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John O'Connell (o'conjo03)

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John Charles O'Connell

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Biographical Information[edit]

John O'Connell died in an automobile accident. He was leaving the golf course and heading home, when he crossed Rt 62 failing to stop at the stop sign. Doctors felt that he may have been in medical distress at the time of crossing.

John O'Connell played two seasons in the major leagues. He had been at Duquesne University from 1923 to 1925, and was the only player in the quarter century from 1925-1950 to come to the major leagues from Duquesne. A catcher, he came up to the Pittsburgh Pirates at a time when Charlie Hargreaves was the regular catcher.

O'Connell made his major league debut in an unusual turn of events. On August 16, 1928 as the New York Times noted: "In the sixth (PIT C) Charlie Hargreaves had passed out of the game when Jumbo Jim Elliott hit the Pirate catcher a fearful blow in the face with a pitched ball: in the seventh catcher Hemsley had gone out under orders given by Umpire Klem and for the rest of the game Grimes had to toss his famed spit ball to a young semi­ pro catcher named O'Connell who had joined the club only the day be­fore."

O'Connell, in his only at-bat in 1928 grounded out to shortstop and only appeared in two more games in 1929.

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