On a Sunday afternoon in 1894, after a seven-year playing career as a pitcher in the Majors from 1884 to 1890, Hank O’Day was a spectator at a Chicago baseball game when he was recruited from the stands to fill in for an umpire who was unable to make it due to transportation problems. The following year, in 1895, he was offered a contract as a full-time umpire in the National League where he would go on to officiate for thirty seasons. O’Day umpired the first modern World Series in 1903 and would go on to umpire in nine more Fall Classics. He made the controversial call on the infamous Fred Merkle play in 1908. His career as an umpire was interrupted twice as he tried his hand as a manager for the Cincinnati Reds in 1912 and the Chicago Cubs in 1914.
-Michael Rinehart Jr.
O’Day played for the 1889 New York Giants, along with six other Hall of Famers: Buck Ewing, Roger Connor, Monte Ward, Jim O’Rourke, Mickey Welch and Tim Keefe. O’ Day contributed two complete game victories (as well as a relief appearance) to the Giants World Series win over the Brooklyn Bridegrooms that season.