J. Frank Cashen was, at various times, executive vice president, chief operating officer, and general manager of the Baltimore Orioles in the ’60s and ’70s and the New York Mets from 1980 to 1991. His teams won three world championships in five World Series appearances and were runners up in three other league championship playoffs. He passed away on June 30, 2014.
In early 2013, Sports Editor Rob Taylor acquired Cashen’s autobiography Winning in Both Leagues: Reflections from Baseball’s Front Office (September 2014). Below Taylor talks about the forthcoming book.
Working with the late Frank Cashen to help bring his book to life has truly been an honor. When Frank and his editor Jack Batty first queried me about the project, I was thrilled to have the chance to look at it, as his story offers much to baseball fans who want to know more about the game from one of the greatest GMs of the last 50 years. While he was best known for being the architect behind the Mets’ 1986 World Championship team, his run heading up the great Orioles teams from the 1960s and 70s should not be overlooked.
Aside from his great baseball story, what impressed me most about Frank’s rich story is the diversity of his accomplishments; he was quoted as saying he was “a writer by choice, a lawyer by education, a horseman by heritage, a brewery worker by necessity, and a baseball executive by good fortune.” Being blessed with good fortune runs through Frank’s story, as does humility, a relentless work ethic, and a warmhearted knack for managing people and earning their respect. As many of his former players have attested, he was a gentleman with great passion who had a great mind for the game, and it’s those qualities that come through on the pages of his book.
“When it came to baseball, Cashen had the magic touch.”—Nelson Doubleday Jr., former president of Doubleday and former owner of the New York Mets
“Frank Cashen, through shrewd trades and organizational development, put together two of the most complete pitching staffs in baseball history. Through the use of both the numbers and his great appreciation of the eyes and ears of the game (the scouts), Mr. Cashen assembled iconic franchises. Orioles and Mets fans applaud.”—Ron Darling, New York Mets pitcher in the 1980s