CBA baseball coach mourned after dying from colon cancer

Capital Region sports community mourning CBA coach

The Capital Region sports community mourning the CBA coach Casey O'Connor, who died after battling colon cancer.

The Capital Region sports community is in mourning over the loss of an impressive player and coach.

If Casey O’Connor’s family, friends and players could use just one word to describe him, it would be Superman.

O’Connor died on Saturday after a battle with colon cancer. He grew up in Latham, graduated from Shaker High School and the College of Saint Rose. He was a baseball star at both the high school and college levels and always by his side was his high school sweetheart and wife of 22 years Pamela. When Saint Rose coach Bob Bellizzi passed away from leukemia in 2006, O’Connor took over the college program.

Five years later, he became the head coach at CBA and led them to a sectional title in 2021.

Not even two years later, his commitment and fight would be unfairly tested. A colonoscopy found a cancerous tumor in late February 2023.

In March and every day of the baseball season, O’Connor was on the field with his team practices and games while undergoing chemotherapy and radiation. He didn’t miss a single one.

Teams from around Section 2 came together to Strike Out Cancer. O’Connor was honored by the American Cancer Society with the Fighting Spirit Award.

However, earlier this year, the cancer was back and this time not even superhuman strength could beat it.

Given only days to live, Shaker High School held a private graduation ceremony on June 12 for the O’Connor family, so he could see his namesake, daughter Casey, receive her diploma. He died three days later – just one day before Father’s Day.

He was 48 years old – a husband, a father and a coach whose smile was made brighter by the shine of his spirit.

CBA is planning to rename its field in O’Connor’s honor.