Hank O’Day: NL Player, Manager & Umpire
Introduced: July, 2015
The Hank O’Day Challenge: Collect these three Ars Longa Art Cards featuring the three different phases of Hank O’Day’s unique NL career.
Hank O’Day: NL Player, Manager & Umpire: A Brief History
Henry M. “Hank” O’Day became the tenth umpire elected to the Hall of Fame in 2013, nearly a century after he ended his thirty-year tenure as one of the greatest arbiters in major league history. He stands as the only man to have played, managed and officiated in the National League.
As a player, O’Day left no great mark. He was a pitcher and a versatile position player, beginning with the Toledo Blue Stockings when the club entered the American Association in 1883. A teammate of Moses Fleetwood Walker, the first African-American in MLB, and back-up to ambidextrous hurler Tony Mullane, O’Day cut his teeth with remarkable and noteworthy colleagues. Plagued with a losing record on the mound for poor-hitting teams, Hank showed what he could do with some support when he joined the Giants in 1889, winning nine straight starts and going 9-1. O’Day won two games of the 1889 World’s Series en route to a Giants’ crown. His mid-season purchase by the Giants is oftentimes cited as the edge they needed to win the championship.
O’Day’s managerial record was similarly unremarkable, laboring for the Reds and Cubs during a hiatus from umpiring.
O’Day’s induction into the Hall came in recognition of his seminal role, with Bill Klem and Tom Connolly, in creating the modern baseball umpire. His integrity, strong personality and self-control all allowed him to cast the mold for future officials. O’Day was behind the plate for the first World Series in 1903, indicative of the esteem in which his contemporaries held him; and his resolve in the “Merkle’s Boner” incident reinforced his status as the authority on the diamond in an era when, too often, chaos reigned.
- As a pitcher and occasional outfielder from 1884-1890, O’Day amassed a 73-110 won/loss record with a 3.74 ERA and .190 career batting average
- Managing the Reds in 1912 and the Cubs in 1914, O’Day tallied a 153-154 lifetime managerial record, piloting both teams to 4th place finishes
- Umpired from 1895-1927, including 10 World Series, second most to Bill Klem. Was home plate umpire for no-hitters in four different decades.
Hank O’Day: NL Player, Manager & Umpire: Your Rewards
Reward 1: One free card from the current Ars Longa Redemption Series
Reward 2: Your chosen inscription to be displayed on a virtual Loving Cup below (optional)