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“With deepest sympathy on your loss. Ann Sowers West Palm Bch Expos ”
1 of 8 | Posted by: Ann Sowers

“Our prayers are with your family ”
2 of 8 | Posted by: Tobey Perini & Al McMullen

“To John Jr: John, I know it's been a long time since you used to come up to visit in TJP's and my room in Sorin Hall in '68; but I just wanted you to...Read More »
3 of 8 | Posted by: Bill Cleary

“Our deepest sympathy to all the family. He will be missed. ”
4 of 8 | Posted by: robert & frances brandell

“john jr. ,jj i was so sorry to read of your dad's passing. i read about in the stuart news. it has been a long time since we last saw each other but...Read More »
5 of 8 | Posted by: fran gosseen

“May the archangel Raphael guide you into heaven ”
6 of 8 | Posted by: John R. McCauley

“On behalf of the James L. Kelly Family from Peoria, Illinois, I would like to express our condolences on the passing of John,Sr. John and my father,...Read More »
7 of 8 | Posted by: JAMES KELLY, MD

“On behalf of the staff of Forest Hills Funeral Home and myself, I would like to express our deepest, heartfelt condolences on the loss of your father...Read More »
8 of 8 | Posted by: Patti Davis


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John Joseph McHale was born on September 21, 1921, in Detroit to Katherine (Kelly) McHale and John Michael McHale. He attended St. Agnes Parochial School and Catholic Central High School, where he excelled in academics and athletics, graduating as a member of the Class of 1939. He accepted a scholarship to attend the University of Notre Dame, where he studied economics.. He also played football, as a center and linebacker and baseball, as a first baseman for the Fighting Irish, earning monograms in both sports. His college career was interrupted by his decision to sign a professional baseball contract with the Detroit Tigers and by his service in the United States Navy. He returned to campus to complete his undergraduate degree, graduating with honors as a member of the Class of 1945.

McHale played parts of five seasons with the Detroit Tigers, including as a member of the 1945 World Champions. He hit left-handed, threw right-handed and played predominantly as a first baseman, serving occasionally as an outfielder.

He married Patricia Anne Cameron of Detroit on February 15, 1947, at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the Notre Dame campus. Their honeymoon was spent driving to the Detroit spring training camp in Lakeland, Florida. Following the 1948 season, McHale joined the Detroit front office, serving as an assistant farm director. He then became Director of Minor League Operations, integrating the Tigers minor league system. In 1957, he was promoted to the role of General Manager, and the following year acquired the Tigers first Major League player of color, Ozzie Virgil, in a trade with the San Francisco Giants. During his time in Detroit, he signed and developed great players: Al Kaline, Jim Bunning, Harvey Kuenn, Frank House, and Frank Lary.

He became General Manager of the Milwaukee Braves in 1959, joining the club at a time when it was owned by Lewis Perini of Boston. This began a close relationship with the Perini family which lasted the rest of his life. He was named President of the Braves in 1962 and oversaw the clubs move to Atlanta, which brought Major League Baseball for the first time to the center of a dynamic, growing part of the country.

In 1967, at the request of Major League baseballs owners, he accepted the role as Administrator and Assistant Commissioner of Baseball, under newly-elected Commissioner William Eckert. In 1968, he was asked by Charles Bronfman and Hugh Hallward to join the group they were assembling to own and operate a Major League expansion franchise in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Montreal Expos joined the National League in 1969. McHale served as President and CEO of that club until his retirement in 1988. He also was the Expos General Manager for seven of those years. His background as a player and as a professional in scouting and development resulted in a steady stream of outstanding players in Montreal. Andre Dawson, Tim Raines, Gary Carter, Tim Wallach, Warren Cromartie, Steve Rogers, Bill Gullickson, Charlie Lea were among the many products of the Expos farm system. The organization similarly nurtured young executives, many of whom went on to successful careers with other Major League clubs.

McHale was named Executive of the Year by The Sporting News in 1981. He was made a member of the Palm Beach County Sports Hall of Fame, the Catholic Central High School Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in St. Marys Ontario in 1997.

He served for many years as a director of the Perini Corporation and the Schwartz Investment Company. He was a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame Veterans Committee for over ten years and was nominated for election into the Hall of Fame in 2007. He was a Member of the Board of Directors of St. Marys Hospital in West Palm Beach and of the Treasure Coast Hospice.

He was an athlete all his life, as an avid handball player, golfer and tennis player. He would play any game that involved a ball and/or a stick. He was predeceased by his wife of 54 years, Patty, in 2001. He leaves six children: Patricia McHale Glaws (Peter), John Jr. (Sally), Kevin, Anne McHale McLeod (Doug), Brian (Susana), Mavie, and 15 grandchildren: Rachael, Peter, McHale and Fletcher Glaws, Duncan, William and Franny McHale, Brendan, Kyle, Annabelle and Oliver McLeod and Kelly, Cameron, Brian and Alex McHale, all of whom he loved extravagantly, spoiled unceasingly and whose exploits he occasionally mentioned in public. He was a parishioner at Holy Redeemer Church in Palm City, where he was a daily communicant.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Treasure Coast Hospices, Inc., 1201 SE Indian St., Stuart, FL 34996 or Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, 1454 SW Mapp Rd., Palm City, FL 34990.

A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 10 AM, Friday, January 25, 2008 at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church.

Arrangements are under the direction of Forest Hills Funeral Home.

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