September 2 – Happy Birthday G. Wallace McQuatters

wallymcq222It was Herb Shuttleworth who convinced the Board of Mohawk Carpets to purchase a Canadian American League franchise in 1938 that would become the Amsterdam Rugmakers, a Class C minor league affiliate of the mighty New York Yankees. But it wasn’t Shuttleworth who made the operating decisions for the organization. That job belonged to a young tax accountant in Mohawk’s finance department by the name of G. Wallace “Wally” McQuatters.

McQuatters was born in Saratoga Springs, NY on September 2, 1898. His dad Andrew had been born in Scotland and came to this country as an exercise boy with a prominent Scottish racing stable that ran its world class racehorses at the Saratoga flat track. The elder McQuatters then switched to the Sanford racing stable and moved his family to Amsterdam in 1901, where he would go onto become a highly effective jockey for the champion thoroughbreds trained at Hurricana Farms.

While his father helped the Sanford family gain fame in their favorite sport, Wally would do the same for Amsterdam’s second royal family of carpet. He went to work for the Shuttleworth’s as a Mohawk tax accountant in 1928. When the Rugmakers were purchased, a new tax entity called the Mohawk Mills Association was formed to run them and Herb Shuttleworth appointed McQuatters the General Manager and Treasurer of that association. At first, he was still expected to fulfill his full-time accounting duties with the rug company. If he had any doubt of what his priorities were, the annual stipend of just $100 he received for running the baseball operation served as a clear reminder. But over the course of the next decade, not only did McQuatters leadership help create a very good winning baseball team and a beautiful minor league ballpark, his ability in the front office earned him the respect of such notable big league baseball executives as the legendary Yankee GM, George Weiss…

My complete birthday post for Wally McQuatters will appear in the new second edition of A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam, NY Birthdays, which will be available before the 2016 Holiday season. I also distribute an Amsterdam, NY Birthday Blog Monthly Newsletter that includes the full birthday posts for three of the twenty-to-thirty  people whose birthdays I recognize each month. Each newsletter also includes an Amsterdam Birthday Quiz that will test your knowledge and memory of people and events in your hometown.

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