Not a surprise: The Greatest General Manager of All-Time is . . . Branch Rickey!


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.

And we come to the end of our countdown. And, no, the identity of the greatest general manager of all time is no real surprise. It’s Branch Rickey. A guy who is most famous, obviously, for being the man who signed Jackie Robinson. But a man who, if he had been hit by a bus before he started working for the Dodgers, may very well have been the greatest GM of all time anyway. In this I’m put in mind of Bill James’ response to someone who asked him if Rickey Henderson was a Hall of Famer. The reply: “if you cut him in half you’d have two hall of famers.”

Go read Dan and Mark’s analysis of Branch Rickey’s amazing career here.

And thank you so much for following along with this countdown. By all means, continue to back to the Pursuit of Pennants blog, as Mark and Dan plan to continue to update it. And please consider purchasing their book, of which this countdown is but a taste. Based on everything Dan and Mark have done in the past, I am certain it’s going to be excellent.