Holy Cow(baseball) origin?

Sam Clements SClements at NEO.RR.COM
Sun Apr 4 04:59:56 UTC 2004

Certainly Harry Caray popularized it.  Rizzuto also.

If you read Paul Dickson's 1999 New Baseball Encyclopedia, he suggests that a Lisa Winston in 1994 in a USA article "concluded" it came from Jack Holiday, a New Orleans radio announcer for the Baseball Pelicans in the 1930's(I haven't read that article as yet).

>From the 28 May 1927 _Decatur(IL) Evening Herald_  7/3(NewspaperArchive)

<<If Dan O'Leary were in the Three-Eye[class "B" league--ed.] yet, that stentorian bellow of his from the third base coaching line----"Holy cow, get a hit before the league blows up," would be fraught with dire significance.  But, we are assured, the league isn't going to "blow up", and ......>>

O'Leary was the manager of Davenport(IA) from 1911-16, and Decatur(IL)  in 1922 and 1925.

This "could" be a major league player named Dan O'Leary, who was born in 1856, and who had perhaps as undistinguished a career as any player in baseball.  45 total games in the majors, 32 of them for the Univ. of Cincinnati.  Mitigating against it being Dan-O'Leary-the-major-leaguer is his reported death in 1922.  But, hey, people voted in Illinois after they were dead, so why couldn't he have managed in 1925, three years after his death.  It could always have been another O'Leary.  

I know there is no supporting evidence for this, but it's food for thought and further research.

Sam Clements

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