Steve O'Neill was born on Monday, July 6, 1891, in Minooka, Pennsylvania. O'Neill was 20 years old when he broke into the big leagues on September 18, 1911, with the Cleveland Naps. His biographical data, year-by-year hitting stats, fielding stats, pitching stats (where applicable), career totals, uniform numbers, salary data and miscellaneous items-of-interest are presented by Baseball Almanac on this comprehensive Steve O'Neill baseball stats page.
"He (Steve O'Neill) got into professional baseball by accident. He had been working in the mines and catching for an amateur team in Minook when in 1910 he got an invitation to visit his brother, Mike , who then was managing the Elmira team in the New York State League. When he arrived he found Elmira's two catchers had been injured and the club couldn't afford to get another backstop. 'It looks like it's up to you,' Mike told Steve, 'Get in there and catch.'" - New York Times (01/17/1962, 'Steve O'Neil, Former Manager of 4 Baseball Teams, Dies at 69', AP Wire)
Steve O'Neill Pitching Stats
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Steve O'Neill Hitting Stats
Steve O'Neill Fielding Stats
|1924 Red Sox||C||92||91||2,014||430||4.7||417||342||75||13||2||14||41||37||.970||5.59|
Steve O'Neill Miscellaneous Stats
|Baserunning Statistics||Other Positions||Common Hitting Ratios||Common Pitching Ratios|
|1924 Red Sox||0||2||.000||14||0||n/a||0.0||13.3||8.1||-||-||-|
Steve O'Neill Miscellaneous Items of Interest
|Team [Click for Roster]||Uniform Numbers||Salary||All-Star||World Series|
|1911 Cleveland Naps||n/a||Undetermined||n/a||-|
|1912 Cleveland Naps||n/a||Undetermined||n/a||-|
|1913 Cleveland Naps||n/a||Undetermined||n/a||-|
|1914 Cleveland Naps||n/a||Undetermined||n/a||-|
|1915 Cleveland Indians||n/a||Undetermined||n/a||-|
|1916 Cleveland Indians||n/a||Undetermined||n/a||-|
|1917 Cleveland Indians||n/a||Undetermined||n/a||-|
|1918 Cleveland Indians||n/a||Undetermined||n/a||-|
|1919 Cleveland Indians||n/a||Undetermined||n/a||-|
|1920 Cleveland Indians||n/a||$6,000.00||n/a||Stats|
|1921 Cleveland Indians||n/a||$6,000.00||n/a||-|
|1922 Cleveland Indians||n/a||$8,000.00||n/a||-|
|1923 Cleveland Indians||n/a||$10,000.00||n/a||-|
|1924 Boston Red Sox||n/a||$10,000.00||n/a||-|
|1925 New York Yankees||n/a||$10,000.00||n/a||-|
|1927 St. Louis Browns||n/a||$6,000.00||n/a||-|
|1928 St. Louis Browns||n/a||$6,000.00||n/a||-|
|Steve O'Neill Stats by Baseball Almanac|
Steve O'Neill | Photo by Library of Congress
Steve O'Neill, and three of his brothers ( Jack O'Neill , catcher, 19021906; Mike O'Neill , right-hand pitcher, 19011904, 1907; Jim O'Neill , infielder, 1920, 1923), escaped a life in the coal mines by playing Major League Baseball. Baseball Almanac likes to take a look "beyond the stats" and we hope you enjoy the following historical baseball article about Steve O'Neill:
A NICE GUY WHO WON BALLGAMES
Nice Guys Finish Last is the name of Hall-of-Fame manager Leo Durochers autobiography and is a reference to things Leo said in a 1946 interview. Skipper of the first-place Dodgers at the time, The Lip acknowledged what a nice bunch of guys the Giants were but also noted that his cross-town rivals were in 7th place and sinking.
Its questionable whether or not Durocher actually uttered the phrase, Nice guys finish last but Leos point was clear; he didnt buy the conventional wisdom that if a teams players were model citizens and the clubhouse was a bastion of peace and harmony, wins would pile-up like one-notes rolling off the presses at the Treasury Department.
Durochers disdain for then-Giants manager Mel Otts laid-back, easy-going style was also evident. As a manager, Leo was head S.O.B. and admired players who pushed the limits of baseball civility. Subsequently, his teams were usually among the most-raucous in the major leagues.
Bean balls. High hard tags. Large, sweeping take-out slides. Brawls. Vicious bench-jockeying. Umpire-baiting.
Durocher won a lot of games as a manager (2008 in a 24-year career), so its hard to argue, isnt it? Being a jerk has its benefits, right?
Perhaps, but being a nice guy in the baseball world doesnt necessarily doom a manager to the nether-world of perpetual second-division finishes. A case-in-point is the career of Steve ONeill.
Stephen Francis ONeill was born in 1891 and grew-up in the coal mining region of northeast Pennsylvania. ONeills ability to play baseball kept him out of the coal mines as it did his brothers Jack , Mike and Jim . All four of the ONeill boys logged time in the major leagues with Steves career being the most successful.
Steve ONeill played 17 years in the majors with stops in Cleveland, Boston (AL), New York (AL), and St. Louis (AL). Used almost exclusively as a catcher, ONeill appeared in 1,590 games and had a career batting average of .263. He was one of the stars of the 1920 World Series , hitting .333 for the champion Indians.
A fine defensive catcher and a patient handler of pitchers, ONeill turned to managing after his playing days were over. Beginning in 1929 as a manager in the International League, ONeill gained a reputation for patiently cultivating young players. When the Indians beckoned him to pilot their club in 1935, ONeill stayed in the majors until his retirement in 1954.
ONeills record in the big leagues was impressive; his all-time winning percentage was .559 (1,040 wins, 821 losses). As-a-matter-of-fact, ONeills teams never had a losing record. Not bad for a guy Commissioner Ford Frick said didnt have an enemy in baseball.
ONeills managerial style was laid back and non-demonstrative. When he took over a mutinous Phillies club in 1952 from a martinet named Eddie Sawyer, ONeill lifted the stringent rules and the club responded. The newly-relaxed Phils had the best record in the majors the 2nd half-of-the season and had fans wondering what-if ONeill had been skipper earlier.
Stout Steve may have been easy-going but he was no dummy who just happened to luck his way into managing some good teams. Ted Williams , who could be brutally honest, said ONeill was the finest manager in Major League baseball. ONeill managed the Red Sox in 1950 and 51, a talented team that had the misfortune of being in the same league as the powerful Yankees at the height of their dynasty.
ONeills soft touch helped nurture youngsters Lou Boudreau , Bob Feller , Hal Newhouser and Robin Roberts into Hall-of-Fame stardom. The fiery Newhouser , in particular, benefited from having ONeill as a mentor. A combative sort, The Tigers star had a tendency to squabble with umpires, never a good idea for someone who needs a fair strike zone.
Leo Durocher would have probably choked at the sentiment, but ONeill was spotted by a sportswriter helping to coach a little league team a few days after getting let go by the Phillies in 1954 (the Phils were in 3rd at the time and would fall to 4th after ONeills departure).
Durocher would have also probably bristled at the fact that Nice Guy Steve ONeills lifetime winning percentage was higher than his (.559 to .540). Leo did manage longer, giving him more of a chance to lose more games but ONeills 19-year managerial career was substantial and no flash-in-the-pan.
In addition, Steve ONeills winning percentage as a manager was better than Hall-of-Famers Casey Stengel (.508), Sparky Anderson (.540), Whitey Herzog (.532), Miller Huggins (.555) and Connie Mack (.486).
So Leo , sometimes nice guys dont finish last. Sometimes, pleasant fellows like Steve ONeill win a lot of ballgames. Sometimes they even touch people in ways that go beyond the stadium. When ONeill passed away in 1962, it was reported that dozens of grown men wept at his funeral over the loss of a person they cared for deeply.
There is a place in baseball for nice guys.
Guys like Steve ONeill.
Written exclusively for Baseball Almanac by historian / author Chris Williams.
Steve O'Neill Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame Plaque | Heritage Park in Progressive Field
The Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame inaugural class in 1951 included Steve O'Neill (see plaque above) as well as Earl Averill , Mel Harder , Joe Jackson , Ken Keltner , Nap Lajoie , Joe Sewell , Tris Speaker , Hal Trosky and Cy Young .