Marty McHale was a journeyman pitcher who played from 1910 to 1916 for the Boston Red Sox (in two stints), Jersey City (International League), New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians. Most of all, he seemed to have fun, at least according to the items featured on this page: He formed a singing quartette while with the Sox in 1910, moonlighted in vaudeville while pitching for the Yankees (either in 1913 or 1914, and later), and even jumped into the newly-born film "industry" during the teens when his baseball career drew to a close. He later went on to become a newspaper reporter and a stockbroker.
He had his best baseball season in 1914, when he won 6 games and lost 16 for the lowly Yankees, who finished tied with Chicago for sixth place in the American League at 70 wins and 84 losses. Indeed, he was considered such a good prospect for the mediocre Yanks, that he pitched in the 1914 season opener -- a picture of which is showcased above. That day, the Bombers played like bombers and McHale beat the World Champion A's 8 to 2. Other NY pitchers in the opener were Ray "Slim" Caldwell, Ray Fisher and Ray Keating, as is noted on the reverse of this McHale photo (click on photo to enlarge and to see reverse).
Interestingly, McHale was considered a rising star when he joined professional baseball after pitching three straight no-hitters while at the University of Maine in 1910, prior to joining the Red Sox that same year. Alas, he would make his mark not on the diamond, but on the stage where no less than Variety dubbed him the "Baseball Caruso" (with other reviewers referring to his Irish Tenor as the "Irish Thrush" and Babe Ruth, himself, canonizing McHale as the "best goddamn singer I ever heard").
Playing for Boston in 1910, McHale was a co-founder of the Red Sox Quartett, showcasing the talents of "Mart" McHale (1st Tenor), Tom "Buck" O'Brien (2nd Tenor and fellow Sox pitcher), Hugh Bradley (Baritone and outfielder), and Sox second baseman Larry Gardner. Bill Lyons replaced Gardner in the act in 1911, becoming Basso, with the Red Sox signing him to a professional baseball contract to keep the Quartette solely comprised of Sox players! A rare business card advertising the services of this not-so-fearsome Sox foursome can be seen above. When McHale joined the rival Yankees in 1913, the group quietly disbanded.
As can be seen from the other business card highlighted above, McHale remained in show business when he moved to New York and moonlighted in vaudeville. Interestingly, despite his business card mention of Yankees manager and future HOFer, Frank Chance, McHale joined forces not with a fellow Yankee but with a New York Giant. Together with famed Giants outfielder, "Turkey" Mike Donlin, Mchale established a highly successful act entitled "Right Off The Bat."
After ending his undistinguished baseball career with Boston and Cleveland in 1916, McHale leapt into the film business (as did Donlin), as can clearly be seen from the letter shown below. In this letter, McHale implores Cleveland star Tris Speaker (to whom he refers as "Spoke") to join himself, Donlin and Tigers regular, Germany Schaeffer in an early movie being shot after the close of the 1917 baseball season. This letter was typed on the back of letterhead from the All Star Feature Corporation of New York (see both images, below).
Also in 1917, McHale joined the army and served as Lieutenant in the 22nd Regiment of Engineers during World War I. Post-War, McHale became a journalist for the New York Evening Sun, often covering baseball. By 1920 he moved on to become a stockbroker, eventually launching his own brokerage house, M.J. McHale Company Investments and Securities of New York. After more than 50 years at the helm of his own firm (and seven in retirement), McHale died in 1979 at the age of 90. For a more complete bio of this fascinating baseball (and showbusiness) figure: