Dan Osinski was an original “fireman,” as the term was coined during the early 1960s when the relief specialist role was becoming fashionable in professional baseball. The timing couldn’t have been better for Osinski, and may have extended his career.

Osinski was born on November 17, 1933, in Chicago.  In his first two high school years, in Wauconda, Illinois, he played basketball, baseball, and one year of football. His family moved to Barrington, Illinois, where he starred in the same three sports at Barrington High School in his junior and senior years, 1950-51. He threw two consecutive no-hitters in his senior year.

After a brief flirtation with the U.S. Naval Academy, whom the media accused of favoring athletes by clearing Osinski for admission after first failing his physical, he wanted no part of the media or the controversy deciding instead to play pro baseball. 

The Indians signed him to a major league contract in 1951. He was 17 years old and signed for $4,000, the most he could get and not be considered a “bonus baby,” required to spend a year with the big-league team. In 1952 Cleveland assigned Dan to Fort Smith, Arkansas, of the Western Association (Class C). In 1953 he pitched for Sherbrooke, Quebec, of the Provincial League (Class C) From Sherbrooke, hewent to Keokuk, Iowa of the Class B Three-I League in 1954. He made a great start the first half of the season, and was the starting pitcher in the All-Star game. 

For 1955, he was assigned to Tulsa of the Double-A Texas League. There he found out I had the mononucleosis. He spent the better part of two months in and out of a hospital recovering and saw little action while in Reading. He was then sent to Spartanburg of the Tri-State League (Class B), where he made his first start in1955. From Spartanburg, Osinski was sent to Fayetteville of the Carolina League (Class B) in 1956, still recovering from mononucleosis, and struggling to pitch in spite of his medical condition. 

In 1957 Osinski was drafted into the Army and served for two years. At the same time he was having his doubts about continuing in baseball. 

He returned to baseball in 1959 as a free agent and went to the White Sox’ Duluth-Superior club of the Northern League (Class C), where he made a conscious effort to craft himself into a relief specialist which he felt would serve him well getting to the big leagues. From Duluth, in 1960 he traveled to Charleston, South Carolina, in the South Atlantic League. He led his league for most appearances with 56 that year, with an 8-6 won-loss record and a solid 2.50 ERA. He was taking on the “workhorse” label and being noticed by major league clubs.

The Kansas City Athletics acquired his contract from the White Sox and invited him to spring training for 1962. Osinski made a strong showing, and went north with the club. In May, he was shipped to the Athletics’ Albuquerque, New Mexico, affiliate in the Texas League. Then he was sold outright to the Portland, Oregon, club of the Pacific Coast League (Triple A). 

Osinski made the PCL All-Star team which played an exhibition game against the Los Angeles Angels in Portland on July 11, 1962. Fred Haney, the Angels’ general manager, attended that All-Star game and liked what he saw. Haney acquired his contract from Kansas City for $35,000. He joined the Los Angeles team in July, making an immediate impact, and established himself as a reliable major league reliever. 

He played for the Angels in both 1963 and 1964. Them the Angels traded him to the Milwaukee Braves of the National League in November. He posted a 2.82 ERA in 1965 with Milwaukee in 60 relief appearances. 

On December of 1965, Osinski was traded to the Red Sox along with pitcher Bob Sadowski for Arnold Earley, Lee Thomas, and a player to be named (it turned out to be Jay Ritchie). The Red Sox intended for him to be a short relief pitcher backing up their ace reliever, Dick Radatz.

In 1966 the Red Sox finished ninth in the American League, 26 games out of first place. Osinski appeared in 44 games with a 4-3 won-loss record and a 3.61 ERA. Since he had only a one-year contract in ’66, he had to once again earn a place on the roster in 1967, which he did.

1967 was a memorable year for the Red Sox and for Dan Osinski. He not only secured a job again with the Red Sox, but he became a five-year man and qualified for a major league pension, played on a league champion, and played in a World Series. The Red Sox won the pennant and in the World Series, Osinski pitched in two games. He finished the 1967 regular season with a 3-1 won-loss record and a 2.54 ERA. In spite of a pretty good year, the Red Sox released him in April, 1968. 

He was picked up as a free agent by the Chicago White Sox and was sent to Hawaii of the Pacific Coast League. He once again became the workhorse, pitching often and winning games. The White Sox invited him to their 1969 spring camp. He didn’t have a major league contract at the time, so he had to earn his way onto the roster. He earned a roster spot with the White Sox and played the entire 1969 season with them.

At the end of the ’69 season the White Sox assigned him to their Tucson affiliate. He was then sold to the Houston Astros and invited to their spring camp as a non-roster player. He made the Astros club and pitched in three games, but was ineffective. He was optioned to Oklahoma City of the American Association (Triple A) in April, 1970.

In November, the San Diego Padres made him their first selection in the Triple A draft at the baseball winter meetings, and planned to assign him to their new Hawaii franchise. But he decided to end his baseball career and stick with his off-season job at a bank full time. 

Following his baseball career, Dan opened his own restaurant named Squire's Inn in Oak Forest, IL. as well as his own Steel Fabrication shop, named "Dan O". In 1990 he moved to Sun City, Arizona, for his second retirement, to play golf and enjoy the sun. He participated annually in the "Arizona Major League Alumni" charity fundraiser event. 

Dan Osinski died on September 13, 2013 in Sun City at 80 years of age.