Paddy O’Connor has the distinction of being the only Windsor Locks resident to play major league baseball. Born in Kerry, Ireland in 1879, Paddy started his major league career with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1908 and later played with the Cardinals and the Yankees. Paddy was a right handed utility catcher for the Pirates when they won the 1910 World Series; prompting a celebration in Windsor Locks which honored him with a reception attended by over 300 people. Paddy lived in Windsor Locks throughout his major league career. In an article written in 1910, Paddy downplayed his success in baseball preferring to dote on his twins. He spoke of pushing them around town in their carriage as much as 14 miles a day. Paddy said the exercise kept him in shape for baseball.
Paddy was 28 when he reached the major leagues. He was a teammate of Hall of Fame shortstop Honus Wagner. A rumor that the two were going to stop in Windsor Locks during a 1911 trip to Boston brought a crowd of 600 to the Windsor Locks train station; only to be disappointed when the train never stopped due to scheduling gaff. Paddy played major league baseball for 10 years before retiring in 1019 as a member of the Yankees. Paddy died in Springfield Massachusetts in 1950 and not much is known about his life after baseball.
Windsor Locks has produced many fine baseball players over the years; many of whom almost made it to the majors. But, over a century later, Paddy O’Connor is still the only Locktowner to play major league baseball.