Danny O"Connell for Boston Braves
- 3B, SS, 2B, 1B
- January 21, 1927
- 5' 11"
- 168 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 7-14-1950 with PIT
Branch Rickey uspet Pittsburgh fans when he traded O'Connell, a hustling and intelligent infielder, to the Braves in 1953. O'Connell became Milwaukee's second baseman for three seasons. Though he was considered the weak link in their awesome offense, on June 13, 1956, he tied a major league record with three triples in a game. He played with the Giants from June 1957 until his demotion in 1959, resurfaced with the new Washington Senators for 1961, and '62, then coached them for two seasons. He died in an auto accident in 1969.
19-year-old infielder Danny O'Connell was signed as an amateur free agent by the Brooklyn Dodgers before the 1946 season. He was with theBloomingdale Troopers of the North Atlantic League that year, where he hit .327 with 4 homers while holding down the hot corner for 121 games. He would go on to have four more good years (1947-50) in the minors. On October 1, 1949 the Dodgers traded him to the Pittsburgh Pirates for $50,000 and Jack Cassini.
O'Connell first was called up on July 11 with the 1950 Pirates after hitting .351 with the Indianapolis Indians in 84 games. He finished out the year in Pittsburgh with a solid .292 in 79 games. Danny would spend the next two years (1951-52) with the United States Army during the Korean War. He would be back with the Pirates in 1953, hitting .294 with 8 homers and foster a 23-game hitting streak in 149 contests.
Danny was traded to the Milwaukee Braves for 3B Sid Gordon, OF Sam Jethroe, P Max Surkont, and minor leaguers - Fred Waters‚Curt Raydon‚ and Larry Lasalle.. Pittsburgh also get $100,000 from the Braves. This is the only six-for-one trade in major league history and will be surpassed only by the seven-for-one deal that will send Vida Blue from the Oakland A'sto the SF Giants in 1978.
After a respectable first year with the Braves in 1954, he tailed off considerably at the plate the next two years. He was dealt to the New York Giants as part of the deal for Red Schoendienst. On June 13, 1956, Danny was the last Braves player to hit three triples in one game until matched by Rafael Furcal of the Atlanta Braves during the 2002 season. Danny would be the San Francisco Giants opening day second baseman in 1958, their first year on the West Coast. Five days later, he hit two of his season total of three homers, offDon Drysdale of the Dodgers.
In 1959 and at age 32, Danny had began to slow down, hitting only .190 in 34 games. After being released on April 12, 1960 by San Francisco he would spend the 1960 season with the Tacoma Giants of the PCL and hit .312 in 143 games. He would then sign as a free agent with theWashington Senators and spend the next two seasons (1961-62) in their infield. His next turn was as player-manager of the York White Roses of the Eastern League for most of the 1963 season. He coached for Washington for the other part of the 1963 season then was a coach for the 1964 Senators as well.
In 10 seasons he played in 1,143 games and had 4,035 at bats, 527 runs, 1,049 hits, 181 doubles, 35 triples, 39 home runs, 320 RBI, 48 stolen bases, 431 walks, .260 batting average, .333 on-base percentage, .351 slugging percentage, 1,417 total bases and 89 sacrifice hits.
O'Connell, who was residing in Bloomfield, New Jersey, died in Clifton, New Jersey at the age of 42 in a car accident. He left his wife Vera and four children, Maureen, Danny Jr, Nancy and John.
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