Charlie O'Connell (roller derby)

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Charlie O'Connell (born May 7, 1935) is a retired roller derby skater, considered the premier male star of his sport.[1][2] He was inducted into the Roller Derby Hall of Fame in 1967, after his first retirement.[1][3]

O'Connell was born in New York.

At 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) and 200 pounds (91 kg), he was one of the larger and speedier players, considered a "prototype pivotman".[4] He made an immediate impact in his 1953 debut season with the New York Chiefs and was named rookie of the year.[2][4] Nicknamed "Mr. Roller Derby", he went on to win the league's Most Valuable Player award eight times.[2] It is believed he earned the highest salary in the sport's history, estimated as $40,000 or $50,000.[2][5] He also coached the team with which he is most closely associated, the San Francisco Bay Bombers.

He initially retired in 1967, but soon returned to the sport and played until 1978, before finally hanging up his skates for good.[5] He estimated he had played "well over 3000 games" during his career.[5]

He was one of the focal points of the 1971 documentary film Derby.[6]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Ken Monte
International Roller Derby League Male MVP[7]
1963
Succeeded by
Bob Hein
Preceded by
Bob Hein
International Roller Derby League Male MVP
joint with Buddy Atkinson Jr., Bob Hein and Bob Woodbury[7]

1965
Succeeded by
Buddy Atkinson, Jr.
Preceded by
Tony Roman
International Roller Derby League Male MVP[7]
1970
Succeeded by
?

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "HOME". Roller Derby Foundation. Retrieved June 20, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Charlie O'Connell / From the 1969 Roller Derby Program Yearbook:". television station KTVU. Retrieved June 20, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Original HOF members". rollerderbyhalloffame.com. Retrieved June 20, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Frank Deford (March 3, 1969). "The Roller Derby". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved June 20, 2010.  p. 4
  5. ^ a b c Frank Deford (March 3, 1969). "The Roller Derby". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved June 20, 2010.  p. 11
  6. ^ Roger Ebert (June 15, 1972). "Derby". rogerebert.com. Retrieved June 20, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b c Keith Coppage, Roller Derby to RollerJam, p.123