He got his start in amateur baseball in 1934 and entered professional baseball in May 1941 with the Boston Red Sox. He played in the Eastern Short, Mid-Atlantic and Piedmont baseball leagues. He was a left-handed pitcher and made his major league debut with the St. Louis Browns on July 18, 1948. For five seasons, he played with the St. Louis Browns (1948-49), New York Yankees (1950-52) and was member of the three Yankees World Series Championships (1950-52). He concluded his career with a record of 23 wins, 25 loss, 12 complete games, 15 saves, 131 strikeouts and a 4.54 earned run average. He pitched for the Yankees until 1952. After playing with the Los Angelos Angels in 1953, he retired from baseball. He was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1988.
Played Major League baseball as an Outfielder for 10 seasons (1902 to 1911) with the Boston Pilgrims (Red Sox), New York Highlanders (Yankees), and Chicago White Sox. A pitcher in the Minor Leagues, he was switched to the outfield, and made a stellar Big League debut in 1902, hitting .342 in his rookie campaign with the Red Sox. The next year his .331 Batting Average contributed to the Red Sox capturing the American League pennant, which sent them to the very first World Series. He also led the AL in Hits (195) and Runs (107) in 1903. In the Inaugural Fall Classic, which pitted Boston against the Pittsburgh Pirates, he hit only .235, but single-handedly won Game 2 for the Sox when he hit 2 Home Runs, the first World Series multi-homer game (and the only one until the Red Sox’s Harry Hooper did it in 1915 against the Philadelphia Phillies). His Boston team, which also included Hall of Famers Cy Young and Jimmy Collins, won the first Series, 5 Games to 3. Despite his stellar play, the Sox traded him to the Yankees in 1904 after 49 games. He finished the year with New York, and again led the AL in Runs (113). From then on his hitting declined, and never reached the highs of his first two seasons. 12 Games into the 1906 season the Yankees sent him to the White Sox, whom he helped go the World Series that year (and made him the first player to appear in two Series for two different teams). He played in all 6 games, which saw the White Sox defeat the crosstown rival Cubs 4 Games to 2 (to date the only all-Chicago post season series). He would play 5 more seasons as the White Sox’s regular Left Fielder before retiring in 1911 (in 1910 he led the AL in Stolen Bases with 47). His career totals were 1,233 Games Played, 1,294 Hits, 678 Runs, 17 Home Runs, 261 Stolen Bases and a good .284 career Batting Average.
John was an excellent baseball player. He was the captain of the All Hawaiian Championship Team. He was so good that he was offered a contract with a semi-pro team from San Francisco, California, named the Seals. They would fix him up with a part-time job and he would play ball the rest of the time. But John could not afford to move the family to the mainland and he would not go alone. So he did not take the offer.
Newspaper article: "TY'S BOOK MAKES HIM PROUD. Tyrus Raymond Oney, 3, son of Mr. and Mrs. Wick Oney, near Castleton, Ill., has a biography of Ty Cobb, autographed by the famous baseball player. ‘To Ty Oney from Ty Cobb. Wishing you every success’ are the words penned on a fly leaf by Cobb. The parents wrote to Cobb last summer and told him they had named their son after him. Cobb then sent the book.”
In the sixth grade we played baseball with a mixed team, and we would go to different schools on Friday afternoon on a hay rack pulled behind a tractor or car. We played Happy Valley-Bennett-Scism-Melba-Glendale-Greenhurst. Then they would also come to Bowmont. We would yell and laugh but if we got beat then there was silence. The other school would do the same. We took championship for two years, 6th – 8th grades. We also got to go to Lakeview Park in Nampa to play in a tournament and we were beaten by 1 run. I graduated from eighth grade at Bowmont and went to Nampa for three years. I still played baseball during the summer time. Of all the things I did in my schooling years, baseball was the biggest thrill.