Former Baseball: Former baseball pro, Chris' Poboys manager Garrett O'Connor dies
Kris Wartelle, The Advertiser, Feb. 7, 2019
Pitcher Garrett O'Connor played for UL from 1982 to 1985 and left as a second-round pick by the New York Yankees in 1985. (Photo: Advertiser file photo)
The Lafayette community is mourning the loss of Garrett O'Connor, known to many in the baseball world for his career as a player at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and in the minor leagues. O'Connor played for the Ragin' Cajuns from 1982-85 when it was called USL. He was inducted into the Louisiana Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003.
He was also the beloved general manager of Chris' Poboys on Pinhook for more than 33 years.
His best friend Jeff Raggio attended Lafayette High school with him and said O'Connor never met a stranger.
"He knew everybody," Raggio said. "Everybody that would walk through that door at Chris', he would treat them like family and he would make friends with them. He was the best friend a person could ever have. He would do anything for anybody."
Garrett O'Connor shown enjoying a day of fishing, passed away on Feb. 4 at age 56. (Photo: Jacob Trowbridge)
Family and friends remembered O'Connor as a hard worker, who enjoyed Mardi Gras, family life and fishing. When he was not at the restaurant, he loved fishing at his camp at Grande Avoille Cove.
He was married to Sheri R. O’Connor for 14 Years. The couple has five children together.
Jacob Trowbridge, O'Connor's stepson, called him a one-of-a-kind father figure who was an amazing role model above all else.
Garrett O'Connor shown with his family (Photo: Jacob Trowbridge)
"For a stepfather to come into kids lives and be able to get us all on same page and be a great dad, that is amazing in and of itself," Trowbridge said. "More than anything else, I can't say enough about how much he loved my mom. They would always say they were each other's soul mates."
Trowbridge remembered O'Connor as straight laced and traditional and believed in taking an interest in everything his children did. He said his stepdad attended all of his hockey games, shared his love of music and took him anywhere he wanted to go.
"What I'll miss most was him always telling me how proud he was," Trowbridge recalled. "No matter what was going on, he always told me how proud of me he was."
O'Connor was outgoing to many, but was humble about his past accomplishments in baseball. His career was an impressive one and much has been written about his accomplishments.
Garrett O'Connor shown with his wife, five children and one grandchild. (Photo: Jacob Trowbridge)
According to his obituary, he began playing baseball at the age of eight and went on to play at Lafayette High and the American Legion state title, to a successful college career with the Ragin' Cajuns where he played pitcher.
"O'Connor had 22 wins as a Ragin' Cajun, including a one-hitter on the road against the Texas Longhorns and a victory over LSU in Skip Bertman's first year leading the Tigers. He was an All-Louisiana selection in 1984 and drafted by the Minnesota Twins and the New York Yankees," his obituary states.
After his playing career, he began working as an umpire and made a name for himself calling games as far away as the NCAA Regionals in California. He retired from college umpiring after 26 years.
Garrett O'Connor enjoying his love of fishing. (Photo: Jacob Trowbridge)
As an active member in the Mardi Gras Krewe of Bonaparte, O'Connor rode in numerous parades and served in several capacities, helping to coordinate activities for the ball and pageant, as well as organize the floats for the Bonaprte Parade.
"We rode in the parades together and we were both on the board of Bonaparte," Raggio said. "He was just so selfless. He would do anything and donate anything. He was just a giving person, happy as could be."
O'Connor passed away on Monday at the age of 56.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Thursday at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church.
He is survived by his wife, Sheri Robicheaux O'Connor; his mother, Betty Billeaud; his children, Benjamin O'Connor, Ross O'Connor, Camille O'Connor; step children, Jacob Trowbridge, Sarah Trowbridge; granddaughter, Nadia Gardiner and several siblings and extended family members.
Donations may be made to the University of Louisiana RCAF Diamond Baseball Club in memory of Garrett O’Connor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Click here for the Spotlight Feature on Garrett written by Bruce Brown for March, 2018. It includes a photo of Garrett and his 1985 Baseball teammates.