Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Providence College Friar John McDonald Retires from Baseball

Pic from projo.com

At age 40, after 16 seasons in the Major League, John McDonald retired from baseball, and thus comes the end of Providence College graduates playing in the MLB.

McDonald played for 8 teams in his career, utilizing his stellar glove-work to catch on as a utility-man across the league.  Not known for his bat (a career .233 hitter with 28 home runs), McDonald was known as a great teammate and slick fielder, thusly nicknamed 'The Prime Minister of Defence' during his time in Toronto.

Some Fun Facts about Johnny Mac (I might as well make up my own nickname for him...just in time):

McDonald was once traded for himself.  He was traded from the Blue Jays to the Tigers for a player to be named later, which turned out to be him, after 3 months with Detroit.

McDonald is also from East Lyme, CT, which makes me like him even more.

He met his wife during his freshman year at PC.  He left Providence College 6 credits short of graduating and returned during 2006 (my freaking senior year) to finish up his degree.  Granted, I probably wouldn't even recognize him tomorrow, I still kind of wish I knew he was there at the same time as me.

With the end of the Friars' run in Major League Baseball due to them canceling their baseball program in 1999 (thank Title 9) here's a list of the guys who attended Providence College and played in the majors:

From 1929-1952: Al Blanche, Birdie Tebbetts, & Ed Wineapple.

Keith Reed (6 games in 2005)
Carmen Pignatiello (6 games between 2007/2008, no plate appearances)
Lou Merloni (1998-2006, mostly with Boston)


I could have sworn that Travis Fryman went to Providence College too but apparently I've just been lying to people for the last 10 years or so.  Welp, sorry everybody.