Phil Cooney

This article was written by Mike Cooney

Phil Cooney (BASEBALL-REFERENCE.COM)Phil Cooney1 signed contracts with two major-league teams, neither of which was the team he played for in his one and only major-league game.

Born Philip Cohen, he changed his name to Cooney to insulate himself from the anti-Semitic prejudices that prevailed throughout professional baseball. Still, during his entire career, he was given many affectionate Jewish nicknames such as “The Little Hebrew.” He was also given less affectionate nicknames.

He was loved by players and most sportswriters — not so much by the umpires.


Phil Cooney was born Philip Clarence Cohen in New York City on September 14, 1882.2 His Jewish father, Philip, worked as a salesman.3 His Methodist mother, Julia, was a steamfitter after her husband’s death in 1896.4 Philip, the youngest of six children,5 was 14 years old when his father died.6 At that point, he was raised in the Methodist Church.7

By the time young Philip “got to wearing long pants, he told his mother he wanted a ball with something else besides air inside of it.”8 Cohen soon progressed to playing with various semipro baseball teams around the New York City area.9 As a young adult, he became a “crack stenographer” who “worked up to assistant head stenographer” for a large sugar company.10

In 1902 Louis Fleischmann signed Cohen11 to play in the Catskill Mountains for the Mountain Athletic Club, owned by his brother Julius Fleischmann.12 Sometime between 1902 and 1904, before he joined the Paterson Intruders of the Hudson Valley League, Phil Cohen changed his last name to Cooney.

At 5-feet-8 and 155 pounds, Cooney was nicknamed “Little Cooney.”13 His ability in the field was immediately recognized. His batting prowess was seldom mentioned.14 Cooney finished the season with a .237 average.

When the 1905 season opened, Cooney was again the shortstop for the Paterson Intruders. He continued his brilliant play at shortstop, and his .281 batting average finished third highest on the team.15 It appears Cooney was loaned to the Buffalo Bisons of the Class A Eastern League sometime in September. On September 23 he played both ends of a doubleheader for the Bisons.16 The next week, Cooney was loaned to the New York Highlanders. He made his major-league debut on September 27, 1905, becoming the first Jewish player17 to play for the New York Yankees franchise.18

A sportswriter described Cooney’s debut, which would be his one and only major-league game, as follows:

Clark Griffith of the Americans, brought a young person named Cooney over from Paterson to help out the lame, the halt, and the blind on the hilltop. The newcomer, although doing no hitting, at least looked like a live man, and was as active in the field as a ghost in a graveyard. He played third in fast style. Cooney will most likely be retained by ‘Grif.’”19

Cooney was not retained. Instead, he was sent back to the minor leagues, though it is not clear if he went back to Buffalo or to Paterson. Regardless, after the season was over, Buffalo purchased his contract for $50020 and then reached agreement with him for the 1906 season.21

After spring training, the Grand Rapids Wolverines of the Class B Central League purchased Cooney from Buffalo.22 Cooney expressed a desire to return to Paterson Intruders. When Grand Rapids would not let him go, Cooney quit the team.23 A few days later, after he quit the Wolverines, he was officially released. He returned to Paterson and immediately joined the Intruders.24 At season’s end, “Cooney joined the Intruders in barnstorming games against the St Louis Cardinals and the New York Yankees.”25

It appears that Buffalo once again drafted Cooney after the 1906 season. However, on March 6, 1907, Arthur Irwin, manager of the Altoona Mountaineers (of the Class B Tri-State League), announced that he had purchased Cooney from Buffalo and that Cooney had agreed to a contract.26 Two weeks into spring training, Irwin and team captain Johnny Farrell regarded Cooney as “a wonder — a brilliant player. He fields fast, parts with the ball like a shot, stings the pellet on the big welt from the left side of the plate and travels like a rocket to the first sack.”27 However, on April 23, Cooney was sold to the Johnstown Johnnies of the Class B Tri-State League.28

During Cooney’s 1907 season he was lauded for his great play at shortstop, benched for his erratic play, and moved to the outfield, where he played all three positions. He won games with his bat. He was benched while having a hitting slump.29 By early May he was nicknamed “The Little Hebrew.”30 In a July 18 game, he showed his speed with three bunt hits. Then in August, he broke his ankle in two places while sliding into second base.31 Cooney finished the season hitting .274 with fielding percentages of .900 at shortstop and .968 in the outfield.32

Though Johnstone reserved Cooney for the 1908 season,33 he was drafted by the Class A Portland Beavers of the Pacific Coast League.34 With the start of the 1908 season, a Portland sportswriter wrote: “Cooney does not seem to be having the least bit of trouble with the leg he broke last year and is as frisky and fast as any man in the squad. He has a fine whip (arm).”35 By late May, nicknamed “Little Cooney,”36 and “Little Yiddisher,”37 Cooney was considered “about the best fielding shortstop in the league.”38

In the first inning of a September 27 game against the Oakland Oaks, Cooney helped the Beavers turn a triple play. When Oaks center fielder Willie Hogan attempted a sacrifice bunt, Beavers first baseman Babe Danzig made a shoestring catch. With the baserunners on the move, Danzig threw to second baseman Pearl Casey, who was covering first base. Casey then threw to Cooney at second base for the third out.39

In the 1909 season, Portland Beavers owner Walter McCredie added the Portland Colts to the Class B Northwestern League. McCredie announced that Cooney would be moved from the Beavers to the Colts.40 In February 1909, Seattle Turks owner-manager D.E. Dugdale offered infielder Terry McKune in trade for Cooney. McCredie rejected the offer, stating, “I wouldn’t trade Cooney for all the McKunes in the world.”41

Cooney was generally considered a “class” act. However, in an April 8 spring-training game against the Medford, Oregon, semipro team, Cooney, after being hit in the ribs by a pitch, threw his bat at the pitcher.42 The following day, “The trouble started as soon as the game. A number of rooters in the grandstand began calling Cooney names. They could not have been more insulting.” Cooney put up with the insults for eight innings before he walked “up and down in front of the bleachers[,]” cursing. When he invited a fan to “come out,” local artist B. Klum left the bleachers and proceeded to assault him. Once peace was restored, Medford mayor M.H. Cannon urged Klum to file charges against Cooney. The police were ordered to hold him until he paid a fine of $15 plus costs. Cooney paid the fine (for using abusive language) and was then allowed to leave Medford.43 While news reports indicated that the crowd called Cooney insulting names, there is no indication whether any of them were anti-Semitic.

Later, when Cooney stole four bases in one game; then stole second, third, and home after a bunt single in another game, the Spokane Spokesman-Review reported that Cooney was “the greatest baserunner the league ever saw.”44

While his baserunning exploits earned him the nickname “Bullet,” Cooney also excelled in other aspects of the game, setting a Northwestern League record with a fivehit game.45 On June 20 he led the league in hits (70), runs (44), and stolen bases (33).46 Despite a league high 49 errors,47 he was considered the best shortstop in the league. His performance earned him a promotion to the Pacific Coast League Portland Beavers.48

Despite making 30 errors after being moved to second base,49 Cooney was lauded as “a player who always has his wits about him. He plays with his brains as well as his hands.”50 In the last game of the season, he caught one inning against the Los Angeles Angels.51 At season’s end, Beavers owner McCredie was determined to trade Cooney for a pitcher.52 Instead, Cooney, who had played the 1908 and 1909 seasons without a contract, declared himself a free agent. When the National Commission agreed, Cooney sold himself to the Cleveland Naps for $500.53

When 1910 spring training began, Cooney was with the Naps, challenging Neal Ball for the starting role at shortstop. Cleveland manager Deacon McGuire said Cooney showed “all kinds of speed and class and showed the earmarks of a regular.”54 However, instead of making the Naps roster, Cooney was sold to the Baltimore Orioles of the Eastern League. A Cleveland sportswriter wrote that he was “quick as a flash, but weak with the willow.”55 Orioles manager Jack Dunn described Cooney as “a left-handed batter, but reverses when facing a port wheeler.”56 Dunn added Cooney was “active as a cat (who) handles himself like a ball player.”57

In his first game with the Orioles, Cooney made three errors, went hitless, and was picked off first base.58 Two games later, he made four errors, “all of the rankest sort.” He caused the Orioles to lose the next game when he dropped an easy fly ball. Immediately after the game, he was sent back to Cleveland. A sportswriter commented: “He came here touted as being a wonder but proved a big disappointment. He played the worst ball ever seen on the local field.”59 Another writer commented: “Has Cooney done anything to deserve the title of an ex-Nap? [Is he] worthy to wear a uniform with a capital ‘B’ on his sleeve? Say no. Quick!”60 Another writer deemed him “Mr. good for nothingness.”61 As the season progressed, when a Baltimore player made an error, it was often referred to as “the Cooney stunt.”62 Cooney’s Baltimore experience ended with a .076 batting average and a .742 fielding average.63

Having been sent back to Cleveland, Cooney was sold to the Spokane Indians for the highest price ever paid for a Northwestern League player.64 Almost immediately, Cooney’s play brought headlines of “Cooney a Sensation” and “Cooney a Star.”65 By the end of June, he had the best fielding average among the Northwestern League shortstops.66 Cooney often drew the ire of the umpires. On June 29 the “fast little Jew” was thrown out of a game for “kicking at” the umpire.67

One month later, Cooney argued with the umpire for several minutes before being sent back to his position at second base. He immediately “fell on his knees and with clasped hands appeared to be supplicating help from above.” He was kicked out of the game.68 On July 31 he was lost to the team when he sprained a tendon trying to beat out a bunt.69 The next day Spokane President Joe Cohn announced that he had sold Cooney to the Chicago Cubs for more than $1,000. He was to report to the Cubs after finishing the 1910 season with Spokane.70 In reporting the sale, the Seattle Times wrote that Cooney’s real name was Cohn.71

In an August 23 game, Cooney, who was known to cut rounding third on occasion, took advantage of umpire Russ Hall by going from second to home via the pitcher’s mound while Hall was watching a close play at first base. Opposing manager Roy Akin challenged the run and asked umpire Hall to check the mound for “hoofprints.” Hall declared “he was no bloomin’ bloodhound and he didn’t have eyes in the back of his head.” The run counted.72

With the season drawing to an end, Cooney was considered the best shortstop in the Northwestern League.73 In a September 17 game, when both Spokane catchers were hurt, Cooney took over the catching duties. In the sixth inning, he “benched” the pitcher and went to the mound where he finished the game.74 Cooney, called the “Yiddisher Cowboy” by his teammates, finished the Spokane season batting .266 and, with 65 errors, fielding .914.75

After Cooney signed a contract with the Cubs, a Spokane sportswriter quoted Cubs President Charles Murphy as saying: “Phil Cooney will be used at short for the Cubs.76 In spring training, Cubs players and the Chicago media gave Cooney the nickname “Little Abe” since he looked to be a twin of professional boxer Abe Attel. He was quickly recognized for his intelligence both on and off the field.77 To the surprise of the Chicago newspapers, despite his almost flawless performance in the field, Cooney was cut from the Cubs roster before the regular season began and sent back to Spokane. The Cubs maintained an option to recall him after the season ended.78 A sportswriter reported: “A touching farewell was held for ‘Little Abe’ Cooney. (He) had become a great favorite.”79

Instead of reporting to Spokane, Cooney went to Portland and worked out with his former Portland team. After a week of being AWOL, Spokane President Cohn found him and ordered him back to Spokane.80 When he finally took the field for Spokane, his fielding once again drew praise and, because of his speed, spawned a new nickname: “The Yiddish Mercury.”81

While his fielding, and sometimes his hitting, drew praise in the 1911 season, Cooney continued to draw the ire of the umpires. After several days of conflict with umpire Allen, Cooney took to the field with a gag in his mouth.82 Another time, he was fined $5 for being “ultra-polite to his umps.”83 Before the start of the next game, Cooney tried to play even though he had not paid his fine from the game before. When the police were called, he immediately handed over the $5.84

On July 19 Cooney was called on to pitch the final two outs in a lopsided game against Seattle. He walked three batters before inducing a game-ending double play.85 By mid-August, the “foxy little Hebrew” had improved his batting and baserunning over that of the two previous years. President Cohn reported that he was negotiating with two major-league teams, the Cubs and the Boston Red Sox, each of whom indicated a desire to give Cooney another tryout.86

In the final game of the season, Cooney continued to challenge the umpires when “he coolly unbuckled the straps that held the third bag in position, and, when Umpire Dashwood was not looking, snaked the bag 15 feet up the line.” He was then able to score on a popup.87

Throughout the season he was considered the top shortstop in the league despite leading the league with 75 errors.88 Errors did not bother Cooney. He stated: “I’ll make more errors than any other player in the league but believe me I’d rather be called for missing one than for letting any go by that I ought to have tackled.”89 He also led the league in plate appearances (659), runs (130), and assists (537), and was second in hits and stolen bases. He also played every inning of every game — except when tossed or barred by the umpires.90

In evaluating players who played in the Northwest League between 1901 and 1911, the Spokane Spokesman-Review called Cooney the ninth best all-time. He was described as full of fight and determination while having a quick wit and being a comedian.91

Years later, The Sporting News told of one comic highlight of Cooney’s Spokane career. In a game against the Victoria Bees, the umpire would not call the game as darkness overtook the field. “Along about the sixth inning Phil Cooney got a handful of matches. Before each pitch he would light one of those matches and gaze searchingly in the direction of the pitcher. When the Spokane team went out into the field, Cooney was joined by (shortstop Walter) Cartwright. They built a bonfire of paper back of each of their positions.” When the umpire reacted by fining Cartwright $5, Cooney “didn’t wait to tramp out that fire. He made one big dive as though he was sliding and lit all over that fire.” He was fined $10.92

When the 1911 season ended, President Cohn hoped to sell Cooney to the Cubs or the Boston Red Sox. He failed to reach an agreement with either team.93 While spending the offseason learning to be a chauffeur in New York,94 Cooney agreed to return to Spokane for the 1912 season. The season started with Cooney suffering two injuries. He had his arm ripped open when he was spiked while refereeing a wrestling match between two of his teammates. One day when rain canceled spring-training activities, he attempted to ride a bronco named Pasco Cayuse. That ride resulted in a fall that left his arm totally useless with a dislocated elbow.95 While laid up, Cooney, now called “Felippe,” was asked to umpire preseason games when the umpire was ill.96 On July 16, in a regular season game, he was “a real umpire and had no trouble.”97

With the start of the regular season, Cooney found himself back at shortstop. The season started poorly when a Spokane fan started calling Cooney a “dirty Jew!” and “You Christ-killing Jew!” The fan added more profane words as he continued his abuse. Cooney, having had enough, “leaped the low barrier wall and administered a sound thrashing to the man, who was much larger than (Cooney)”98 As the 1912 season progressed, Cooney, who was the highest paid player in the Northwest League99 at $325 a month,100 continued to play shortstop at a high level.

Umpires quickly tired of Cooney taking advantage of them. In a June 13 game, umpire Van Haltron called him out for cutting second base on the way to third even though he admitted: “I didn’t see it, but I knew he did it.”101 It happened again in an August 21 game when umpire Moran (the umpire Cooney subbed for in the July 16 game) called Cooney out though he was in no position to see the play. When questioned, Moran said Cooney missed the base by three feet. (A Spokesman-Review writer indicated that it was at least 20 feet.)102 Cooney’s propensity to cut corners while running the bases became the emphasis for calling for a second umpire for Northwestern League games. One sportswriter wrote: “With two umpires there will be no such silly play as trying to cut bases.”103

On the field, Cooney committed another 64 errors, Still, his .936 fielding average was second highest among Northwestern League shortstops.104 He also finished second in the league in stolen bases and in sacrifices.105

At the close of the season, Cooney signed a contract for the 1913 season and headed back to New York. While in New York, he played in an exhibition game for the Highlanders, the team for which he played his only major-league game.106

On November 13 Spokane President Cohn sold Cooney to the Sioux City Packers of the Class A Western League for $750.107 A Spokesman-Review sportswriter was puzzled by the sale, claiming Cooney was perhaps the Northwestern League’s biggest individual attraction in 1912.108

Despite moving from Class B to Class A, Cooney was unhappy and said he deserved a better fate than Sioux City.109 Perhaps due to his disappointment, Cooney waited until the last week of spring training before reporting to the Packers.110

In a May 14 game, Cooney wrenched his leg,111 the first of three leg injuries during the season. Despite missing time, by June 1 Cooney was hitting .295 while fielding .900 with 18 errors.112 On June 9, due to his propensity for errors, Cooney was shifted from shortstop to second base.113 Still, his play had Spokane reaching out for him, “even offering him the chance to manage the Indians.”114

Spokane did not get Cooney. Instead, staying with Sioux City, he finished the season with a .300 batting average.115 His fielding was erratic at best. His 36 errors at second put his average at the bottom for second basemen while his 31 errors at short put him next to the bottom for shortstops.116

Despite Sioux City’s asking for waivers after the 1913 season, Cooney returned to the Indians (Sioux City changed team name from Packers to Indians during the offseason) for the 1914 season.117 He would finish the season as the best fielding second baseman in the league with only 24 errors in 1,021 chances while hitting a respectable .268 in addition to walking 117 times.118

After two years with Sioux City, Cooney was considered the greatest Sioux City second baseman ever, and probably the best ever in the Western League.119 However, 1915 started slowly for him. First, he injured his shoulder,120 then he was out of the lineup for several weeks when Denver’s Moose McCormick stepped on his foot, breaking his toe.121

On May 15 Cooney was suspended by Sioux City. He was reinstated the same day. No reason for his suspension was given.122

When the season came to an end, Cooney decided to stay in Sioux City and start a taxicab business. Since he was noted for his speed on the field, there was no surprise when he was arrested for speeding while driving his cab. He was fined $10 when the judge did not buy his excuse — that he was taking a fare to the train station and was running late.123

As the 1916 season approached, Cooney, who was a member of the Baseball Players’ Fraternity, an early players union,124 informed the Indians he was quitting baseball in favor of running his taxi business. A month later Cooney announced that he would sell his taxi service and return to the Indians for the season.125

At one point, Cooney showed his humor during a lopsided game when he took his position at second base sitting in an armchair.126 He finished the season with a .235 batting average and a .952 fielding average with 33 errors at second base. He fielded .963, with 3 errors, at shortstop.127

Before the 1917 season the Fraternity of Baseball Players announced the intent to strike all levels of baseball. Cooney indicated that about 75 Western League players were Fraternity members. In discussing the strike, Cooney said, “I do not believe it is the intention to call a strike of the players in the Western League.”128

While there was no strike, the Western League enacted a “rookie rule” for the 1917 season. The rule required each team to have at least six players who had not played above Class B on its roster. Sioux City tried to work around the rule, but when it was required to forfeit a game for violating the rule, Cooney was released in favor of a “rookie.”129

Perhaps because of Cooney’s role with the Fraternity, the Lincoln Star reported: “Anarchist Phil Cooney has drawn a yellow ticket from Sioux City.” It was further reported that Cooney had offers to join either St. Joseph or Joplin of the Western League.130 Instead, he decided to sign a contract with the Western League’s Omaha Rourkes.131

Lincoln Star sportswriter Cy Sherman reported that when Cooney was playing for Sioux City, Omaha sportswriters were calling him “Ikey Cohenstein.” Once he joined the Rourkes, the sportswriters started identifying him as Phil Cooney. Sherman concluded: “Be that as it may, Midget Phil is a Yiddisher and one of the smartest, classiest ball players.”132

Shortly after reporting to Omaha, in a June 17 game against the Denver Bears, Cooney became the ninth player in Organized Baseball and the first in the Western League to make an unassisted triple play. In the sixth inning, with the bases loaded, Moose McCormick hit a line drive that Cooney caught. He then tagged Hank Butcher coming from first base and stepped on second base to get Rebel Oakes out before he could get back to the base.133

When asked about his triple play, Cooney said: “It’s taken me exactly sixteen years to break into the infielders’ hall of fame. During my first year when I played with Fleischmann, I pulled off a triple play. But I was only a kid then and the team wasn’t in any league, and there wasn’t any crowd to see it. But today — am I feeling fine? I guess yes.”134

Ten days later, Cooney became the first Western League player to score from second base on a sacrifice bunt.135 He finished the season with a .232 batting average and a .929 fielding average with 51 errors.136

During the offseason, Cooney helped coach the baseball team at the City College of New York.137 A free agent, he decided to sign a contract with the St. Joseph Saints of the Western League.138 With the 1918 season underway and the United States embroiled in World War I, both Cooney and the Western League struggled.

By the third week of June, Cooney was hitting .171.139 By the first week of July, the Western League suspended operations for the balance of the war.140

With the close of the Western League, Cooney agreed to play for the Jersey City Skeeters of the Double-A International League.141 He finished the season for the Skeeters with a .198 batting average and a .955 fielding average after 52 games at second base and .883 after 11 games at shortstop.142

On September 12, at the age of 36, Cooney registered for the military using his birth name, Phillip Clarence Cohen.143 He was inducted into the Army on October 31. On December 10, with the war over, he was discharged.144

On February 1, 1919, using his Cohen birthname, Cooney married Loretta Keller, an Episcopalian.145 Two years later they had a daughter, Phyllis. (Loretta had a daughter, Jane, from a previous marriage.)146

Prior to the 1919 season, Cooney was speculated to be in line to manage the St. Joseph Saints when the Western League resumed. Instead of going to St. Joseph, Cooney was the only player from 1918 returning to Jersey City. Sixteen games into the season, he had appeared in eight with a batting average of .200.147 There is no evidence Cooney played in Organized Baseball in 1919 after May 24.

Cooney started the 1920 season with the Sioux Falls Soos of the Class D South Dakota League. After one game, he “jumped the team to play semi-professional ball with Luverne, Minnesota.”148 Though he refused to play for Sioux Falls, Cooney remained the property of the team. In late July the Soos traded him to Sioux City (the team name was changed back to Packers in 1920), where he hit .270 in 60 games.149

Before the 1921 season, Cooney became a free agent when he was released by the Packers.150 After a failed experience owning a soft-drink parlor called The Scoreboard, he apparently moved back to New York, where he worked as a salesman.151

On April 26, 1942, with World War II raging, Cooney, then 59, registered for the military draft. Answering the registration form’s query “obvious physical characteristics that will aid in identification,” he wrote: “Baseball fingers.”152

On October 6, 1957, Cooney, who had been living alone in obscurity,153 was found dead in his apartment. His death certificate listed him as Philip Cooney Cohen. Long Island National Cemetery records list him as Philip Clarence Cohen.154 He received a full military salute and burial.155 All but two of the people present at the funeral were from the military.

On November 26, 1967, Cooney was inducted into the inaugural Paterson (New Jersey) Sports Hall of Fame.156



This biography was reviewed by Darren Gibson and Len Levin and checked for accuracy by SABR’s fact-checking team.



In addition to the sources cited in the Notes, the author consulted



1 The author is not related to Phil Cooney.


3 1880 Federal Census.

4 1900 Federal Census.

5 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

6 Find A Grave index. 1600s-current.

7 “Notes of the Indians,” Spokane Spokesman-Review, April 10, 1911: 13.

8 “This Is Cooney,” Oregon Daily Journal (Portland), May 31, 1908: 34.

9 “This is Cooney.”

10 “Gossip with the Players,” Spokesman-Review, August 18, 1910: 11.

11 “Cooney Quits Baseball,” Sioux City Journal, January 1, 1916: 12.

12 “Mountain and Hill Resorts,” New York Times, June 14, 1903: 20.

13 “Passaics Defeated by Totowa F.C.,” Herald News (Passaic, New Jersey), May 2, 1904: 3.

14 Based on a review of game reports appearing in the Herald News, the Passaic Daily News, and the News (Paterson, New Jersey).

15 “Sports of the Day,” Passaic Daily News, July 3, 1905: 5.

16 “Eastern League Games,” New York Times, September 24, 1905: 19.

17 Len Levin, “Cooney was not Jewish according to strict Jewish dogma, which says the religion is matrilineal — that is, it passes through the mother.” Email, December 14, 2020.


19 “Cooney in Big League,” Passaic Daily News, September 28, 1905: 5.

20 “Speed Artist for Shortstop,” Altoona (Pennsylvania) Times, March 11, 1907: 9.

21 “Up to Date Crisp Sport Chat,” Buffalo Times, October 30, 1905: 8.

22 “River Rats Lose,” Dayton (Ohio) Herald, April 26, 1906: 13.

23 “Baseball Jottings,” Passaic Daily News, May 23, 1906: 6.

24 “Patterson vs Newburgh,” Passaic Daily News, May 26, 1906: 5.

25 “Cardinals at Ryle Park in a Snappy Game,” Paterson News, September 24, 1906: 9.

26 “Irwin Signs a Shortstop,” Altoona Tribune, March 7, 1907: 3.

27 “Sports,” Altoona Times, March 28, 1907: 13.

28 “Cooney Sold to Johnstown,” Altoona Tribune, April 24, 1907: 9.

29 Based on a review of game reports from Altoona Times, Altoona Tribune, and News-Journal (Lancaster, Pennsylvania).

30 “Diamond Jingles,” Altoona Times, May 17, 1907: 10.

31 “Base Ball Flashes,” Altoona Tribune, July 19, 1907, 2; “Cooney Injured; Breaks His Ankle,” Altoona Times, August 3, 1907: 7.

32 “Tri-State Averages,” Altoona Tribune, December 9, 1907: 10.

33 “Diamond Jingles,” Altoona Times, September 30, 1907: 9.

34 “Short Stop Cooney Drafted,” Altoona Tribune, October 24, 1907.

35 “Beaver Bunch Is Full of Pepper,” Oregon Daily Journal (Portland), March 13, 1908: 15.

36 “With the Coasters,” Oregon Daily Journal, April 2, 1908, 15.

37 “Squeeze Plays,” Oregon Daily Journal, May 7, 1908: 14.

38 “Squeeze Plays,” Oregon Daily Journal, May 28, 1908: 16.

39 “Closing Day Is Portland’s Own,” Oregon Daily Journal, September 28, 1908: 9.

40Devereaux May Manage New Team,” Oregon Daily Journal, November 26, 1908: 12.

41 “Cooney Is Worth All the M’Kunes,” Oregon Daily Journal, February 10, 1909: 10.

42 “Casey Confident Rag Will Float,” Oregon Daily Journal, April 9, 1909: 15.

43 “Cooney Charged by Medford Mob,” Oregon Daily Journal, April 10, 1909: 7.

44 “Red Hot Gossip for Rabid Fans,” Oregon Daily Journal, May 31, 1909: 14.

45 “Mac to Invade Outlaws Again,” Oregon Daily Journal, June 16, 1909: 10.

46 “Cooney Marvel of Norwesters,” Oregon Daily Journal, June 20, 1909: 55.

47 “Field Averages of Nor’westers,” Oregon Daily Journal, August 29, 1909: 53.

48 “Cooney Catches on Down South,” Oregon Daily Journal, August 18, 1809: 10.

49 “Portland Team Fields Poorly,” Oregon Daily Journal, December 11, 1909: 9.

50 “Pacific Would Invite Moguls,” Oregon Daily Journal, October 22, 1909: 12.

51 “Beavers Break Even in South,” Oregon Daily Journal, November 6, 1909: 9.

52 “M’Crdies Want Their Thousand Dollar Forfeit,” Oregon Daily Journal, December 26, 1909: 48.

53 “Cooney Quits Baseball,” Sioux City Journal, January 21, 1916, 12. The Cleveland Naps name was changed to the Cleveland Indians in 1915.

54 “Baseball,” Spokane Spokesman-Review, March 25, 1910: 21.

55 “Dunn’s Heady Work,” Baltimore Sun, April 24, 1910: 11.

56 “Cooney Is on the Job,” Baltimore Sun, April 26, 1910: 10. (This was one of several references that indicate Cooney was a switch-hitter.)

57 “They Trimmed Toronto,” Evening Sun (Baltimore), April 26, 1910: 8.

58 “Jack Dunn Is Troubled,” Evening Sun, April 29, 1910: 8.

59 “Cooney Says Farewell,” Baltimore Sun, May 6, 1910: 10.

60 “A Boost for the Birds,” Evening Sun, May 6, 1910: 8.

61 “Rain Stoops the Birds,” Baltimore Sun, June 4, 1910: 10.

62 “Birds Drub Rochester,” May 19, 1910: 10.

63 “Walsh Is Nine’s Star,” Evening Sun, May 9, 1910: 8.

64 “Rain Stops Game, Cohn gets Cooney,” Spokane Spokesman-Review, May 11, 1910: 14.

65 Survey of 1910 Spokesman-Review articles.

66 “Spokane Fielders High in Records,” Spokesman-Review, June 26, 1910: 23.

67 “Unappointed Referee,” Spokane Chronicle, July 30, 1910: 13.

68 “Indians Lose Another Game to the Crafty Tigers 3-2,” Spokesman-Review, July 30, 1910: 11.

69 “Spokane Won Last Game from Tacoma,” Spokane Chronicle, August 1, 1910: 13.

70 “Levy Will Probably stay with Team,” Spokane Chronicle, August 3, 1910: 15.

71 “Cohn May Get Cooney Back,” Spokesman-Review, August 7, 1910: 18.

72 “Indians Steal Sharp Game, 2-1,” Spokesman-Review, August 24, 1910: 13.

73 “Phil Cooney,” Spokane Chronicle, August 29, 1910: 3.

74 “Last week of baseball in Northwest starts today,” Vancouver (British Columbia) Province, September 19, 1910: 10.

75 “Spokane Led All in Fast Fielding,” Spokane Chronicle, October 29, 1910.

76 “Cooney to Have Trial with Cubs,” Spokane Chronicle, December 22, 1910: 23.

77 “Sam Wellerisms,” Chicago Tribune, March 22, 1911: 21.

78 “Chance Releases Four Men,” Chicago Tribune, March 29, 1911: 24.

79 “Sam Wellerisms,” Chicago Tribune, March 29, 1911: 23.

80 “Phil Cooney at Last Unearthed; Detected Training in Rose City,” Spokane Chronicle, April 3, 1911: 6.

81 “Before Big Crowd, Boy Wonder Sets Season’s Strike-Out record,” Spokesman-Review, May 1, 1911: 13.

82 “Notes of the Spokane Game,” Spokesman-Review, July 9, 1911: 27.

83 “Are Cohn’s Indians Quitters? Big Seattle Crowd Thinks So,” Spokesman-Review, August 9, 1911: 15.

84 “Beavers Trim Indians Twice; Cohn and Ostdiek Kept off Field,” Spokesman-Review, August 13, 1911: 27.

85 “Farcical Game Goes to Seattle,” Spokane Chronicle, July 20, 1911: 10.

86 “Cooney’s Third Big League Trial,” Spokesman-Review, August 7, 1911: 8.

87 “Cooney Life at the Game,” Spokesman-Review, October 2, 1911: 11.

88 “Fielding Records of N.W. Players,” Spokesman-Review, October 8, 1911.

89 “Note of the Game,” Spokesman-Review, August 26, 1911: 15.

90 “Cooney’s Unique Record,” Spokesman-Review, April 5, 1912: 17.

91 “Northwestern’s 20 Greatest Stars,” Spokesman-Review, January 21, 1912: 30.

92 “Following the Ball,” Lincoln (Nebraska) Journal Star, December 1, 1917: 7.

93 “29 Players Sold to Majors,” Tacoma Times, August 18, 1911: 2.

94 “Cooney a New York Chauffeur,” Spokesman-Review, January 14, 1912.

95 “P. Cooney, Bronco-Buster, Now Under Care of the Physicians,” Spokesman-Review, April 4, 1912: 15.

96 “Indians Defeat College Lineup,” Spokane Chronicle, April 8, 1912: 16.

97 “Portland 7, Spokane 4,” Tacoma Times, July 17, 1912: 2.

98 “Cooney Beats Up Vulgar Rooter,” Spokesman-Review, April 16, 1912: 15.

99 “Indians Owner Full of Fight,” Spokesman-Review, June 8, 1912: 15.

100 “Cohn Brings Home Contracts of New Stars He Thinks Will Win 1913 Pennant,” Spokesman-Review, December 2, 1912: 11.

101 “Another Victory for ‘Jupe’ Pluvius,” Spokesman-Review, June 15, 1912: 15.

102 “Notes of the Game,” Spokesman-Review, August 22, 1912: 15.

103 “Double Umpires Great N.W. Need.” Spokesman-Review, July 25, 1912: 15.

104Whaling’s Work Feature in Field,” Spokesman-Review, October 6, 1912: 27.

105 “James and Noyes in Neck and Neck Race for League Pitching Honors,” Spokesman-Review, September 22, 1912: 26.

106 “Cooney with Highlanders,” Spokesman-Review, November 4, 1912: 11.

107 “Cohn Sells Cooney, Crack Shortstop — Buys Pitcher Covaleski,” Spokesman-Review, November 14, 1912.

108 “Cooney Deal Is Puzzle to Fans,” Spokesman-Review, November 17, 1912: 32.

109 “Cooney Is Dissatisfied,” Spokesman-Review, December 17, 1912: 57.

110 “Infielders Are Missing,” Sioux City Journal, March 28, 1913: 10.

111 “Packers Win from Topeka,” Sioux City (Iowa) Journal, May 15, 1913.

112 “Redskins Batting Better,” Sioux City Journal, June 1, 1913: 11.

113 “Sporting Briefs,” Sioux City Journal, June 10, 1913: 8.

114 “Sporting Briefs,” Sioux City Journal, July 9, 1913: 9.

115 “Official Western League Batting Averages,” Sioux City Journal, November 28, 1913: 10.

116 “Some 1913 Records,” Sioux City Journal, November 30, 1913: 11.

117 “In Other Mitts,” Sioux City Journal, January 1, 1914: 7.

118 “Phil Cooney Leads the League,” Sioux City Journal, December 13, 1914: 14.

119 “Double Header Today’s Offering,” Sioux City Journal, June 20, 1915: 16.

120 “Thomas Outhurls Sioux City Star,” Sioux City Journal, April 26, 1915: 6.

121 “Indians Badly Crippled,” Sioux City Journal, May 20, 1915: 8.

122 Phil Cooney — The Sporting News Baseball Players Contract Cards Collection — LA84 Digital Library.

123 “Not ‘Ump’; Judge Fines Cooney,” Sioux City Journal, November 24, 1915: 12.

124 “Sporting Briefs,” Sioux City Journal, January 15, 1916: 12.

125 “Phil Cooney to Play Ball Again,” Sioux City Journal, February 20, 1916: 22.

126 “Indians Divide with the Kaws,” Sioux City Journal, September 25, 1916: 3.

127 “Western League Fielding Averages,” Sioux City Journal, December 12, 1916: 10.

128 “Frat Is Weak in Western,” Wichita Daily Eagle, January 20, 1917: 7.

129 “Cooney Displaced by Rookie Rule,” Sioux City Journal, May 17, 1917: 11.

130 Cy Sherman, “Hitting the High Spots on the Sporting Pike,” Lincoln (Nebraska) Star, May 18, 1917: 12.

131 “Cooney Goes to Rourkes,” Sioux City Journal, June 4, 1917: 3.

132 Cy Sherman, “Hitting the High Spots on the Sporting Pike,” Lincoln Star, July 16, 1917: 7.

133 “Cooney Triple Play Causes Stir,” Sioux City Journal, June 21, 1917: 10.

134 “Among the Clubs,” Nebraska State Journal, (Lincoln), June 24, 1917: 17.

135 “Cooney Makes Star Play,” Sioux City Journal, July 7, 1917: 9.

136 “Official Fielding Averages of Western League,” Lincoln Star, November 20, 1917: 9.

137 “C.C.N.Y. Will Open Season Early,” Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, New York), March 21, 1918: 17.

138 “Phil Cooney Signed,” St. Joseph (Missouri) News-Press/Gazette, April 28, 1918: 12.

139 “Saints Improve Both Batting and Fielding,” St. Joseph News-Press/Gazette, June 22, 1918: 8.

140 “Magnates Close Gate Until War Has Ended,” St. Joseph News-Press/Gazette, July 8, 1918: 5.

141 “Three Western League Players to Jersey City,” Des Moines Tribune, July 12, 1918: 10.

142 “Colts Don’t Fool with Any Fielding Records,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, December 11, 1918: 23.

143 US World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917 1918 for Phillip Clarence Cohen.

144 US Veterans’ Gravesites, ca.

145 New Jersey, Episcopal Diocese of Newark Church Records. 1809-1816, 1825-1970.

146 New York State Census, 1925.

147 “Official Batting and Pitching Records of the Three Leagues,” Buffalo Times, May 25, 1919: 38.

148 “Cantillon Here to Watch Game,” Sioux Falls (South Dakota) Argus-Leader, May 22, 1920: 20.

149 “Players Get a Good Bonus,” Sioux City Journal, September 4, 1920, 12. The 1920 Portland Beavers show Cooney on their roster. Baseball-Reference credits Cooney with one game played for Portland in 1920. No evidence can be found to support that he was ever actually in Portland during the 1920 season.

150 “Cooney Made Free Agent,” Sioux City Journal, March 2, 1921: 10.

151 Based on a review of several state and federal census reports.

152 World War II Draft Registration Cards for Philip Cooney, 1942.

153 The writer could not find a record of a divorce, but according to the 1940 US Census, Cooney was living in New York while his wife and daughter lived in New Jersey. Additional research by a reference librarian in Paterson, New Jersey, turned up no further connection between the two.

154 Bill Haber, letter to Robert E. Potts, February 13, 1986.

155 US National Cemetery Interment Forms, 1928-1962.

156 “Paterson Old Timers Will Induct 50 Former Athletes,” Passaic Herald-News, November 24, 1967.

Full Name

Philip Clarence Cooney (Cohen)


September 14, 1882 at New York, NY (USA)


October 6, 1957 at New York, NY (USA)

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