Happy Birthday, Tom Colcolough!

Thomas Bernard Colcolough, born 08 October 1870, was a Charleston, SC native who pitched for the Pirates from 1893 to 1895 and got a second shot with the Giants in 1899.  Find below a biography in quotations.

“Tom Colcolough was yesterday released by the Pittsburg club. He was given a thorough trial, but proved wanting in nerve. In a minor league, Tom will be the top of the heap. There, the batters are impatient and bang at everything in sight. In the National League, the batters are more careful and deliberate, and this is the cause of Tom’s poor showing this season. Colcolough was secured by the Pittsburg club in 1893, along with Joe Sudgen, from the Charleston Club. In that year, he pitched three games for the Pittsburg team, winning two. Last year he won eight games and lost five. This year he pitched three full games, winning one and losing two.”

“Two New Pitchers,” Pittsburgh Daily Post, 04 June 1895, Page 6.

“Tom Colcolough, the Charleston, S. C., pitcher, gained his first reputation as a boxman of more than the average ability while playing with the team managed by Denny Long, at Charleston, in 1893. Before the close of the season, Colcolough and Joe Sugden were sold to Pittsburgh for $1,500… His father is a wealthy man at Charleston, and Tommie always remains near the “little red smokehouse” during the winter.”

Blake, Percy H. “Southern Boys in Base Ball,” Nashville Tennessean, 19 December 1897, Page 25.

“Tom Colcolough has been added to the pitching staff of the New York team, and it is very probable that he will be signed as a regular member of the club before the team returns home. With his valuable assistance to-day the players were given the benefit of some of the best batting practice they have yet had. Colcolough (pronounced Coakley) has an arm like iron, and he shot the ball around the shins and the pates of the New Yorkers like a Mauser bullet.

“Colcolough has been doing a little practice during the winter, and consequently his arm was in good condition, and he says he can stand the pace he started in without danger. He resides in Charleston, and was one of the pitchers of the Pittsburgh club as late as two years ago. When Manager Watkins took charge of the Pirates he allowed the Wilkes-Barre club, of the Eastern League, to secure Colcolough’s services. His lack of control was his chief fault, although he won many good and close games…”

“Tom Coakley. The Old Wilkes-Barre Pitcher Puts Up a Bold Front at Charleston,” Dollar Weekly News (Wilkes-Barre), 25 March 1899, Page 5.

“Ex-Pitcher Tom Colcolough – once a Pirate – has bobbed up as an alderman in Charleston, S. C.”

“National League News,” The Hutchinson Daily Independent, 23 February 1905, Page 6.

According to US Census data (1900, 1910) and his South Carolina death certificate, Tom was the son of James and Ellen (Kelly) Colcolough, who were Irish immigrants. After his baseball career wound down, he married Annie Bernadine and later owned a poultry store. They had three children (Marguerite, Thomas (Jr.), and James). In 1919, Tom was working as a welder at the naval yard when he succumbed to a heart attack on 10 December 1919. Annie, who was eleven years younger than Tom, would remarry years later and passed away in 1968.

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