DOB: 18 November 1876
Died: 20 March 1953
VFL Debut: Round 1, 1897 against South Melbourne at Lake Oval
Last Game: Round 17, 1901 against Fitzroy at Brunswick Street
From: City (Hobart)
Premiership Player - 1900
Captain - 1901 (resigned after two games)
Victorian state player - 1899, 1900
MFC Hall of Fame - 2006
McGinis first arrived in Melbourne intent on playing for Essendon, but believing he wouldn't get a game in front of fellow Tasmanians Vautin and Campbell he signed for the Redlegs instead, making his debut for the club in the 1894 VFA season. An urban myth surrounding McGinis suggests that he was supposed to go to the Essendon changerooms before his first match but was waylaid to the Melbourne rooms and decided to stay.
Despite suffering a knee injury in 1895 he returned to the side and became an original member of the Melbourne VFL team and the team's first real star. He was often in the best players on the ground, but missed a lot of the season with a knee injury.
McGinis is often listed as the "1897 Champion of the Colony", but there is considerable controversy as to whether such an award actually existed. Nevertheless he was widely acknowledged as the best player in the league that season, as he had been in 1895.
He played in every Melbourne VFL game from the first match until Round 11, 1900 - 62 matches consecutively. In 1898 he had to battle through a leg pain so severe that it affected his sleep at night. He was one of the Redlegs best in the 1900 premiership season and after fighting back from an ankle injury he was appointed captain in 1901.
He resigned from the role after two losses, and as the season wore on suffered problems with his vision and was forced to retire and return to Tasmania. A benefit match was played on September 2, 1902 between the VFL and VFL to raise funds for him. 7000 people attended the match and 500p was raised. The league won 9.17 to 4.5.
By June 1903 he had regained some of his sight and was operating a thriving business in Tasmania.
Played for VFL representative sides against Bendigo District in 1897 and against Ballarat in 1900.
In newspaper reports early in his career the surname was often spelt as McGuinness
Australasian - 03/10/1896
Sportsman - 08/06/1897
Sportsman - 07/06/1898
Argus - 11/06/1900
Mercury - 07/07/1902
Argus - 05/09/1902
Australasian - 13/06/1903
Australian Football profile
Full Points Footy profile (dead link)