Former Indians catcher, coach, manager, and scout Steve O’Neill passes away in Cleveland. He was 70 years old.
Born in 1891 in Minooka, Pennsylvania, O’Neill reached the Majors at the age of 20 with the Cleveland Naps in 1911. He eventually became the regular catcher for the Cleveland club and spent 13 of his 17 MLB seasons behind the plate for the Tribe. Arguably one of his best seasons was in 1920, when he hit .321 in 149 games with three home runs and 55 RBI for the World Champion Indians.
He was traded after the 1923 season in a seven-player swap with the Boston Red Sox and would spend four more seasons in the Bigs with the Sox, the New York Yankees, and the St. Louis Browns.
Following his career, he became a coach for and later the manager of the Indians. He posted winning records in his two-plus seasons as their coach and was said to have helped with Bob Feller’s early development. He later went on to lead the Detroit Tigers, the Boston Red Sox, and the Philadelphia Phillies, winning a World Series with the Tigers in 1945. He returned to Cleveland as a scout from 1955 to 1957 after his Phillies gig.