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James O'Brien Arlington   N/A N/A Arlington   1992
 
 
   
 

 

1992

 

 

James O'Brien -Arlington---

 Jim O’Brien, more affectionately known as J.O.B., was perhaps the greatest promoter Arlington and Arlington Baseball has ever had.  His love for baseball began at an early age playing with his brothers and watching amateur baseball games at the fairgrounds.  With no baseball team during his high school days, he excelled in football and basketball and graduated as Salutatorian from Arlington High School in 1947.  Eventually, he would design and oversee the construction of Arlington Ballpark built in the 1960s.

J.O.B.’s amateur baseball career with the Arlington A’s spanned over 40 years and five different state championship teams during Arlington’s heyday.  As a player, he was primarily an outfielder and a great teammate who always had the best interests of the team in mind.  In one of his later years, he even batted 1.000 after getting a hit in his only pinch-hitting appearance of the season.  Most people, however, remember J.O.B. coaching first base for the A’s wearing his familiar #24 in honor of Willie Mays.  He was a great ambassador for amateur baseball who greeted fans and opposing teams to Arlington Ballpark and was rarely seen without a smile on his face and a welcoming handshake.  Anytime something needed to be done at the ballpark, whether it be field maintenance, painting, cleaning or fundraising, he and his family could normally be found along with a crew of other folks he organized to work together to keep Arlington’s ballpark one of the finest in the state.

J.O.B. served in the Army for two years and was a lifetime member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Arlington where he served as Treasurer for many years.  He served on the Arlington Hospital Foundation, was on the Arlington-Green Isle School Board for many years where he was instrumental in getting an indoor swimming pool built and was also a member of the Commercial Club.  He owned and managed Arlington Concrete Products where he often donated to many charitable groups and always made sure that whatever needed to get done either at the ballpark or somewhere else in town, got done.  He was a huge supporter of all sports in Arlington throughout his life and was often seen delivering Arlington A’s schedules and game announcements around town during the summer.  He coached youth football and attended many high school events to watch his kids and their friends play, many of whom played in his backyard at all hours of the day when they were younger.  He was also one of the chairmen for the 1976, 1983 and 1994 State Amateur Baseball Tournaments hosted by Arlington.  J.O.B. even spearheaded an effort to get the water tower in Arlington painted like a baseball.

J.O.B.’s love of baseball was supported by his beautiful bride of 40 years, Kathy, and his ten children - Dave, Denver, Beth, Kevin, Susie, Nancy, Patty, James, Sharon and Marty along with 19 grandchildren.  He was inducted into the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992 and passed away at the age of 69 on June 24, 1998.

 

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  Player, Coach,  
  HOF- MINNESOTA YEAR= 1992  
  Military Service: Army  
     
  Favorite Baseball --"Saying\Quote"  
     
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