Steve O’Neill

Of the four O’Neill brothers (Jack, Jim, Mike, and Steve) who came out from Pennsylvania’s anthracite mines to play major league baseball, Steve was the most successful. A star catcher for Cleveland, he played a total of 17 seasons, and caught more than 100 games nine consecutive seasons (1915-23). He batted .311 or better each year from 1920 through 1922, and was behind the plate for all seven games of the Indians’ 1920 World Series victory. A low-key manager who never had a losing season in 14 years, he gained a reputation as a developer of players. At Cleveland’s helm from 1935 to 1937, he made a shortstop of Lou Boudreau and helped guide the young Bob Feller towards stardom. He managed the Tigers from 1943 to 1948, winning his one World Championship in 1945, mostly by keeping the previously volatile Hal Newhouser focused on winning ballgames instead of arguing with umpires.