Aug. 7, 2006
(San Francisco) - USF Hall-of-Famer and Legend of the Hilltop Cornelius "Con" Dempsey, Jr. passed away August 5, 2006 in Redwood City at the age of 83. A Celebration of Con's life will be held at St. Matthias Catholic Church, 1685 Cordilleras Rd., Redwood City on Thursday, August 10th at 11:00 AM.
A two sport standout at the University of San Francisco, Dempsey played basketball for the Dons, but his exploits on the diamond earned him a spot in the USF Father Hub Flynn, S.J. Hall of Fame and he was recognized as one of the top 75 "Legends of the Hilltop" last Fall during the school's 150th anniversary celebration.
Dempsey competed at USF during the Golden Age of athletics on the Hilltop and like so many other standouts during the period, had his college education interrupted by World War II. A graduate of Sequoia High School, Dempsey served in the US Navy seeing action in both theaters where he earned two battle stars.
Immediately after returning to USF, Dempsey led the Dons to a remarkable 8-1 season in 1946. The tall right-hander was nearly untouchable, posting a 4-1 record with 85 strikeouts in 66.0 innings. Prior to his military service Dempsey led USF to the 1943 NCBA title and earned All-Coast accolades.
After leaving the Hilltop, Dempsey embarked on a storied professional baseball career competing for the San Francisco Seals from 1948-51 where he led the P.C.L. in strikeouts during the 1948 and 1949 seasons and went on the first post-WWII Baseball Goodwill Tour to Japan.
Dempsey made his Major League debut for the Pittsburgh Pirates April 28, 1951. An arm injury suffered in 1953 career shortened his baseball career after stints with the Philadelphia Phillies and Oakland Oaks.
Following his professional career, Dempsey enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a coach and educator. Dempsey completed a Master's Degree in Education at USF and enjoyed 34 years as junior high school teacher and coach at A.P. Giannini in San Francisco.
A member of the Professional Baseball Players Association, San Francisco Retired Teacher's Association and Old Time Athletes Association Dempsey was also the first USF Athletic Hall of Fame baseball inductee. He enjoyed racing pigeons, traveling to Ireland to visit relatives and the annual family trip to Lake Tahoe.
Dempsey is survived by his loving wife, Mary Jane Dempsey; and children, Teresa, Cornelius III, Mary Pat, David and James and grandchildren Mara, Jenna, Kendall, Cornelius IV, Nolan, Molly, Daniel and Liam.
A Celebration of Con's life will be held at St. Matthias Catholic Church, 1685 Cordilleras Rd., Redwood City on Thursday, August 10th at 11:00 a.m. Contributions may be made in Con's name to University of San Francisco Baseball program or the Sequoia Hospital Foundation.