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John McCloskey's 50 years in baseball began in 1882 at Louisville and continued across the country as he organized, played, and coached professional baseball. The majority of his time, however, was spent in Texas. In 1887, a team he brought barnstorming through the state from Joplin, Mo., was matched up with the champion New York Giants in Austin in a three-game series. The Giants lost the first two games to player-coach McCloskey's team and then left town to avoid further embarrassment. McCloskey later accepted the job of organizing the Texas League for which he played, coached, and maintained during the remainder of his career. In 1888, McCloskey was recognized as "the Father of Texas League". In 1916 he organized the Rio Grande Baseball League in El Paso at Rio Grande Park. He was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 1962.

John J. McCloskey