Dan O'Leary

From BR Bullpen


Daniel O'Leary
(Hustling Dan)

  • Bats Left, Throws Unknown
  • Height 5' 10", Weight 165 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

"I am glad to hear that Dan O'Leary is still living, for he has furnished the foundation of more base ball stories than any man breathing. . . When playing in a game in Indianapolis Dan . . . (hit one) over the centre fielder's head . . . and then started running like a race horse for third base (instead of for first base). . . Before he could be shown the error of his way the ball had lodged at first base and Daniel's nine were beaten." - Sporting Life's Holyoke correspondent, March 17, 1886, about Dan O'Leary, who, years later, claimed that he had purposefully run to third while the umpire was distracted, thinking that he could get away with it

"Dan O'Leary has been made the central figure in many a good story told about the palmy days of base ball. . . during the season of 1884 . . . O'Leary, after making a three-base hit, made a break for third base. Of course he was retired by the umpire, and . . . O'Leary's antics were enough to make even the players who lost by his mistake shake with laughter." - Sporting Life, February 3, 1900

Dan O'Leary packed a lot of activity into his 45 major league games. He spread them among five different seasons, and played for five different teams. In the last year, he managed for 35 games. He was a successful manager, with a .571 winning percentage, although he was replaced in mid-season after the team lost 6 out of 8 games in a series against the St. Louis Maroons. O'Leary, said one source [citation needed], bet on his own games and took his players out drinking. He also umpired one National League game in 1879.

In 1886, he established a team in Elmira and also one in Scranton in the Pennsylvania State League. The Scranton one collapsed financially in mid-season.

There was also a Dan O'Leary who played outfield for the 1877 Detroit Aetnas. It is said he sued to get salary of $160 due him; got in a drunken brawl, was arrested, fined and ordered out of the city.

"A funny story is told about the irrepressible Dan O'Leary when he managed the Indianapolis club. . . (Field captain Jerry Dorgan) was smarting under the infliction of a $10 fine . . . Finally (in a game where the first baseman played poorly) Dan could contain himself no longer. He strode in from left field, and . . . delivered . . . a lengthy lecture. . . he was met by field captain Dorgan, who gravely informed Daniel that he was fined $10 for interfering with his (Jerry's) prerogative as master of the diamond. The stony stare which Dorgan received unnerved him so he played poorly the remainder of the game. There is a dim impression that Dan never paid the fine." - Sporting Life, Jan. 13, 1886

"When I was with Worcester, we picked up O'Leary. . . Somebody knocked up a high fly for the short stop, and I was all ready to catch it when there was a sudden sweep of a rushing figure past me that almost scared me into muffing the ball. Looking up in surprise I discovered Dan. He had chased all the ways in from left field and remarked 'I'll always back you up on flies like that!' " - Arthur Irwin, remembering Dan O'Leary, in Sporting Life, Dec. 26, 1896

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