James Jerome O'Toole
- Bats Both, Throws Left
- Height 6' 0", Weight 198 lb.
- School University of Wisconsin-Madison
- High School Leo High School
- Debut September 26, 1958
- Final Game July 22, 1967
- Born January 10, 1937 in Chicago, IL USA
- Died December 26, 2015 in Cincinnati, OH, USA
Jim O'Toole won 98 games over a decade in the majors.
The brother of Dennis O'Toole, Jim attended the University of Wisconsin before signing with the Cincinnati Reds in late 1957. He made his pro debut the following year with the Nashville Volunteers. With Nashville, he went 20-8 with a 2.44 ERA and 189 strikeouts and was named Minor League Player of the Year by The Sporting News. This performance earned him a late-season call-up to Cincinnati, and he made one September appearance for the team, giving up one run over seven innings of work in a losing start against the Milwaukee Braves.
O'Toole became a regular member of the Reds rotation in 1959 but had his breakthrough season in 1961. After going 6-7 through June, he won 13 of his last 15 decisions to end the year with 19 wins. Cincinnati surprisingly won the National League pennant, and O'Toole faced Whitey Ford of the New York Yankees in both of his starts in the World Series, losing both games.
O'Toole was the starting pitcher in the 1963 All-Star Game and won 17 games in both 1963 and 1964. However, shoulder problems developed in 1965, and he won only 3 games that year. Following the 1966 season, he was traded to the White Sox for Floyd Robinson. The injuries continued to take their toll, and after one year with the White Sox, he spent 1968 in the minors. After failing to make the Seattle Pilots in Spring Training 1969, his pro career came to an end.
O'Toole raised 11 children (6 girls and 5 boys) with wife Betty Jane in Cincinnati and had 33 grandchildren as of 2007. Jim Bouton mentions his large family in Ball Four; both pitchers were trying to make the Pilots pitching staff in spring training in 1969. Bouton made it, but O'Toole did not, and was pitching in an industrial league by the end of the year, leading Bouton to reflect that it could easily have been him ending up in that position.
O'Toole was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame 1972.
- 1958 Minor League Player of the Year, Nashville Volunteers, Southern Association
- 1959 Topps All-Star Rookie Team
- NL All-Star (1963)
- 15 Wins Seasons: 4 (1961-1964)
- 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 4 (1961-1964)