The Man Who Created Yankees’ Murderers’ Rowtags: Yankees, Edward Grant Barrow
Edward Grant Barrow, born in a covered wagon, helped invent modern sports by building the Yankee baseball dynasty, making their famed Murderers’ Row truly murderous, and starting every game with the national anthem.
This Yankee executive who pioneered the modern mix of capitalism and patriotism, of sport and spectacle, had pioneering roots. Born in 1868 as his family moved West to Nebraska, Barrow sported a middle name honoring America’s post-Civil War hero, U.S. Grant. A rare manager who was ready to use his fists and boost his product not just organize efficiently, he had a colorful career pitching for his local team, selling newspapers, promoting boxing, producing theatrical shows, managing hotels, even hawking an electric-car.
But his defining mission involved feeding America’s need for heroes on the ballfield not the battlefield. The normally prickly sportswriter Joe Williams would write: “The [Babe] Ruths had done the hitting, the [Herb] Pennocks the pitching, the [Bill] Dickeys the catching, and the [Tony] Lazzeris the fielding, but it was Barrow who knitted the organization together, gave it a pattern and a far-seeing program... That’s why” Barrow’s hiring in 1920 “represents the best deal the Yankees ever made"...
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