The John P. Cooney, Mayor of Providence clan. He was a prominent attorney in Providence and was named Mayor of the city for a period when the incumbent, Denny Roberts went off to serve during WWII. His family still flourishes.
The Thomas Cooney clan. Thanks to Beth Rennick Capps for her message in the Guestbook. She writes that her mother and aunt, Beth and Teas, were Cooneys descended from Thomas Cooney, and were friendly with some of those named on the Dr. John P. Cooney page, namely, Alice (Cox) Cooney (wife of Francis Cooney), Catherine Cooney, and Rosalind (Cooney) Larkowich. Beth writes that she now lives in historic Las Vegas, New Mexico, and her brother Charlie Rennick lives in Coventry RI.
The Baseball Cooneys. Known in baseball as the "Cranston Cooneys", this family produced three major league baseball players and a couple of others who had minor league careers. The first was Jimmy Cooney Sr. (1865-1903), who may have been the inspiration for the Cooney on the Mudville Nine who "died at first" in "Casey at the Bat". In the poem, published in 1888, "Scooter" Cooney was a good fielding shortstop and was adept at getting on base, thus batting at the top of the lineup so he could score when "Mighty Casey" delivered. That describes Jimmy Cooney Sr., who was a 5'9" 155 lb. shortstop who played in 324 games for the Cubs and Senators 1890-1892. He had a .320 on-base percentage and stole 77 bases. Although the poem was published two years before Jimmy Sr. made it to the Cubs, he was a standout in the minors for four or five years before that. For more on the Mudville Nine, click here.
His son Jimmy Cooney Jr. (1894-1991) made his debut in the majors with the Boston Red Sox in 1917, returned in 1919, and then in 1924-1928, playing for the Red Sox, Giants, Cardinals, Cubs, Phillies and Braves. Nicknamed "Scoops", he was celebrated for his slick fielding at shortstop. He stood 5'11" and weighed 160 lbs. He played in 448 games in the majors, batting .262 and producing 150 RBI. He is in the record books for his famous unassisted triple play, one of the most rare events in baseball. The day was May 30, 1927 and Scoops was playing shortstop for the Cubs against the Pirates. In the fourth inning with runners on first and second, he made a spectacular catch of Paul Waner's line drive over his head, stepped on second to double Waner's brother Lloyd, and then tagged Clyde Barnhart coming from first. The glove Jimmy used in the play is now part of a baseball collection and may be viewed on the net. Click here to see the glove. Its interesting to note that Jimmy Jr.'s brother Johnny was one of the unlucky baserunners on Glenn Wight's unassisted triple play in 1925. In retirement Jimmy Jr. lived many years in Narragansett, and died in a Nursing Home in Warwick RI at 96 years of age.
Johnny Cooney (1901- 1986) The youngest of Jimmy Sr.'s baseball playing sons, Johnny was by far the best and had a 20-year career in the majors. At 5'11" and 165 lbs., he started out as a left-handed pitcher for the Braves who also played first base and the outfield, and played from 1921 to 1930, when a sore arm ended his pitching career. But he so loved the game he continued to play in the minor leagues as an outfielder, and, after winning the American Association batting title, came back to play left field in the majors 1935 to 1944. In that capacity, he played for the Braves, Dodgers and Yankees, and was known as a graceful and intuitive outfielder and a pretty good hitter. He tied the then major league record in 1937 when he hit 4 extra base hits (3 doubles and a triple) in one game. He hit .318 for the Braves in 1940 and .319 in 1941. Casey Stengel, his manager with the Dodgers and the Braves, later favorably compared Johnny's fielding to that of Joe Dimaggio. Johnny had a brief stint as a major league manager, when in 1949, Braves owner Lou Perini put manager Billy Southworth on leave of absence, and Johnny Cooney was named manager for 46 games. The team responded well and went on a winning streak before reverting to form and finishing under .500. Johnny died in Sarasota Florida in 1986.