The school announced O’Brien’s death Friday afternoon. He passed away earlier in the day. The school did not reveal a cause of death, but O’Brien recently had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
O’Brien played basketball at Seattle from 1950-53, along with his twin brother, Johnny, and helped the school reach the NCAA tournament in 1953. He also played baseball at the school and eventually had a six-year Major League Baseball career with the Pittsburgh Pirates. O’Brien played for the Pirates from 1953-58, appearing in 231 career games and batting .236.
Once his baseball career ended, O’Brien returned to Seattle and served as athletic director at Seattle University from 1958-80. He also was Seattle’s baseball coach for 14 seasons, compiling a 276-135 record.
“Eddie O’Brien has been an inspiration to all of us here at Seattle U,” the school’s athletic director, Bill Hogan, said in a press release. “He was a gentleman first but also a fierce competitor who loved to win. There will never be another like him, he was our treasure.”
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