.
Buzzie Bavasi learned baseball from Larry MacPhail and Branch Rickey. Then went on to win more championships and pennants than they did. I feel like that counts for an awful lot. As does taking the 1940s/50s Dodgers and rebuilding them into the 1960s Dodgers on the fly with not much of a fallow period between peaks.
Later he ran the Padres where he did about as well as anyone could given the severe financial constraints he faced early on. And then on to the Angels, who won a lot more games after Bavasi got there than they did before.