Lyle Casey

John Lyle "Pete" Casey, born April 11th, 1899 in Bentonville, AR1 , was a professional baseball player from 1922-1936.


Casey died on August 5th, 1937 as a result of self-inflicted gunshot wounds. He was buried in Bentonville Cemetery in Bentonville, AR2 .


"Casey, a native of Bentonville, also in Benton county, might be picked as the 1935 manager of Bentonville, instead of Ed Hawks, who finished the season with the Officeholders after starting with Rogers. Pete, who is a veteran catcher, played semi-pro ball in with both Bentonville and Rogers many years ago before going into professional ball and was with Muskogee, Okla., of the Western Association and Tulsa of the Western League. A severe injury in 1927, when he was hit by a pitched ball, cut Casey’s career down considerably, but, after leaving the game for a few years, he came back to catcher for the Rogers semi-pro team of 1933 and continued with Rogers when the Arkansas loop was organized."3

"Rogers, Ark., Aug. 3 - Pete Casey, veteran baseball player and umpire in the Arkansas-Missouri League attempted suicide this afternoon at 3:30 o'clock in the office of Earl Blansett, attorney of Rogers, and is in serious condition at a hospital. Mr. Casey had called at the office of the attorney who had filed suit for his wife, Maud Casey for divorce. Mr. Blansett said this afternoon that before firing the pistol Mr. Casey requested that he deliver a bill of sale to Mrs. Casey and also handed him the car keys and a telegram which he requested him to send. Mrs. Casey is in Kansas City It was the wedding anniversary of the couple."4

"Rogers, Aug. 4 - Still in a critical condition at a local hospital, John L. (Pete) Casey was today given a chance for life by attending physicians after his spectacular suicide attempt Tuesday afternoon in the office of Earl Blansett, attorney. Mrs. Casey, believed to be in Kansas City, had not been reached today. Casey's mother, Mrs. Ada Casey, and sister, Mrs. Clement Watson of Tulsa, Okla., arrived late Tuesdae [sic] night. The bullet which Casey fired into his body was removed by Surgeons last night. It had ranged downward from the center of the body below the chest to lodge under the skin above the left hip, piercing the intestines in seven places."5

"Rogers, Aug. 5 - John L (Pete) Casey, well known baseball player and official in the Arkansas Missouri League, died here early today as results of self-inflicted bullet wounds. Casey fired a charge from a revolver into his abdomen Tuesday afternoon in the office of Attorney Earl Blansett. Funeral services, first announced for tomorrow morning, will be delayed until arrival of his wife, who was in Denver, Colo., and was reached only today. Immediately upon receipt of news of his death she wired asking that the funeral by delayed. Casey was born in 1899 in Bentonville, son of the late I.C. Casey and Addie Casey. He was educated in the Bentonville schools and began his baseball career with the Bentonville team. He played with Tulsa in the Western league and Muskogee in the Western association. It was while playing in Tulsa in 1927 that he was struck over the left temple with a wild pitched ball while at bat, and the injury resulted in partial deafness and partial loss of sight in the left eye. At the time of his injury he had been sold to the Red Sox and was considered an outstanding big league prospect. He managed the Rogers team in 1934 when the team won the pennant in the first year of the Arkansas State League, now the Arkansas-Missouri League, and managed the Fayetteville team part of 1935. He also played with Bentonville. This year he has served as umpire in the League. Casey is survived by his mother, Mrs. Addie Casey and a sister, Mrs. Clement Watson, both of Tulsa; and a 12-year old son by a former marriage, John L. Casey Jr., in Barnsdall, Okla. His present wife, Mrs. Maud Casey, who recently filed suit for divorce, was located by Attorney Blansett late yesterday and is expected for the funeral. Mrs. Casey also has an uncle, W. T. Maxwell, in Ft. Smith and a cousin, Shirley Casey, in Rogers."6

"Rogers, Aug. 7. - The funeral of J. Lyle (Pete) Casey, widely known baseball player who died Thursday morning in a local hospital, was held at the Bentonville cemetery Saturday morning at 10 o'clock. Burial was beside his father, the late I.C. Casey and other members of the family. Rev. Conner Morehead, pastor of Central Methodist church of Rogers, had charge of the committal service assisted by the American Legion post of Rogers and Bentonville. Mrs. Casey arrived late Thursday night from Denver and with Mr. Casey's mother, Mrs. Addie Casey and his sister, Mrs. hoover Watson were the immediate relatives attending the service."7

"John Lyle (Pete) Casey, umpire in the Arkansas-Missouri League and former player, died at Rogers, Ark., on August 5th, as result of gunshot wounds in the chest. The widow, mother, sister and a 12-year-old son by a former wife survive. Casey was discussing with an attorney a divorce suit filed against him by Mrs. Casey, two days earlier, when he shot himself, the lawyer said. Casey was born at Bentonville, Ark., April 11, 1899 and broke in with the Pawhuska as an outfielder in 1922. Subsequently he played with Okmulgee, Norfolk, Neb., Tulsa Chattanooga, and Muskogee, and manages Rogers in 1934, Fayetteville in 1935, and was with Bentonville and Rogers in 1936, going to Elmira at the end of the season, after which he retired as a player and became an umpire this year."8


Statistics at Baseball-Reference.com.

1 The Sporting News, 8/12/1937
2 Northwest Arkansas Times, 8/7/1937
3 The Sporting News, 1/3/1935
4 Northwest Arkansas Times, 8/3/1937
5 Northwest Arkansas Times, 8/4/1937
6 Northwest Arkansas Times, 8/5/1937
7 Northwest Arkansas Times, 8/7/1937
8 The Sporting News, 8/12/1937