- C, 1B
- July 6, 1891
- 5' 10"
- 165 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 9-18-1911 with CLE
After all these years, O'Neill remains the greatest catcher in Cleveland Indian history. He was one of the best defensive catchers of his time, and he caught at least 100 games for nine straight seasons (1915-1923), making him one of the most durable receivers of his era. Known more for his glove and arm than his bat, O'Neill did his share with the lumber in Cleveland's 1920 World Championship season, batting .321 in the regular season, and hitting .333 in the Fall Classic. Later, in 14 seasons as a manager, O'Neill never had a losing record, and won the World Series with Detroit in 1945. He guided his teams to second-place finishes three times, and third-place three times, despite a disciplinarian approach, tendency to fiddle with his lineup, and knack for playing hunches.
Teams Steve O'Neill Managed
Cleveland Indians (1935-1937)
Detroit Tigers (1943-1948)
Boston Red Sox (1950-1951)
Philadelphia Phillies (1952-1954)
Steve O'Neill Teammates
Jim Bagby Sr.
Best Season: 1920
O'Neill batted .321 in 149 games, helping the Tribe to their first pennant. A patient hitter, he posted a .408 OBP. He also hit 39 doubles and had 15 sac hits. In the World Series win he batted .333 with three two-baggers.
As a Manager
O'Neill replaced Walter Johnson as manager of the Indians on August 4, 1935, after Johnson had resigned... On June 20, 1950, O'Neill was hired to replace Joe McCarthy as Red Sox' manager. The BoSox responded by playing .663 ball (63-32) the remainder of the season, and gained 5 1/2 games in the standings.
Nine Other Players Who Debuted in 1911
His brothers were Jack, Jim and Mike O'Neill. They played a total of 549 games in the majors, with very little success.
In our opinion, Walt Dropo's career may have been very different, had O'Neill not mishandled him in 1951.
1920 World Series
Finished sixth in 1922 American League Most Valuable Player voting.
In 1950, in mid-season, O'Neill replaced Joe McCarthy as manager of the Red Sox. The team went 63-32 under O'Neill the rest of the way. It was the best success he ever had in Beantown.
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