Jim O'Toole

James Jerome O'Toole (January 10, 1937 – December 26, 2015) was an American professional baseball pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago White Sox during his 10-year career.[1]

Jim O'Toole
James Jerome OToole full shot, circa 1963
Born: January 10, 1937
Chicago, Illinois
Died: December 26, 2015 (aged 78)
Cincinnati, Ohio
Batted: Switch Threw: Left
MLB debut
September 26, 1958, for the Cincinnati Reds
Last MLB appearance
July 22, 1967, for the Chicago White Sox
MLB statistics
Win–loss record98–84
Earned run average3.57
Career highlights and awards

College and minor league

After graduating from Chicago's Leo High School, O'Toole attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He made his Major League debut with the Reds after only one minor league season, with the 1958 Nashville Vols, where he led the AA Southern Association in wins (20), innings pitched, strikeouts and bases on balls.

Cincinnati Reds

From 1961–64, he won 19, 16, 17 and 17 games for the Cincinnati Reds, from 1961 to 1963 respectively 3rd, tied for 8th, and tied for 10th in the National League. He played a crucial role in Cincinnati's 1961 National League championship, when he won 19 of 28 decisions, with an earned run average of 3.10, second in the National League behind Warren Spahn. He was named Player of the Month for September with a 5–0 record, 2.53 ERA, and 37 strikeouts. He finished 10th in MVP voting. Though pitching effectively in the 1961 World Series, with an earned run average of 3.00, O'Toole lost his two decisions to Whitey Ford in games 1 and 4, as the New York Yankees bested the Reds in five games.[1] In 1963, he was the starting pitcher of the National League in the Major League Baseball All-Star Game (his only appearance at the Summer Classic), pitching 2 innings and allowing 1 earned run, not involved in the decision. O'Toole later said that being selected as the starting pitcher by San Francisco Giants manager Alvin Dark was one of the proudest moments of his career.[1] In 1964, he continued as an elite pitcher, with a career-best earned run average of 2.66, 6th in the National League, and a win-lost percentage of .708, third in the National League behind Sandy Koufax and Juan Marichal, two members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Chicago White Sox

O'Toole played in Cincinnati until his final season, 1967, spent with his hometown team, the Chicago White Sox, but was ineffective due to arm troubles. O'Toole tried to return with a 1969 expansion team, the Seattle Pilots, but was cut in spring training before the season began.

Personal life

O'Toole married Betty Jane Wall, his high school sweetheart, on July 2, 1960. They had 11 children.[2][1]

After his baseball career ended, O'Toole had a successful second career in Cincinnati real estate sales and remained active in the community, supporting charities and participating in local events including the 2015 St. Patrick's Day parade where he served as the grand marshal.[1]

O'Toole died on December 26, 2015, from cancer in Cincinnati, Ohio at the age of 78.[3][1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Sewell, Dan (January 1, 2016) "Reds pitcher had tough task in '61 World Series", The Washington Post, page B4 [1] Retrieved August 6, 2016
  2. ^ "James "Jim" O'Toole obituary". Cincinnati Enquirer. December 28, 2015. Retrieved December 28, 2015.
  3. ^ "Reds announce death of 1960s star pitcher Jim O'Toole". Sportsnet. December 27, 2015. Retrieved December 27, 2015.

External links

Preceded by
Warren Spahn
Major League Player of the Month
September, 1961
Succeeded by
Bob Purkey
1959 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1959 Cincinnati Reds season consisted of the Reds finishing in a fifth-place tie with the Chicago Cubs in the National League standings, with a record of 74–80, 13 games behind the NL and World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

Prior to the season the club, after calling themselves the Cincinnati Redlegs for the past six seasons, changed its nickname back to the Reds. The Reds played their home games at Crosley Field.

1960 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1960 Cincinnati Reds season consisted of the Reds finishing in sixth place in the National League standings, with a record of 67–87, 28 games behind the National League and World Series champion Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Reds were managed by Fred Hutchinson and played their home games at Crosley Field.

1961 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1961 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. It consisted of the Reds winning the National League pennant with a 93–61 record, four games ahead of the runner-up Los Angeles Dodgers, but losing the World Series in five games to the New York Yankees. The Reds were managed by Fred Hutchinson, and played their home games at Crosley Field. The Reds were also the last team to win the National League in the 154-game schedule era, before going to a 162-game schedule a year later.

Cincinnati's road to the World Series was truly a remarkable one, as the Reds went through significant changes in a single season to improve from a team that won just 67 games and finished 28 games behind the eventual World Series Champion Pittsburgh Pirates in 1960. The architect of the turnaround was the Reds' new general manager Bill DeWitt, who left his role as president and general manager of the Detroit Tigers after the end of the 1960 season to replace Gabe Paul as the Reds' GM. Paul was hired as the general manager of the expansion Houston Colt .45s.

DeWitt, who had a short history of successful trades in Detroit including acquiring Norm Cash and Rocky Colavito, went to work at the 1960 Winter Meetings for Cincinnati. DeWitt found trade partners in the Milwaukee Braves and the Chicago White Sox. In essentially a three-team trade, the Reds acquired pitchers Joey Jay and Juan Pizarro for slick-fielding shortstop Roy McMillan on Dec. 15, 1960. On that same day, the Reds then traded Pizzaro and pitcher Cal McLish to the White Sox for third baseman Gene Freese. It was the fourth time Freese had been traded in 18 months. Most recently, the White Sox had acquired Freese from the Philadelphia Phillies for future all star Johnny Callison in December 1959.

Reds owner Powel Crosley, Jr. died suddenly of a heart attack at his home in Cincinnati 13 days before the start of the season. DeWitt would eventually purchase 100% of the team ownership from Crosley's estate by year's end.

The Reds began the season with Freese at third base, sure-handed Eddie Kasko moved from third (where he played in 1960) to shortstop and long-time minor leaguer Jim Baumer at second base. Baumer was one of MLB's "feel good" stories. After playing in nine games with the White Sox in 1949 as an 18 year old rookie, Baumer returned to the minor leagues and didn't make it back to the big league for 11 years. The Reds drafted Baumer during the Rule 5 draft after the Pittsburgh Pirates left him unprotected. After a solid spring training with the Reds, Baumer was named starting second baseman to open the season. As the season began, expectations were low for the Reds among baseball "experts." The Reds won their first three games, but then went into a slump, losing 10 of 12. To the surprise of many, it was the Reds' offense that struggled most. Baumer in particular was hitting just .125. DeWitt then made a bold move on April 27, 1961, trading all-star catcher Ed Bailey to the San Francisco Giants for second baseman Don Blasingame, catcher Bob Schmidt and journeyman pitcher Sherman Jones. Blasingame was inserted as starter at second base, and Baumer was traded to the Detroit Tigers on May 10 for backup first baseman Dick Gernert. Baumer never again played in the majors.

On April 30, the Reds won the second game of a double-header from the Pittsburgh Pirates to begin a 9-game winning streak. Exactly a month after the trade of Bailey, the Reds began another win streak, this time six games, to improve to 26-16. Those streaks were part of a stretch where the Reds won 50 of 70 games to improve to 55-30. Cincinnati led Los Angeles by five games at the All Star break.

After the break, the Dodgers got hot and the Reds floundered. After the games of August 13, Los Angeles was 69-40 and led Cincinnati (70-46) by 2½ games, but six in the loss column as the Dodgers had played seven fewer games than the Reds due to multiple rainouts. On Aug. 15, the Reds went into Los Angeles to begin a three-game, two-day series highlighted by a double-header. In the first game of the series, Reds' righty Joey Jay bested Sandy Koufax and the Dodgers, 5-2, as Eddie Kasko had four hits and Frank Robinson drove in two for Cincinnati. In the Wednesday double-header, knuckle-baller Bob Purkey threw a four-hit shutout as the Reds won Game 1, 6-0. In Game 2, Freese hit two home runs off Dodgers' lefty Johnny Podres and Jim O'Toole hurled a two-hitter as the Reds completed the sweep with an 8-0 victory. The Reds left Los Angeles with a half-game lead. It was the Dodgers' fourth-straight loss in what would turn out to be a 10-game losing streak to put the Dodgers in a hole, while the Reds stayed in first-place the rest of the season.

The Reds clinched their first pennant in 21 years on Sept. 26 when they beat the Cubs, 6-3, in the afternoon and the Dodgers lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates, 8-0, in the second game of a doubleheader. The Reds earned a chance to face the mighty New York Yankees in the 1961 World Series.

Outfielders Frank Robinson and Vada Pinson led the Reds offense while starting pitchers Bob Purkey, Jim O'Toole and newcomer Joey Jay were the staff standouts. Robinson (37 homers, 124 RBI, 117 runs scored, 22 stolen bases, .323 average) was named National League MVP. Pinson (208 hits, .343 average, 101 runs scored, 23 stolen bases) and a Gold Glove recipient, finished third in MVP voting. Purkey won 16 games, O'Toole won 19 and Jay won an NL-best 21 games. Jay also finished a surprising fifth in NL MVP voting, one spot ahead of future Hall of Famer Willie Mays who hit 40 home runs and drove in 123 for the Giants, such was the respect the Baseball Writers had for Jay's contributions to the Reds' pennant.

At a position (3B) that the Reds had received little offensive production from in the recent years leading up to 1961, Freese provided a major boost, slugging 26 home runs and driving in 87 runs to go with a .277 average.

Hutchinson, a former MLB pitcher, was masterful in his handling of the pitching staff as well as juggling a lineup that included part-timers (and former slugging standouts) Gus Bell, Wally Post (20, 57, .294) as well as Jerry Lynch (13, 50, .315). For the second straight season, Lynch led the National League with 19 pinch hits. Hutchinson was named Manager of the Year.

1961 Philadelphia Phillies season

The 1961 Philadelphia Phillies season was the 69th in franchise history. The Phillies finished the season in last place in the National League at 47–107, 46 games behind the NL Champion Cincinnati Reds. The team also lost 23 games in a row, the most in the majors since 1900.

1961 World Series

The 1961 World Series matched the New York Yankees (109–53) against the Cincinnati Reds (93–61), with the Yankees winning in five games to earn their 19th championship in 39 seasons. This World Series was surrounded by Cold War political puns pitting the "Reds" against the "Yanks." But the louder buzz concerned the "M&M" boys, Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle, who spent the summer chasing the ghost of Babe Ruth and his 60–home run season of 1927. Mantle finished with 54 while Maris set the record of 61 on the last day of the season. With all the attention surrounding the home run race, the World Series seemed almost anticlimatic.

The Yankees were under the leadership of first-year manager Ralph Houk, who succeeded Casey Stengel. The Yankees won the American League pennant, finishing eight games better than the Detroit Tigers. The Bronx Bombers also set a Major League record for most home runs in a season with 240. Along with Maris and Mantle, four other Yankees, Yogi Berra, Elston Howard, Bill Skowron, and Johnny Blanchard, hit more than 20 home runs. The pitching staff was also led by Cy Young Award-winner Whitey Ford (25–4, 3.21).

The underdog Reds, skippered by Fred Hutchinson, finished four games ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League and boasted four 20-plus home run hitters of their own: NL MVP Frank Robinson, Gordy Coleman, Gene Freese and Wally Post. The second-base, shortstop, and catcher positions were platooned, while center fielder Vada Pinson led the league in hits with 208 and finished second in batting with a .343 average. Joey Jay (21–10, 3.53) led the staff, along with dependable Jim O'Toole and Bob Purkey.

The American League added two teams, the Los Angeles Angels and the Washington Senators, through expansion and also increased teams' respective schedules by eight games to 162. The National League was a year away from its own expansion as the Reds and the other NL teams maintained the 154-game schedule.

The Most Valuable Player Award for the series went to lefty Whitey Ford, who won two games while throwing 14 shutout innings.

Ford left the sixth inning of Game 4 due to an injured ankle. He set the record for consecutive scoreless innings during World Series play with 32, when, during the third inning he passed the previous record holder, Babe Ruth, who had pitched ​29 2⁄3 consecutive scoreless innings for the Boston Red Sox in 1916 and 1918. Ford would extend that record to ​33 2⁄3 in the 1962 World Series.

The 1961 five-game series was the shortest since 1954, when the New York Giants swept the Cleveland Indians in four games.

These two teams would meet again 15 years later in the 1976 World Series, which the Reds would win in a four-game sweep.

1963 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1963 Cincinnati Reds season consisted of the Cincinnati Reds finishing in fifth place in the National League with a record of 86–76, 13 games behind the NL and World Series Champion Los Angeles Dodgers. The Reds were managed by Fred Hutchinson and played their home games at Crosley Field.

1963 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1963 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 34th playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 9, 1963 in Cleveland, Ohio, at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, home of the American League's Cleveland Indians. The game was won by the National League 5–3.

From 1959 to 1962, baseball experimented with a pair of All-Star Games per year. That ended with this 1963 game, which also marked the 30th anniversary of the inaugural All-Star Game played in Chicago in 1933.

1963 Philadelphia Phillies season

The 1963 Philadelphia Phillies season was the 81st in franchise history. The 87–75 Phillies finished the season in fourth place in the National League, 12 games behind the NL and World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

1965 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1965 Cincinnati Reds season consisted of the Reds finishing in fourth place in the National League, with a record of 89–73, eight games behind the NL and World Series Champion Los Angeles Dodgers. The Reds were managed by Dick Sisler and played their home games at Crosley Field.

1966 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1966 Cincinnati Reds season consisted of the Reds finishing in seventh place in the National League with a record of 76–84, 18 games behind the NL Champion Los Angeles Dodgers. The Reds were managed by Don Heffner (37–46) and Dave Bristol (39–38), who replaced Heffner in mid-July.

1967 Chicago White Sox season

The 1967 Chicago White Sox season was the team's 67th season in the major leagues, and its 68th season overall. They finished with a record 89–73, good enough for fourth place in the American League, 3 games behind the first-place Boston Red Sox.

Bob Purkey

Robert Thomas Purkey (July 14, 1929 – March 16, 2008) was an American right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball known for his use of the knuckleball. From 1954 through 1966, Purkey played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds / Redlegs, and St. Louis Cardinals. In 1974 he was elected to the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame.

Bobby Klaus

Robert Francis Klaus (born December 27, 1937 in Spring Grove, Illinois), is a former right-handed Major League Baseball infielder who played from 1964 to 1965 for the Cincinnati Reds and New York Mets. He is the brother of the late MLB infielder Billy Klaus.

Prior to playing professional baseball, Klaus attended University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. Klaus was 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) and weighed 170 pounds (77 kg).

Originally signed as an amateur free agent by the Cincinnati Redlegs in 1959, Klaus made his big league debut on April 21, 1964, against Jimmy Wynn and the rest of the Houston Colt .45s as a pinch hitter for pitcher Jim O'Toole. He did not get an official at-bat in his first game, because a runner on base was caught trying to advance.

Klaus did poorly as a brief replacement for Pete Rose in 1964 with the Reds, batting .183 in 40 games. He was purchased by the Mets on July 19 of that year, and with them he played in 56 games, compiling a .244 batting average. Overall, in 96 games in his rookie season, he batted .225.

1965 would end up being Klaus' final season in the big leagues. In 119 games with the Mets, he collected 55 hits in 288 at-bats for a .191 batting average. He showed a fair eye at the plate, with his walk total nearly matching his strikeout total – he had 45 and 49 respectively.

He played his final big league game on October 3, 1965, against the Philadelphia Phillies. He ended his career on a sour note – he collected no hits in five at bats in his final game.

In his big league career, he played in 215 total games, collecting 123 hits in 590 at-bats for a .208 batting average. He hit 25 doubles, four triples and six home runs, scored 65 runs and drove 29 in, stole five bases and was caught 10 times, and walked 74 times and struck out 92 times. He committed 21 errors in the field for a .973 fielding percentage.

Statistically, he is most similar to Buddy Biancalana.

Although his big league career ended after the 1965 season, he still stuck around in pro baseball for a while, and was part of some notable transactions. On February 22, 1966, he was traded by the Mets with Wayne Graham and Jimmie Schaffer to the Phillies for Dick Stuart.

On December 2, 1968, he was drafted by the San Diego Padres from the Phillies in the rule 5 draft.

Finally, on March 28, 1969, he was traded by the Padres with Ron Davis to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Tommie Sisk and Chris Cannizzaro.

Dennis O'Toole

Dennis Joseph O'Toole (born March 13, 1949) is an American former professional baseball player. A right-handed relief pitcher and the younger brother (by 12 years) of 1963 National League All-Star lefthander Jim O'Toole, Dennis appeared in 15 Major League games spread over five seasons (1969–1973) for the Chicago White Sox. He stood 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m) tall and weighed 195 pounds (88 kg).

In 30⅓ MLB innings pitched, O'Toole gave up 43 hits and ten bases on balls, with 22 strikeouts and no saves. He yielded 17 earned runs for a career ERA of 5.04. He compiled a 53–39 (3.66) mark in 211 minor league games, mostly in the White Sox' farm system, over nine seasons (1967–1975). His MLB career did not overlap with Jim's, who hurled his last big league game with the ChiSox over two years before Dennis' debut.

Ken Hunt (pitcher)

Kenneth Raymond Hunt (December 14, 1938 – January 27, 2008) was a starting pitcher in Major League Baseball who played briefly for the Cincinnati Reds during the 1961 season. Listed at 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m), 200 lb (91 kg), Hunt batted and threw right-handed. He was born in Ogden, Utah.

In his only major league season, Hunt was a member of the Cincinnati Reds 1961 National League champions who faced the New York Yankees in the World Series. Hunt got off to a fast start, sporting an 8–3 win–loss record and a 2.73 earned run average (ERA) through his first 14 games (13 as a starter). However, after that, he struggled to a 1–7 record and a 6.27 ERA over the rest of the season. He started only one game after August 5 as the Reds went to a four-man rotation down the stretch. In the World Series, he made only one appearance, pitching the 9th inning in the fifth and final game, a blowout 13–5 loss, striking out one and walking one.

Despite his late fade, Hunt won the TSN Rookie Pitcher of the Year Award, after going 9–10 with 75 strikeouts in 136⅓ innings of work, and his 3.96 ERA ranked him fourth in the Reds rotation behind Jim O'Toole (3.10), Joey Jay (3.53) and Bob Purkey (3.73).

Following his major league career, Hunt pitched in the minors for four years before leaving professional baseball at age 26. Hunt earned a bachelor's degree from Brigham Young University in 1983. After retiring, he taught English and coached basketball and baseball at Morgan (UT) High School. In 2004, he was inducted into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame.

Hunt died in Morgan, Utah at age 69.

Leo Catholic High School

Leo Catholic High School is a private all-male Roman Catholic high school in the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, United States. It is located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago and home to a predominantly African–American student body. The school is named in honor of Pope Leo XIII.

List of Cincinnati Reds Opening Day starting pitchers

The Cincinnati Reds are a Major League Baseball franchise based in Cincinnati who play in the National League's Central Division. In their history, the franchise also played under the names Cincinnati Red Stockings and Cincinnati Redlegs. They played in the American Association from 1882 through 1889, and have played in the National League since 1890. The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honor that is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season, though there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day. The Reds have used 76 Opening Day starting pitchers since they began play as a Major League team in 1882.

The Reds have played in several different home ball parks. They played two seasons in their first home ball park, Bank Street Grounds, and had one win and one loss in Opening Day games there. The team had a record of six wins and ten losses in Opening Day games at League Park, and a record of three wins and seven losses in Opening Day games at the Palace of the Fans. The Reds played in Crosley Field from 1912 through the middle of the 1970 season, and had a record of 27 wins and 31 losses in Opening Day games there. They had an Opening Day record of 19 wins, 11 losses and 1 tie from 1971 through 2002 at Riverfront Stadium, and they have a record of three wins and six losses in Opening Day games at their current home ball park, the Great American Ball Park. That gives the Reds an overall Opening Day record of 59 wins, 66 losses and one tie at home. They have a record of three wins and one loss in Opening Day games on the road.Mario Soto holds the Reds' record for most Opening Day starts, with six. Tony Mullane, Pete Donohue and Aaron Harang have each made five Opening Day starts for the Reds. José Rijo and Johnny Cueto have each made four Opening Day starts for Cincinnati, while Ewell Blackwell, Tom Browning, Paul Derringer, Art Fromme, Si Johnson, Gary Nolan, Jim O'Toole, Tom Seaver, Bucky Walters and Will White each made three such starts for the Reds. Harang was the Reds' Opening Day starting pitcher every season from 2006–2010. Among the Reds' Opening Day starting pitchers, Seaver and Eppa Rixey have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.The Reds have won the World Series championship five times, in 1919, 1940, 1975, 1976 and 1990. Dutch Ruether was the Reds' Opening Day starting pitcher in 1919, Derringer in 1940, Don Gullett in 1975, Nolan in 1976 and Browning in 1990. The Reds won all five Opening Day games in seasons in which they won the World Series. In addition, prior to the existence of the modern World Series, the Reds won the American Association championship in 1882. White was their Opening Day starting pitcher that season, the franchise's first. Jack Billingham started one of the most famous Opening Day games in Reds history on April 4, 1974 against the Atlanta Braves. In that game, Billingham surrendered Hank Aaron's 714th career home run, which tied Babe Ruth's all time home run record.

Nashville Vols awards and league leaders

The Nashville Vols minor league baseball team played 62 seasons from its creation in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1901 through its final season of 1963. The club played in 9,019 regular season games and compiled a win–loss record of 4,571–4,448 (.507). They had a post-season record of 110–77–1 (.588). This list documents top players in particular statistical areas.

The Nashville Baseball Club was formed as a charter member of the newly organized Class B Southern Association in 1901. The team did not receive their official moniker, the Nashville Volunteers, until 1908. However, the team was, and is, commonly referred to as the Vols. Their last season in the Southern Association was 1961. After sitting out the 1962 season, the Vols returned for a final season as a part of the South Atlantic League in 1963.Eight Vols players won the Southern Association Most Valuable Player Award, the league's only award. Of the 1,215 players to have played for the Vols, 103 players distinguished themselves by leading the league in statistical categories during a season. Bob Lennon led the Southern Association in five areas in 1954: batting average (.345), hits (210), runs (139), RBI (161), and home runs (64). In 1942, Charlie English led the league in four categories: batting average (.341), hits (217), RBI (139), and doubles (50). In 1943, Ed Sauer led the league in four areas: batting average (.368), runs (113), doubles (51), and stolen bases (30). Twenty-nine other players also led in multiple categories in single seasons.

Five players hold Southern Association records for single-season performances. Les Fleming holds the batting average record (.414 in 1941), Charlie Gilbert the runs record (178 in 1948), Jim Poole the RBI record (167 in 1930), Joe Dwyer the doubles record (65 in 1936), and Bob Lennon the home run record (64 in 1954).

O'Toole (surname)

O'Toole family, a leading family in Gaelic Leinster


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