The embodiment of the pitiful Pirates of 1946 to 1957 was the set of identical twin brothers, Johnny and Eddie O'Brien. Both of them had business majors at Seattle University. Branch Rickey signed them to a $40,000 bonus contract to be Pittsburgh's double play combination. The pair debuted in 1953, then served in the military in 1954. Eddie's light bat was tried everywhere, including pitcher.
The fun-loving brothers derived great pleasure from confusing managers, and the Topps baseball card company, as to who was who; Topps solved the problem one year by putting both of them on one card. Both became successful out of baseball, Johnny as a King County (Washington) commissioner and then the head of security at the Kingdome and Eddie as an energy consultant in Alaska. Eddie was also athletic director at Seattle University (1958-1968) and a coach for the 1969 Seattle Pilots. (EC)
FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»May 10, 1953: Pittsburgh IF Eddie O'Brien and Johnny O'Brien become the first twins to play for the same team in the same game, when Johnny enters the nitecap of a Giants game on defense and Eddie later pinch runs. But the Giants take the twinbill, 4–0, behind Sal Maglie's 3-hitter, and 3–2. In game 2, Jim Hearn comes within two outs of his 13th straight over the Pirates, but falters and Frank Hiller wins in relief. Bobby Hofman's pinch home run in the 9th wins it.