- Associated Press - Monday, June 20, 2011

MIAMI (AP) - Jack McKeon has a new job at age 80 _ interim manager of the Florida Marlins.

A person familiar with the decision confirmed the hiring Monday to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team had yet to announce the move. A news conference was scheduled for 3 p.m. EDT to reintroduce McKeon, who retired as the Marlins‘ manager six years ago.

McKeon becomes the second-oldest manager in major league history. Connie Mack managed the Philadelphia Athletics in a suit, tie and straw hat until 1950, when he was 87.

McKeon, who guided the Marlins to the 2003 World Series championship, succeeds manager Edwin Rodriguez, who resigned before Sunday’s loss at Tampa Bay.

The last-place Marlins took a 10-game losing streak into Monday night’s matchup at home against the Los Angeles Angels.

McKeon most recently had worked part time as a special assistant to owner Jeffrey Loria. His return came with the Marlins trying to end a three-week free-fall that has seen them go 1-18 in June.

The Marlins are hoping history will repeat. McKeon took over a floundering Marlins team in May 2003 and led them to an improbable championship that fall.

Florida had three successive winning seasons under McKeon before he retired as manager at age 74 in 2005. There had been a buzz for several years that he wanted to return to the dugout.

This is the second consecutive year Florida has changed managers in June. Last season Fredi Gonzalez was fired and replaced by Rodriguez on June 23. The Marlins are expected to hire another new manager after this season before they move into their new ballpark next April.

McKeon also came out of retirement at 72 to take over the Marlins 38 games into the 2003 season. That hiring made him the oldest manager to take over a big league team, and he quickly revived a franchise that had managed just one winning record in its 10-year history.

McKeon led Florida to a World Series victory over the Yankees, and he received the NL manager of the year award for the second time.

Now he’ll try to orchestrate a similar turnaround. The Marlins were only two games behind NL East leader Philadelphia when the month began, but they’ve tumbled to last place and began the week at 32-40.

McKeon was born Nov. 23, 1930, in South Amboy, N.J. He began his professional baseball career as a minor league catcher in 1949 and managed 2,269 games in the minors.

He took his first managerial job at Kansas City in 1973 and has also managed at Oakland, San Diego and Cincinnati, leading the Reds to a wild card berth in 1999 and winning manager of the year. He returns to the dugout with a career record of 1,011-940.

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