Well, awfully tough day for New York and the nation. But, a very happy birthday to my great-grandfather Cornelius (Con) Daily. He played for lots of teams, including Brooklyn Bridegrooms. And he died in Brooklyn. I have visited his grave often, and could not believe my eyes the last time I visited. He is buried in Queens, in the All Faith Cemetery. It is located a home run, albeit a really, really long home run from downtown Manhattan. (I have left a baseball and his baseball card which I bought from an online baseball site, at his grave.) As I drove to his gravesite on 9/11 a couple of years ago, I saw the new Freedom Tower, then under construction and almost complete, in the distance. His gravesite was located in the shadows of the Twin Towers all those years. Relevant, of course, because he shares his birthday with the horrific day of 9/11. Rest in peace, Con. I love you.
So, yesterday was Flag Day, an important day for the country. And yesterday was also the day my great-grandfather, Cornelius Daily, star MLB catcher and star in my heart, passed away.
I never met him. That is the strangest thing about my connection to him. I never met him but I’ve read a lot about him in baseball books, articles, forums and he seemed like a great guy. Not to mention, a superstar catcher.
This blog is a tribute to Con and his brother, Ed, also a major league ballplayer who passed away very young–and to 19th-century baseball.
As the catcher in the sky, Con is still cheering on his great-great-grandson, Alexander (my son), who is playing ball this summer in two leagues–one in Boston and the other just north of Boston. And I like to think that Con has Alex’s back when he’s off-the-field, too 🙂
I don’t know why, but for some reason today I am thinking a lot about my great-grandfather, Con Daily. I was surfing the web a bit and came up with this fun info about him. I never met him but I wish he was around to talk to. I think he would have been a great listener with some great advice.
Cornelius “Con” Daily played 12 seasons of big league baseball, participating in 628 games from 1885 to 1896, mostly as a catcher. While he has long been known to be a left-handed batter, his throwing hand has remained a mystery until now. While this “Old Judge” baseball card misspelled his name “Daley,” it clearly reveals that the catcher threw right-handed:
Con Daily wishes you all a fabulous 2015 baseball season! Opening Day is so sweet this year following an epic Northeast winter! Hello spring, hello baseball! Go Yanks!
Game 7 tonight! Ed Daily, my great-uncle, played for the Giants! So we’re rooting them on, go Giants!
Game 3 World Series tonight, San Fran Giants at Detroit Tigers. For those of you who are 19th-century baseball buffs, here’s more about my great-uncle (my great-grandfather Con Daily’s brother) who played for the New York Giants in 1890 http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/d/dailyed01.shtml