The second greatest general manager of all time faced four distinct challenges and met them all

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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.

Pat Gillick ran the Blue Jays, Orioles, Mariners and Phillies and was successful everywhere. He built an expansion team up from nothing, ran and won with another team with free agents and a demanding, pain-in-the-ass owner, won with another team despite having to trade off a boatload of talent first and then got a promising but somewhat underachieving team over the hump and led them to a World Series title. He was then succeeded by Ruben Amaro who made us all realize that, yeah, Pat Gillick was pretty damn good.

Go read Mark and Dan’s take on why he is a Hall of Famer and the second best GM of all time here.