McKeon managed in the minors for 15 years with success and a sense of a humor. He once fired blanks at a player who ran through a stop sign at third. In his first year with the Royals, he brought them home second, but they slumped to fifth the next year. Although he had them back in second in 1975, he was fired after 96 games. After managing Oakland, he became general manager of the Padres and acquired the nickname Trader Jack because of his many deals. In 1988 he returned to the dugout when San Diego fired Larry Bowa.