Pat Flaherty (minors02)

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Edmund Joseph Flaherty
(Ed, Eddie, Patsy)

BR Minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

Pat Flaherty pitched in the minor leagues from 1917 to 1923. Off and on he served in the United States Army, United States Air Service, United States Air Corps and United States Air Force from 1915 to 1953, originally a pilot raising to rank of Major. He served in the Mexican Border War, both World Wars and in Korea. He was born on March 8, 1897, the nephew of Pat Flaherty and attended high school at Eastern High School in Washington, DC and Dean Academy in Franklin, Massachusetts. While in high school, he was a page to House Speaker James Beauchamp "Champ" Clark and played baseball and football. He then attended the School of Military Aeronautics at Princeton University. He married Dorothy Fiske in 1917 and Dorothea Fugazy in 1929, siring sons Edmund Flaherty Jr. and Patrick Joseph Flaherty and daughter Frances X. Flaherty.

Flaherty went to spring training with the Washington Senators in 1917. However, his closest brush with the majors came in 1921. He began the year pitching for the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League. This stint brought him his only baseball card, a 1921 Zeenuts issue. He moved on to the Shreveport Gassers in the Texas League before the New York Giants announced on September 12th that he was being promoted to their team (various newspapers reported this development). In 1921, the World Series had the potential to run nine games, so it appears that the Giants were stocking additional pitching help for an emergency. The Giants beat the New York Yankees in eight games, and Flaherty got to watch the proceedings from the bullpen.

Pat did perform at the major league level in football, however. He was an end and halfback, and a fine punter. He played at the opposite end of the line from George Halas with the 1923 Chicago Bears. The Washington Post of December 24, 1923, carried an article entitled "Flaherty Back Home After Great Season." The article said: "Patsy Flaherty, last year's star end for the Washington professional football team, has just returned to town after a successful season with the Chicago Bears, runners-up in the national pro race and winners of the 1923 Western professional title. Flaherty participated in twelve of the thirteen games, which the Bears played and made quite a name for himself in the Windy City as a punter. He started the season at end but, because of his passing and booting ability, was shifted to the backfield where he starred." Pat also played for the Bears in 1924. He then went into the music publishing business.

And after that, he became a Hollywood actor, with around 250 films to his credit. He was in many of the baseball classics and other recognizable movies. The former baseball player was seen in quite a few baseball pictures after his 1934 screen debut. Flaherty can be seen in roles both large and small in Death on the Diamond (1934), Pride of the Yankees (1942), It Happened in Flatbush (1942), The Stratton Story (1949, as the Western All-Stars coach), The Jackie Robinson Story (1950) and The Winning Team (1952, as legendary umpire Bill Klem). In 1948's The Babe Ruth Story, Flaherty not only essayed the role of Bill Corrigan, but also served as the film's technical adviser. Outside the realm of baseball, he was usually cast in blunt, muscle-bound roles, notably Fredric March's taciturn male nurse "Cuddles" in A Star is Born 1937). One of Pat Flaherty's most unusual assignments was Wheeler and Woolsey's Off Again, On Again (1937), in which, upon finding his wife (Patricia Wilder) in a compromising position with Bert Wheeler, he doesn't pummel the hapless Wheeler as expected, but instead meekly apologizes for his wife's flirtatiousness!

He died December 4, 1970 at age 73.

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