John Joseph McHale, 86, died Jan. 17, 2008, in Stuart. He was born in Detroit and lived in Palm City, coming from Detroit, Milwaukee, Atlanta and Montreal. He attended St. Agnes Parochial School and Catholic Central High School in Detroit. He was a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where he studied economics. He served in the Navy. He played parts of five seasons with the Detroit Tigers, including as a member of the 1945 World Champions. He hit left-handed, threw right-handed and played predominantly as a first baseman, serving occasionally as an outfielder. In 1957, he was promoted to the role of Tigers general manager. He became general manager of the Milwaukee Braves in 1959. He was named president of the Braves in 1962 and oversaw the clubs move to Atlanta. In 1967, at the request of Major League baseballs owners, he accepted the role as administrator and assistant commissioner of Baseball, under newly-elected Commissioner William Eckert. In 1968, he was asked by Charles Bronfman and Hugh Hallward to join the group they were assembling to own and operate a Major League expansion franchise in Montreal, which joined the National League in 1969. He served as president and CEO of Montreal Expos until his retirement in 1988. He also was the Expos General Manager for seven of those years. He McHale was named Executive of the Year by The Sporting News in 1981. He was a member of the Palm Beach County Sports Hall of Fame, the Catholic Central High School Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in St. Marys, Ontario, in 1997. He served for many years as a director of the Perini Corp. and the Schwartz Investment Co. He was a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame Veterans Committee for more than 10 years and was nominated for election into the Hall of Fame in 2007. He was a member of the board of directors of St. Marys Hospital in West Palm Beach and of the Treasure Coast Hospice. He was a parishioner at Holy Redeemer Church in Palm City, where he was a daily communicant. Survivors include children, Patricia McHale Glaws; John Jr., Kevin, Anne McHale McLeod, Brian and Mavie; and 15 grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife of 54 years, Patty, in 2001. Memorial contributions may be made to Treasure Coast Hospices, Inc., 1201 S.E. Indian St., Stuart. SERVICES: A Memorial Mass will be 10 a.m. Jan. 25 at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church. Arrangements are by Forest Hills Funeral Home. A guest book may be signed at www.foresthillsfunerals.com.
Published in the TC Palm on Jan. 20, 2008