Philadelphia High School Baseball

A Look at John Mooney's 39-Year Coaching
Career at St. James High (1955-1993)

  This page includes stories, special lists, record breakdown, recaps of wins in championship games
and (at the bottom) the names of all All-Catholic honorees during Coach Mooney's 39 seasons. He owns
the CL record for most baseball crowns with six and has been the only coach to win three in a row
(1961-63) from 1945 forward . . .
To provide additions/

Return to Home Page

John Mooney in 1993, the year St. James closed.

Coach Mooney's
All-City Honorees
(All-Catholics at
Bottom of Page) 


Bob Christy 1B 1985
Tom McNeely INF 1985
Dan McNeely INF 1983
Jim Smith P 1987
Stan Bystrek C 1989
Stan Bystrek C 1990
Jim Buggy P 1992
Jim Kuehn P 1979
Brian Van Horn C 1983
Bob Christy 1B 1984
Pat Van Horn INF 1988
Warren McIntire OF 1988
Brian Warren P 1989
Brian Warren P 1990


Ray Waychunas, cf
Terry Hasson, ss
Tim Murtaugh, c
Ted Baynes, 3b
Frank Gallagher, 1b
Jim Gallagher, lf
Frank Ryan, rf
Larry Iacona, 2b
Vic Majewski, p
Tom Ignudo, ss
Frank Sadusky, 2b
Frank Ryan, rf
Jim Mewha, c
Ed Miazza, 1b
Joe Grace, 3b
Jack Giampalmi, lf
Ken Scheivert, cf
Mike Flanagan, p 
Terry Mann, ss
Dan Murtaugh, 2b
Frank Ryan, rf
Jim Mewha, c
Ed Miazza, 1b
Joe Grace, 3b
Jack Giampalmi, lf
Ken Scheivert, cf
Mike Flanagan, p
John Flynn, 2b
Jim Johnson, ss
Dennis Malseed, 3b
John O'Donnell, cf
Joe Carroll, 1b
Ed Dougherty, rf
Art Gorga, lf
George "Sparky" Wright, c
Tom Brooks, p
Ray Castaldi, cf
Larry Huppmann, 2b
Joe Ryan, rf
Larry File, 1b
Ron Schott, lf
Brian Sullivan, 3b
Dave Miller, c
Rick Leary, ss
Tony Kozak, p 
Ray Castaldi, cf
John Podgajny, 2b
Larry File, 1b
Ron Schott, lf
Bill Warrington, rf
Dave Kasarsky, ss
Dave Miller, c
Earl Emerson, 3b
Tony Kozak, p
John Mooney
Tribute Page

  John Mooney, an alumnus, coached baseball at St. James, in Chester, for 39 seasons (1955-93), winning 488 games and eight championships (six Catholic League, two City Titles). He left St. James only because the school closed in June 1993. This story was written late in that '93 season . . . 

By Ted Silary

  John Mooney wanted to stay strong for another month.
He wanted to mask his emotions and say all the right things until June 18, when St . James High, in Chester, will cease to exist.
  He succeeded until yesterday, when he cried.
  In a morning ceremony that honored faculty members, art teacher John Lenge presented Mooney with a framed pencil drawing of the building. In the upper left corner - keeping watch, if you will - is the faint hint of St. James' mascot, a bulldog.
  All school personnel are to receive copies of the drawing. The first could have gone only to Mooney, who has served St . James for 39 of its 53 years, in almost every possible capacity, and has coached the varsity
baseball team for the same length of time.
  "Getting that drawing caught me by surprise. That was so nice," Mooney said at midday, while sitting in a conference room. All around the room were various football and basketball uniforms, piled atop tables. "Up
until today, I haven't cried. But . . . "
  "Most of the time," said Jim Graham, a junior, "kids will be talking or maybe joking around (during assemblies). When Mr. Mooney got up, everything was quiet. We all know what he means to this place. He is St.
  "He only talked for a minute. He was choked up. There were pauses. He couldn't find much to say."
  When the archdiocese announced last December that St. James would close, everyone who knows him - to know him is to automatically like and
respect him - felt deep sorrow for John Mooney.
  Mooney, 59, graduated from St . James in 1950 and began teaching English there in September 1954, after graduating from La Salle. His current jobs aside from baseball coach include vice principal, business
manager, athletic director and maintenance director. Also, he spends one period a day teaching English and another supervising the lunchroom.
  There's more. Mooney publishes the alumni newsletter and the principal's newsletter and often can be found atop the gymnasium roof, sweeping away rainwater in a mostly futile attempt to prevent leaks.
  When someone asked him, "What job haven't you held at this place, except for principal?" Mooney smiled.
  "I was that, too," he said. "For about six months one time when the principal was on sabbatical. I guess the only job I never really had was guidance counselor."
  The center section of St . James 's E-shaped building was once the school and church for St. Robert parish. Mooney's parents were married there in 1932. He was baptized there in '34 and attended first and
second grade there before St. Robert opened a new school a block away.
  Next year, Mooney expects to teach at Monsignor Bonner. Whether he'll be involved with baseball is undetermined.
  "I talked with (Bonner coach) Bob Vent the other day," Mooney said. "I told him if he wants somebody to throw batting practice or hit infield - and not worry about getting stabbed in the back - I'd be glad to help him. We'll see. One thing I don't want to do is make people feel
  The final CL baseball game for St . James , where enrollment has dwindled to 420 from a high of 1,845 in the early 1960s, is scheduled for today, 1 p.m., at 9th and Ward streets in Chester, against Cardinal O'Hara.  The rain date is tommorow at 1. Mooney's career record is 487-327, including 6-13 this season. He won Catholic League championships in 1961, '62, '63, '65, '71 and '72, and city championships in '62 and '71.
  "That period from '61 to '65, those guys made me," he said.
  Ray Gionta, a 1971 St . James graduate and the school's last football coach, speaks reverently of Mooney.
  "The man is very intelligent," Gionta said. "He's as comfortable in academic areas as he is in athletics. There aren't too many men whose job John Mooney couldn't do. He could be the president of a major corporation. Instead, he has dedicated his life to Catholic education,
and specifically to St . James. 
  continued right below . . .

John Mooney during his
days as Bonner's AD
(Assorted Formats:
Some Games Canceled)
1955: 2-5
1956: 8-6
1957: 11-3
1958: 6-2
1959: 3-5
1960: 8-5
1961: 10-2
1962: 9-5
1963: 11-3
1964: 11-1
1965: 11-3
1966: 9-5
1967: 10-4
1968: 9-4
1969: 7-1
1970: 12-4
1971: 15-1
1972: 13-3
1973: 12-3
1974: 7-9
1975: 12-4
1976: 11-3
1977: 5-9
1978:  6-8
1979: 5-9 
1980: 6-8
1981: 5-9
1982: 5-9
1983: 9-5
1984: 6-8
1985: 9-5
1986: 2-12
1987: 10-4
1988: 5-8
1989: 8-6
1990: 5-9
1991: 3-11
1992: 8-6
1993: 3-11
91 Seasons
League - 307-218
Overall - 488-328

1961, 1962, 1963,
1965, 1971, 1972
1962, 1971
1964, 1969, 1985
1961, 1963, 1965, 1972
1973, 1975, 1976, 1983, 1987


  "Through this whole thing - the threat, the announcement that we're closing, coming to the end - he's been very strong, a
real bulldog. As much admiration as I had for him before, it's been doubled." 
  Said Mooney: "I'm fully cognizant of what's going on. I'm not in denial. I accepted a long time ago that (Cardinal Anthony
Bevilacqua) was not going to change his mind. I just decided to keep myself busy. It does hurt, though."
  Marie Mooney, his wife of almost 37 years, said John has been showing strength under orders. Hers.
  "It's difficult for him to keep up the pretense that everything is normal," she said. "But I threatened to kill him if he showed
signs of weakness. I told him, 'If you fall apart, I'll take a bat to your head.' "
  Tough woman.
  "Now you know why he's never home," she said with a laugh.
  John's original plan was to teach and coach for 50 years. Now, he says he'll work through 1999, then reassess.
  "Ah, tell him to keep working forever," Marie joked. "He wasn't around all those years. Why would I want him around when
he's old and crotchety?"
  The Mooneys have four children - Patricia Ann, 35, Anita, 33, Ellen, 30, and Kevin, 27. All you need to know about John's
ethics is that he told Kevin, who'd once been the batboy, not to try out for St . James' team.
  "Yeah, how about that," Marie said. "Some guys only coach so they can coach their son. John cut his."
  As the end draws closer, John Mooney finds it harder to remain a rock.
  Yesterday's cracking episode could be followed by another after the game against O'Hara.
  "I cry easily," Mooney said. "If nobody's there as I come off the field, I'll be all right. I'd like to see my old players come
back (for the finale), but at the same time, it would make me feel sad."
  On June 5, 2 p.m., at Glen Mills, Mooney will be an assistant coach in the Joseph J. Barrett (Delaware County) all-star game.
The program, he said, will have a list of every player he has coached at St . James.
  "It's one way," he said, softly, "to thank them all."

This story was written after John guided the Bulldogs to victory in their final CL game
vs. O'Hara . . .

By Ted Silary
  John Mooney remained a giving person to the very end of St . James High's Catholic League baseball existence.
  Not that anyone should have been surprised.
  After shortstop Kevin Martin flipped to second baseman Frank Spaide for the forceout that ended the Bulldogs' 5-1 win
ver Cardinal O'Hara in their final home game ever yesterday, his players presented the ball to Mooney.
  Mooney, who defines the term "class act" and has coached St . James for 39 seasons, in turn gave the ball to winning
pitcher Mike Najmola, a junior lefthander.
  "I wouldn't say that I didn't want it," Mooney said. "But I thought it would mean more to him."
  Next, Mooney was approached by Mike Kinee, a 1973 graduate. He asked his former coach to autograph two items, a
color picture of the Bulldogs' 1971 city championship team and the ball with which he'd earned his first varsity win.
  "He had the ball on one of those stands, with the plastic casing around it," Mooney said. "You could tell it still meant
a lot to him. Mike Najmola hadn't left yet, so I called him down to meet Mike Kinee. I'm sure this ball is something that
Mike Najmola is going to cherish, too.
  Our art teacher's going to put the details on it."
  St . James , which will close next month, pulled off the Catholic South win with help from two unlikely sources.
  With two out and the bases loaded in the sixth, Mooney replaced Najmola with Jon Bystrek and O'Hara's Drew
Baylor hit a smash down the leftfield line. Dave Mancini, who has struggled at bat all season, made a diving catch to
preserve a 2-0 lead.
  In the bottom half, Dan Raftovich pinch-hit for Mancini, stroked a two-run triple and scored on Najmola's single.
  Najmola took the mound in the seventh, but again yielded to Bystrek after walking the first two batters.
  "They hit a line drive right back to Jon," Mooney said. "We got a doubleplay. If he had turned to second first, it
would have been a tripleplay."
  Dan McMullen delivered an RBI single, then Matt Galati grounded into the forceout. The loss prevented O'Hara
(5-9) from tying St. Joseph's Prep (6-8) for fourth place.
  "I felt bad for (O'Hara coach) Bill Dugan," Mooney said. "But I felt happy for us."
  Mooney's career record is 488-327, including 7-13 this season and 3-11 in division play. The Bulldogs will finish
by visiting intra-city rival Chester on Monday.
  **NOTE: The Bulldogs lost that game, 3-2. John finished 488-328. Mike Conmy (triple) and Frank Spaide
(double) had extra base hits for SJ.**

This story was written for the Delaware County Daily Times after the Bulldogs
won the 1962 City Title . . .

This story was written in 1971 after John and the Bulldogs -- over three days and
two sites -- won the Catholic League championship . . .


Recaps of victories in Catholic League championship games . . .

At Temple's Erny Field
St. James 3, Judge 2
    In the visiting sixth, Frank Gallagher singled, twin brother Jim bunted him over and freshman Frank Ryan doubled to left-center to break a 2-2 tie. Ryan's sacrifice fly had scored F. Gallagher (triple) in the fourth. Vic Majewski pitched a six-hitter with six strikeouts. Judge got consecutive singles from Bob Loftus, Mike Cody, Jake Gaffney (RBI) and Jim Delmar (RBI) to start the game, then did little. Gaffney fanned eight.
At Temple's Erny Field
St. James 5, SJ Prep 4
    Two rain delays kept everyone on the premises for 4 hours, 40 minutes. St. James scored three in the first and two in the second (as Ken Scheivert and winning pitcher Mike Flanagan had triples). The Prep had the bases loaded with two out in the ninth, but Flanagan registered a strikeout. For Prep, soph righty Brendan Murray, originally the leftfielder, pitched eight scoreless innings in relief, leadoff batter Mike Karcher walked six consecutive times and centerfielder Ray Palmer made an overhead lunge at the fence to keep Flanagan from getting a 410-foot homer.
At Temple's Erny Field
St. James 6, Judge 1
    The Bulldogs were at it again, and this time they smacked 15 hits to win in a breeze. Ed Miazza led the barrage by going 4-for-5 with two RBI. Mike Flanagan allowed five hits and K'd 11.
At Temple's Erny Field
St. James 12, Judge 11
    No. 7 hitter Art Gorga went 3-for-4 with two singles, a three-run homer and six RBI. His blast capped a four-run seventh and gave the Bulldogs a 12-7 lead. Joe Carroll went 2-for-3 with two RBI. For Judge, Chuck Jarvis went 4-for-5 with three RBI and pinch-hitter Ted Johnson had a two-run triple in the eighth before George Talarico came on to earn a save.
At Veterans Stadium
At Lincoln High (twice)

St. James 8, Judge 3
    This title was won over three days. On Sunday, the teams played to a 3-3 tie that was halted after eight innings at 1:15 so the Phillies and Padres could get in some pregame practice. On Monday, rain forced a postponement after a half-inning. On Tuesday, the matter was finally resolved. Fran McKinney allowed six hits. The Bulldogs took a 4-2 lead in the sixth as Ron Schott stroked an RBI single and scored on Dave Miller's squeeze. Judge's Mike Votta had two RBI. 
At Veterans Stadium
St. James 8, Egan 2
    Ray Castaldi went 2-for-2 with two walks, a triple just short of the 408-foot sign in centerfield and three runs scored. Dave Kasarsky had two RBI and Tony Kozak surrendered six hits while raising his career record to 26-1. Losing pitcher Bill Keeler had two RBI. 


Recap of victories in City Titles . . .

At Connie Mack Stadium
St. James 2, Lincoln 1
    Soph Mike Flanagan fanned a game-record 15 batters in a six-hitter. Ed Miazza and Flanagan had RBI singles. Flanagan's RBI broke a 1-1 tie in the home fourth and plated Jack Giampalmi (triple). Lincoln's Joe Hindelang pitched an eight-hitter with 10 strikeouts. 
At Temple's Erny Field
St. James 5, Roxborough 1
    Tony Kozak pitched a five-hitter and Brian Sullivan went 2-for-2 with two RBI. All five Jimmie runs were unearned. 


Below are the players who earned first or second team Coaches' All-Catholic honors
during John Mooney's final 30 seasons (except for 1966; unavailable).

Dan Murtaugh INF 1964 Dave Smith C 1969
John Esher INF 1964 Larry File 1B 1970
Frank Ryan OF 1964 Larry Huppman 2B 1971
Dennis Malseed 3B 1965 Joe Ryan OF 1971
Jim Johnson SS 1965 Ron Schott OF 1971
John O'Donnell OF 1965 Frank McKinney P 1971
Art Schott SS 1967 Bill Warrington OF 1972
Colin Malseed 2B 1968 Dave Miller C 1972
Art Schott SS 1968 Dave Wetten 1B 1974
Dennis Yarnell OF 1968 John Grozak 1B 1975
Dennis Sutsko P 1969 Bill DiPietro 3B 1975
Dave Smith C 1970 Frank Powell P 1975
Ray Castaldi OF 1970 Joe Santa Cruz SS 1976
Larry File 1B 1971 Jack Ruane P 1976
Dave Miller C 1971 Steve Warrington OF 1977
Ray Castaldi OF 1971 Jim Rich 2B 1978
Tony Kozak P 1971 Jim Rich 2B 1979
Larry File 1B 1972 Guy DiGiacomo SS 1979
John Podgajny 2B 1972 Jim Kuehn P 1979
Ron Schott OF 1972 Joe Murray P 1980
Ray Castaldi OF 1972 Dave "Bud" Singley OF 1981
Tony Kozak P 1972 John Elison 1B 1982
Earl Emerson 3B 1973 Dan McNeely 2B 1982
Dave Kasarsky SS 1973 Joe Bagonis 3B 1983
Bill Warrington OF 1973 Brian Van Horn C 1983
Francis Perko P 1973 Tim McCarthy P 1983
Mark Miller 2B 1974 Tom McNeely SS 1984
Dan Huber OF 1975 Joe Bagonis OF 1984
Bill DiPietro 3B 1976 Joe Knoud P 1984
Steve Warrington OF 1976 George Wallace 2B 1985
Bill Ford P 1976 Mike Van Horn OF 1985
Guy DiGiasomo OF 1977 Bruce Thomason P 1986
John Nicholas 1B 1978 Len Montano 3B 1987
John Elison 1B 1981 Warren McIntire OF 1988
Mike Elison OF 1982 Joe DiGregorio P 1988
Dan McNeely 2B 1983 Jeff Cooney OF 1989
Mike Elison OF 1983 Brian Warren P 1990
Bob Christy 1B 1984 Stan Bystrek DH 1990
Matt Hamilton 2B 1984 Bob Speakman C 1991
Bob Christy 1B 1985 Mike Boebert OF 1991
Len Montano 3B 1985      
Tom McNeely SS 1985      
Joe Knoud P 1985      
Dave "Duke" Elison 1B 1987      
Pat Van Horn 2B 1987      
Warren McIntire OF 1987      
Jim Smith P 1987      
Pat Van Horn 2B 1988      
Jeff Boyda 2B 1989      
Stan Bystrek C 1989      
Kevin Nodis OF 1989      
Brian Warren P 1989      
Scott McNeill 1B 1991      
Matt Wright IF 1992      
Jim Buggy P 1992