At the center row, far left is outfielder Johnny Cooney in a 1937 photograph. He played for the Dodgers from 1935 to 1937, and then came back again to play sparingly for them from 1943 to 1944. Cooney started his Major League career as a pitcher in 20's for the Boston Braves recording a 34-44 record with a 3.72 ERA. Then his arm went sore, and he rebuilt his career as a outfielder. To go from a Major League pitcher to a Major League outfielder is pretty remarkable. Heck, you might say that Baseball was in his blood.Stengel even said his fielding was comparable to Joe DiMaggio. After his playing career was over we went on to coach for the Braves for two decades.
Johnny Cooney was the youngest of the "Cranston Cooneys," a Rhode Island ballplaying dynasty begun in the 1890s by James Joseph Cooney, whose four sons all played pro ball. Two brothers never got to the majors, but Johnny strung together 20 seasons in the big leagues that saw him adapt from a pitcher to a potent hitter and outstanding outfielder. His career was spent primarily with the Boston Braves and Brooklyn Dodgers, where he thrived under the tutelage of Casey Stengel.
As always, click on any of the pics to embiggen.