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Dinny McNamara

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John Raymond McNamara

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[edit] Biographical Information

John "Dinny" McNamara was an all-around sports star at Lexington High School in his hometown of Lexington, MA and went on to attend Boston College where he played center field on the baseball team and fullback on the football team. After graduation, he signed a contract with the Boston Braves and immediately made his debut as a pinch-runner on July 2, 1927, scoring a run. He was used as a pinch-runner a handful of times and was given three starts in the outfield, but failed to collect a hit, so was sent down to the Providence Grays of the Eastern League for more seasoning.

In the fall of 1927, he took a job as an assistant football coach at Fordham University, but returned to the Braves in 1928. The script repeated itself: he was used a few times as a pinch-runner, got to play another three games in the field, and was sent down to Providence in late May. He did collect one hit in four at-bats. He failed to hit for the Grays, however, slugging a measly .266 in 320 at-bats. He thus gave up on baseball and concentrated on coaching football. In 1934, he returned to his alma mater, Boston College, as assistant football coach and freshman baseball coach. In 1935, he was promoted to head coach of the football team. However, he could not handle the stress of the new job. Some sources blame an automobile accident he suffered two years earlier as the source of his emotional distress. He quit after a 3-1 start to the football season, went back to Lexington, and apparently never held a steady job again. In 1963, he was killed when hit by a car near his home in Arlington, MA.

[edit] Further Reading

  • Clifford Blau: "Leg Men: Career Pinch-Runners in Major League Baseball", in The Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Volume 38, Number 1 (Summer 2009), pp. 70-81.

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