Honoring Coach O’Shea

Archbishop Shaw High School had not been much of a factor in Catholic League baseball for the first ten years of its existence. That situation changed in late 1976 when a 26-year old Jesuit assistant was hired as the Shaw head baseball coach. Pat O’Shea took over the program less than two months before the start of practice for the 1977 season. O’Shea immediately began a turnaround which made the Eagles relevant in Catholic League baseball.

In O’Shea’s second season as coach, Shaw won its first baseball district title. The Eagles would no longer be an also-ran in the Catholic League baseball race. Shaw won two more Catholic League championships in 1983 and 1984. The 1983 team advanced to the Class 4A championship game where it lost to New Iberia 1-0.

O’Shea, who was the head coach at Shaw for 18 years before leaving following the 1994 season, had great success in American Legion baseball. Shaw Legion teams were in the state playoffs nearly every year with O’Shea as coach. The 1978 Shaw-based American Legion team won the Louisiana state title and advanced to the Mid-South Regional tournament. In 1981, Shaw’s Legion team finished as the state runner-up to Lafayette.

There were many outstanding players who performed in the Shaw baseball program while O’Shea was coach. Numerous players continued their careers in college baseball. Paul Mancuso, David Smith and Terry Joseph were some players who enjoyed extended careers in minor league baseball.

Also, the baseball facility underwent the first stage of renovation with O’Shea as coach. The four-foot page outfield fence was replaced by an eight-foot wooden fence and a 20-foot batters’ eye in centerfield. In addition, Shaw was one of the first schools in the New Orleans area to sell signage on the outfield fence.

The Archbishop Shaw baseball program has continued to grow after O’Shea departed as coach. The field now has lights. The team competed for state championships during the first decade of the 2000s. Without a doubt, the foundation of the Shaw baseball program was built by Pat O’Shea in his 18-year tenure.