Robert Arthur O'Farrell (October 19, 1896 – February 20, 1988) was an American professional baseball player and manager. He played in Major League Baseball as a catcher for 21 seasons with the Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals and the New York Giants. O'Farrell also played for the Cincinnati Reds, albeit briefly. He was considered as one of the greatest defensive catchers of his generation.
|Catcher / Manager|
|Born: October 19, 1896|
|Died: February 20, 1988 (aged 91)|
|September 5, 1915, for the Chicago Cubs|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 23, 1935, for the St. Louis Cardinals|
|Runs batted in||549|
|Career highlights and awards|
O'Farrell was born in Waukegan, Illinois where he grew up a Chicago White Sox fan. He signed with the Cubs in 1915 after playing an exhibition game for his local semi-professional team. His first manager was former catcher, Roger Bresnahan, who helped O'Farrell develop his catching skills. After a season on the bench, O'Farrell was sent to Three-I League where he spent two years before returning to the Cubs for the 1918 season. He served as backup catcher working behind Bill Killefer as the Cubs went on to claim the 1918 National League pennant before losing to the Boston Red Sox in the 1918 World Series. O'Farrell went hitless in three at bats during the series.
In 1920 O'Farrell caught the majority of the Cubs' games and posting a .248 batting average as, Killefer was injured during the season. He began the 1921 season as backup catcher until August when, Killefer was named the Cubs new manager. O'Farrell had a breakout season in 1922 when he hit for a .322 average along with 4 home runs, 60 runs batted in and a .439 on-base percentage. He also became one of the best defensive catchers in baseball, leading National League catchers in games caught, putouts, assists, baserunners caught stealing and in caught stealing percentage. He became skillful at framing pitches by moving his catcher's mitt towards the strike zone after having caught a pitch, in an effort to influence the umpire to call a strike. O'Farrell had an even better year offensively in 1923, producing career-highs in home runs (12), runs batted in (80), stolen bases (10) along with a .319 batting average.
In July 1924, O'Farrell suffered a fractured skull when a foul ball broke his catcher's mask. He had asked a club house attendant to bring him a newer mask however, not wanting to delay the game, decided to continue to play with the older mask when he was struck in the head. He missed most of the season, and lost his job when future Baseball Hall of Fame member, Gabby Hartnett, played well in his absence. The Cubs decided to keep Hartnett as their starting catcher and traded O'Farrell to the St. Louis Cardinals at the start of the 1925 season for Mike González and Howard Freigau. O'Farrell experienced the highlight of his career in 1926 when he hit for a .293 average with a career-high 30 doubles, 7 home runs and 68 runs batted in as he helped the Cardinals clinch the National League pennant. He also led National League catchers in games caught and in putouts. In the 1926 World Series against the New York Yankees, O'Farrell produced a .301 batting average but, is remembered for throwing out Babe Ruth trying to steal second base for the last out of the seven-game series as the Cardinals claimed their first-ever world championship. In November, he was voted the winner of the 1926 National League Most Valuable Player Award with 79 out of the possible 80 votes. He was the first catcher to win a Most Valuable Player Award.
In December 1926, the Cardinals traded their manager Rogers Hornsby to the New York Giants for Frankie Frisch and Jimmy Ring while O'Farrell was named player-manager. He led the Cardinals to a second-place finish, behind the Pittsburgh Pirates even though the Cardinals won three more games than the previous season. He only played in 61 games that season because of a sore arm. The owner of the Cardinals at that time, Sam Breadon was unhappy that the Cardinals didn't win the pennant, and that O'Farrell was leaving his pitchers in too long during games. He was given a $5,000 bonus to step down and replaced by Bill McKechnie. O'Farrell was traded to the New York Giants for George Harper in May 1928. The trade caught many observers by surprise as, it left the Cardinals without an experienced catcher while the Giants had a surplus of catchers.
O'Farrell played as a part-time catcher for the Giants, sharing catching duties with Shanty Hogan during John McGraw's final four years as manager of the club. He hit for a .306 batting average in 1929 and followed that with a .301 average in 1930. By the 1931 season, the 34-year-old O'Farrell was past his prime as his batting average dipped to .224. In October 1932, O'Farrell was traded back to the St. Louis Cardinals for catcher Gus Mancuso as part of new Giants manager Bill Terry's rebuilding campaign. He spent one season serving as backup catcher to Jimmie Wilson before being traded to the Cincinnati Reds in January 1934.
The General Manager of the Reds, Larry MacPhail, named O'Farrell as the team's player-manager. By July, the Reds had fallen to last place in the National League standings and, on July 27, O'Farrell requested his unconditional release from the team. It was later reported that after the Reds had lost nine consecutive games, O'Farrell was engaged in a conversation with MacPhail when he quipped, "Well, you can't win 'em all." A supposedly infuriated MacPhail hired Charlie Dressen as the new Reds manager the following day. In August, he returned to the Chicago Cubs where he worked as a backup catcher to Gabby Hartnett. O'Farrell was released by the Cubs at the end of the year and signed to play with the Cardinals for the 1935 season. He appeared in only 14 games for the Cardinals, playing his final major league game on September 23 at the age of 38, and was released by the Cardinals in December 1935. O'Farrell played two more seasons in the minor leagues with the Rochester Red Wings. In 1938 he managed the Bloomington Bloomers before retiring from professional baseball at the age of 41.
In a twenty-one-year major league career, O'Farrell played in 1,492 games, accumulating 1,120 hits in 4,101 at bats for a .273 career batting average along with 51 home runs, 549 runs batted in and a .360 on-base percentage. He finished his career with a .976 fielding percentage. He led the National League three times in putouts and twice in assists. While with the Giants, O'Farrell caught Carl Hubbell's no-hitter on May 8, 1929. He caught for six pitchers who would eventually be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
After retirement he ran a bowling alley in Waukegan which was open for over 30 years. O'Farrell died in Waukegan at the age of 91.
The 1915 Chicago Cubs season was the 44th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 40th in the National League and the 23rd and final at West Side Park. The Cubs finished fourth in the National League with a record of 73–80.1916 Chicago Cubs season
The 1916 Chicago Cubs season was the 45th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 41st in the National League and the 1st at Wrigley Field (then known as "Weeghman Park"). The Cubs finished fifth in the National League with a record of 67–86.1918 Chicago Cubs season
The 1918 Chicago Cubs season was the 47th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 43rd in the National League and the 3rd at Wrigley Field (then known as "Weeghman Park"). The Cubs finished first in the National League with a record of 84–45, 10.5 games ahead of the second place New York Giants. The team was defeated four games to two by the Boston Red Sox in the 1918 World Series.1920 Chicago Cubs season
The 1920 Chicago Cubs season was the 49th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 45th in the National League and the 5th at Wrigley Field (then known as "Weeghman/Cubs Park"). The Cubs finished sixth in the National League with a record of 75–79.1922 Chicago Cubs season
The 1922 Chicago Cubs season was the 51st season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 47th in the National League and the 7th at Wrigley Field (then known as "Cubs Park"). The Cubs finished fifth in the National League with a record of 80–74.1923 Chicago Cubs season
The 1923 Chicago Cubs season was the 52nd season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 48th in the National League and the 8th at Wrigley Field (then known as "Cubs Park"). The Cubs finished fourth in the National League with a record of 83–71.1924 Chicago Cubs season
The 1924 Chicago Cubs season was the 53rd season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 49th in the National League and the 9th at Wrigley Field (then known as "Cubs Park"). The Cubs finished fifth in the National League with a record of 81–72.1926 Major League Baseball season
The 1926 Major League Baseball season.1926 St. Louis Cardinals season
The 1926 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 45th season in St. Louis, Missouri and their 35th in the National League. The Cardinals went 89–65 during the season and finished first in the National League, winning their first National League pennant. In the World Series, they defeated the New York Yankees in 7 games, ending it by throwing out Babe Ruth at second base in the ninth-inning of Game 7 to preserve a 3–2 victory. This was Rogers Hornsby's only full season as manager for the team.
Catcher Bob O'Farrell won the MVP Award this year, batting .293, with 7 home runs and 68 RBIs. Led by RBI champion Jim Bottomley, the offense scored the most runs in the NL.1926 World Series
The 1926 World Series, the 23rd playing of Major League Baseball's championship series, pitted the National League champion St. Louis Cardinals against the American League champion New York Yankees. The Cardinals defeated the Yankees four games to three in the best-of-seven series, which took place from October 2 to 10, 1926, at Yankee Stadium and Sportsman's Park.
This was the first World Series appearance (and first National League pennant win) for the Cardinals, and would be the first of eleven World Series championships in Cardinals history. The Yankees were playing in their fourth World Series in six years after winning their first American League pennant in 1921 and their first world championship in 1923. They would play in another 36 World Series (and win 26 of those) through the end of the 2018 season.In Game 1, Herb Pennock pitched the Yankees to a 2–1 win over the Cards. In Game 2, pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander evened the Series for St. Louis with a 6–2 victory. Knuckleballer Jesse Haines' shutout in Game 3 gave St. Louis a 2–1 Series lead. In the Yankees' 10–5 Game 4 win, Babe Ruth hit three home runs, a World Series record equaled only four times since. According to newspaper reports, Ruth had promised a sickly boy named Johnny Sylvester to hit a home run for him in Game 4. After Ruth's three-homer game, the boy's condition miraculously improved. The newspapers' account of the story is disputed by contemporary baseball historians, but it remains one of the most famous anecdotes in baseball history. Pennock again won for the Yankees in Game 5, 3–2.
Cards' player-manager Rogers Hornsby chose Alexander to start Game 6, and used him in relief to close out Game 7. Behind Alexander, the Cardinals won the final two games of the series, and with it the world championship. In Game 7, the Yankees, trailing 3–2 in the bottom of the ninth inning and down to their last out, Ruth walked, bringing up Bob Meusel. Ruth, successful in half of his stolen base attempts in his career, took off for second base on the first pitch. Meusel swung and missed, and catcher Bob O'Farrell threw to second baseman Hornsby who tagged Ruth out, ending Game 7 and thereby crowning his Cardinals World Series champions for the first time. The 1926 World Series is the only Series to date which ended with a baserunner being caught stealing.1927 Major League Baseball season
The 1927 Major League Baseball season began in April 1927 and ended with the World Series in October. No no-hitters were thrown during the season.
The New York Yankees, whose lineup featured Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, dominated the American League with 110 wins. The Yankees swept the Pittsburgh Pirates in the World Series.1927 St. Louis Cardinals season
The 1927 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 46th season in St. Louis, Missouri, and its 36th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 92–61 during the season and finished second in the National League.1928 St. Louis Cardinals season
The 1928 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 47th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 37th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 95–59 during the season and finished first in the National League. In the World Series, they were swept by the New York Yankees.1930 New York Giants (MLB) season
The 1930 New York Giants season was the 48th in franchise history. The team finished third in the National League with a record of 87–67, 5 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals.1934 Cincinnati Reds season
The 1934 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. The team finished eighth and last in the National League with a record of 52–99, 42 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals. Their .344 winning percentage remains the lowest in franchise history since 1900, and the 99 losses were the worst in the franchise history until the 1982 Reds lost 101 games. Because the schedule did not have 162 games at this time, and the Reds only won 52 games this season compared to 1982, when they lost 101 games, when at the same time winning 61 games, nine more than this team, the 1934 Reds are actually a weaker team than the 1982 team, thus making this team the worst in franchise history overall.1934 Major League Baseball season
The 1934 Major League Baseball season.Howard Freigau
Howard Earl Freigau (August 1, 1902 – July 18, 1932), nicknamed "Ty", was an American professional baseball third baseman and shortstop. He played seven seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) between 1922 and 1928 for the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, Brooklyn Robins, and Boston Braves. The 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m), 160 lb (73 kg) Freigau batted and threw right-handed.
Freigau attended Ohio Wesleyan University, alma mater of Branch Rickey, the manager of the Cardinals during Freigau's tenure in St. Louis. On May 23, 1925, Rickey traded Freigau to the Cubs in a deal to obtain starting catcher Bob O'Farrell, and the third baseman went on to post his most successful season, batting .299 (including .307 as a Cub) and posting career highs in hits (150), home runs (8) and runs batted in (71). Freigau also was the Cubs' starter at third in 1926, but lost his regular job the following season and was briefly sent to the minor leagues. He divided his 1928 season, his last in the Majors, between Brooklyn and Boston and played in 69 games before returning to the minor leagues for the rest of his abbreviated career.
In July 1932, when playing for the Knoxville Smokies of the Southern Association, Freigau went for an evening swim in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He dove headfirst into the shallow end of a swimming pool, broke his neck, and drowned at the age of 29.Freigau's 537 big-league hits included 99 doubles and 25 triples, as well as 15 home runs.Hughie Critz
Hugh Melville Critz (September 17, 1900 – January 10, 1980) was an American second baseman in Major League Baseball for the Cincinnati Reds in the 1920s and the New York Giants in the 1930s.O'Farrell
O'Farrell (Irish: Ó Fearghail) is a surname of Irish Gaelic origin. Bearers include:
Barry O'Farrell, Australian politician
Bernadette O'Farrell (1924–1999), Irish actress
Bob O'Farrell, baseball player
Brett O'Farrell (disambiguation), several people
Conor O'Farrell (born 1956), American television actor
Derek O'Farrell (born 1983), Canadian rower
Elizabeth O'Farrell (1884–1957), Irish nurse and revolutionary
Emer O'Farrell (born 1981), Irish camogie player, and marketing executive
Finola O'Farrell, British high court judge and barrister
Francis Fergus O'Farrell, Irish soldier of the seventeenth century
Frank O'Farrell, former Irish soccer player and manager
Henry O'Farrell, Australian/Irish attempted assassin
Jasper O'Farrell, Irish-American surveyor and politician
John O'Farrell (disambiguation), several people
Josh O'Farrell, American politician, Member of the Ohio House of Representatives (2010)
Lauren O'Farrell (also known as Deadly Knitshade; born 1977), British artist
Luke O'Farrell (born 1990), Irish hurler
Maggie O'Farrell, British novelist
Maud O'Farrell Swartz (1879-1937), American labor leader
Maureen O'Farrell, British actress
Michael O'Farrell (disambiguation), several people
Mitch O'Farrell, American politician, member of the Los Angeles City Council (from 2013)
Patrick O'Farrell, Australian/Irish Roman Catholic historian
Patrick H. O'Farrell, inventor of two dimensional electrophoresis
Pierre O’Farrell,American actor
Richard O'Farrell (Irish Confederate), 17th-century Irish soldier
Richard O'Farrell (died 1757), British Army officer, Colonel of the 22nd Regiment of Foot (1741–1757)
Séamus O'Farrell (died 1973), Irish politician, member of Seanad Éireann (1948–1951)
Seánie O'Farrell (born 1977), Irish hurler
Tadeo O'Farrell (died 1602), Roman Catholic prelate, Bishop of Clonfert (1587–1602)
Talbot O'Farrell (1878–1952), stage name of an English music hall singer and film actor
Ursula O'Farrell (née Cussen; born 1934), Irish author and counsellorAs a place name, O'Farell can refer to:
O'Farrell, Texas, town in Cass County, Texas, United States