Nashville’s Police Chief Played for the Chiefs

Little did Joe Casey know that when he played with the Hartford Chiefs in the Eastern League, it would be a precursor to a position he would eventually hold once his baseball career was over. Casey served all ranks of the Nashville Police Department before becoming Chief in 1973, serving in that position for 16 years until 1989.

hqdefaultCasey attended North High School where he lettered in six sports and was named to the All City Baseball team in 1945 and 1946, the only unanimous choice. His pitching record for those two years was 21 wins and 1 loss with five no-hitters. Most of his wins were shutouts and his one loss was to Hume-Fogg by a 1-0 score.

During one of his no-hitters against Father Ryan, he won 4-0 by retiring 20 consecutive batters and striking out 18. After the game, the late Edgar Allen wrote in the Nashville Banner that it was the most dominating pitching performance he had ever witnessed. Joe also played in Nashville amateur leagues for CMI under Tom Page.

Signed to a professional contract after high school, he played for Clarksville (1946) and Owensboro (1947) in the Class D Kitty League, Hartford in the Class A Eastern League (1948-49), and Denver in the Class A Western League (1949-50). In 1951 Casey pitched for DuPont, which captured Nashville’s City League championship, and beginning in 1952 managed Johnny Beazley’s Falstaff’s City League team for four years while also pitching.

Joe joined the Nashville Police Department in 1951 and that year the Police team became a charter member of the Babe Ruth League in Nashville. Joe managed the team from the mid-1950s until 1962. In 1959 he coached the Babe Ruth All Star team to the World Tournament in Stockton, California. It was the first Nashville amateur baseball team to compete for a national championship.

A basketball official for 23 years at the junior high, high school, and college level, Joe Casey was inducted into the TSSAA Hall of Fame in the Officials category in 2008.

In 2009 Joe was named as the Old Timers Nashville Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame recipient.

He was married for 64 years to the former Jewell Anderton, recently deceased, and they have five children, Starr Casey Herrman, Minka Casey Perry, Karen Casey Torr, Mike Casey, and Lynn Casey (deceased).

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