saintly old devil
I read an article once (I believe by Bob Consodine) from like 1947 to the effect that his 3b coach sometimes had to ignore clearly wrong instructions from Mack in the course of games.
I wonder how many years before 1950 did Mack effectively become a figurehead
That's an excellent question. Do any of our older A's fans out there recall at what point Mack ceased to really manage?
I believe there have been some similar threads in past years on this very subject right in this forum. Anyway, here's a useful SABR article on the subject.
One key quote (my emphasis added):
"As the years passed, Connie Mack’s encroaching senility grew more pronounced. The deterioration in his mind was apparent by the mid-1940s, and the team suffered from his mental lapses. Poor trades, incorrect signals from the bench (the most obvious of which coaches would override), sudden acts of emotional rage, and lapses into bygone days during gametime (calling out for past players to pinch-hit) all contributed to the team’s woes on the field."
Al Simmons and Jimmy Dykes were the coaches who were apparently the de facto managers.