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 Ronald Vernon Coons

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Ronald Vernon Coons

Birth
Peoria, Peoria County, Illinois, USA
Death
10 Aug 2021 (aged 86)
Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, USA
Burial
Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, USA
Plot
Section 36, Lot 377, Part W1/2, Grave 1
Memorial ID
231182190 View Source

Peoria, IL - Ronald Coons, a Peoria native and a retired baseball writer and sports copy editor for The Louisville Courier-Journal for 31 years, passed away on Tuesday, August 10, 2021, at the age of 86.

Born in 1935 to Raymond and Margaret Taghon Coons, he is survived by two brothers, Robert Coons of Bartonville and Richard Coons of Morton; and many nieces and nephews.

He covered high school baseball and basketball part-time for the Peoria Journal Star for two years while going to Bradley University. He had dropped out of the old Manual High School as a junior in 1951, but he went on to become a member of four honorary societies (Phi Eta Sigma, Kappa Tau Alpha, Phi Alpha Theta and Phi Kappa Phi) at Bradley. In addition, he was a member of the Young Republicans and Sigma Delta and the undergraduate journalism society and was an associate editor of the Scout and the school newspaper. He did this while working 40 hours a week at various part-time jobs.

After graduation in 1964, he was hired by the Courier-Journal and covered the Cincinnati Reds from 1966-80, during which time they won six division titles, four National League pennants and two World Series championships. He also covered the Louisville Colonels from 1968-72, when they were a Boston Red Sox affiliate in the International League. Those teams included such standouts as Hall of Famer Carlton Fisk, Dwight Evans, Cecil Cooper, Ben Oglivie, Ken Brett, Tony Muser and Dick Pole.

Two columns he wrote led to the Hall of Fame elections of Joe Sewell in 1977 and Addie Joss in 1978. Joss wasn't eligible for election because he had pitched only nine years in the big leagues and died before his qualifying 10th season. But the Veterans Committee waived the rule, and Joss was elected.

When Hall of Fame shortstop Pee Wee Reese asked Coons in January of 1983 who had played in the most winning games ever in the big leagues, Ron did the research, using his vast Sporting News collection to find the answer. Knowing Pete Rose had missed only 80 games during his first 20 years in the major leagues, he was able to determine Rose, indeed, was No. 1. When Rose' s career was over, Coons had calculated Rose had played in 1,972 winning regular-season games, plus 39 during postseason play.

On June 30, 1984, in a conversation in the Riverfront Stadium pressbox dining room, it was Ron who convinced Reds general manager Bob Howsam to bring Rose back to Cincinnati. The trade with Montreal eventually happened on Aug. 16.

Ron also covered the early years of the Kentucky Colonels in the American Basketball Association, when they had such players as Dan Issel, Artis Gilmore and Jim O'Brien.

Coons was a former member of the International League Baseball Writers Association and the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).

He was a former member of Christ Lutheran Church in Peoria. He also was a former member of the Fraternal Order of Police Associate Lodge in Louisville and headed a committee that dealt with injured police officers. He also served two years in the Army with the 3rd Armored Division in Germany.

Pearson Funeral Home is in charge of funeral arrangements. Graveside service will be at Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville, KY.

Posted online on August 17, 2021 - Peoria Journal Star

Peoria, IL - Ronald Coons, a Peoria native and a retired baseball writer and sports copy editor for The Louisville Courier-Journal for 31 years, passed away on Tuesday, August 10, 2021, at the age of 86.

Born in 1935 to Raymond and Margaret Taghon Coons, he is survived by two brothers, Robert Coons of Bartonville and Richard Coons of Morton; and many nieces and nephews.

He covered high school baseball and basketball part-time for the Peoria Journal Star for two years while going to Bradley University. He had dropped out of the old Manual High School as a junior in 1951, but he went on to become a member of four honorary societies (Phi Eta Sigma, Kappa Tau Alpha, Phi Alpha Theta and Phi Kappa Phi) at Bradley. In addition, he was a member of the Young Republicans and Sigma Delta and the undergraduate journalism society and was an associate editor of the Scout and the school newspaper. He did this while working 40 hours a week at various part-time jobs.

After graduation in 1964, he was hired by the Courier-Journal and covered the Cincinnati Reds from 1966-80, during which time they won six division titles, four National League pennants and two World Series championships. He also covered the Louisville Colonels from 1968-72, when they were a Boston Red Sox affiliate in the International League. Those teams included such standouts as Hall of Famer Carlton Fisk, Dwight Evans, Cecil Cooper, Ben Oglivie, Ken Brett, Tony Muser and Dick Pole.

Two columns he wrote led to the Hall of Fame elections of Joe Sewell in 1977 and Addie Joss in 1978. Joss wasn't eligible for election because he had pitched only nine years in the big leagues and died before his qualifying 10th season. But the Veterans Committee waived the rule, and Joss was elected.

When Hall of Fame shortstop Pee Wee Reese asked Coons in January of 1983 who had played in the most winning games ever in the big leagues, Ron did the research, using his vast Sporting News collection to find the answer. Knowing Pete Rose had missed only 80 games during his first 20 years in the major leagues, he was able to determine Rose, indeed, was No. 1. When Rose' s career was over, Coons had calculated Rose had played in 1,972 winning regular-season games, plus 39 during postseason play.

On June 30, 1984, in a conversation in the Riverfront Stadium pressbox dining room, it was Ron who convinced Reds general manager Bob Howsam to bring Rose back to Cincinnati. The trade with Montreal eventually happened on Aug. 16.

Ron also covered the early years of the Kentucky Colonels in the American Basketball Association, when they had such players as Dan Issel, Artis Gilmore and Jim O'Brien.

Coons was a former member of the International League Baseball Writers Association and the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).

He was a former member of Christ Lutheran Church in Peoria. He also was a former member of the Fraternal Order of Police Associate Lodge in Louisville and headed a committee that dealt with injured police officers. He also served two years in the Army with the 3rd Armored Division in Germany.

Pearson Funeral Home is in charge of funeral arrangements. Graveside service will be at Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville, KY.

Posted online on August 17, 2021 - Peoria Journal Star


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