Vincent “Red” McDonald

About This Inductee

Vincent “Red” McDonald traveled a long winding road, mostly uphill, to merit Associated Press All-American Honorable Mention Selection as end in his sophomore year in 1941 at St. Bonaventure College. Shortly thereafter the football team instigated a strike for lack of injury insurance and where he was looking forward to his sophomore year on the Pittston football team. McDonald had attended public schools in Old Forge before moving to Pittston, Board President, John C. Kehoe, immediately banned indefinitely all athletics at the school. The ban lasted only one year and now it was Red’s junior year and he was ready; however, Red never donned either a football or basketball uniform for Pittston as he failed to pass the athletic department’s physical examination based on a heart problem. Disappointed but undaunted, Red was not deterred by the heart problem from engaging in outside basketball, football and baseball. He graduated in 1936 and played basketball on the Pittston YMCA’s varsity and strong Congress Hill team, and he and his neighbors formed the Keystone A.C. In baseball, he played with the Mt. Carmel team from Butler Hill in the Anthracite League, and the following year he stepped up to Cork Lane in the Suburban League. In 1938 a group of former Pittston High School football players organized a Sunday football team under Coach John Kishkis. Red still had a natural affinity for the contact sport and it proved to be break of his young lifetime. The team had a successful season and Red shone like a beacon at end, both offensively and defensively. He was spotted Al Kaporch, former first string guard at St. Bonaventure and later with the Detroit Lions. Kaporch convinced Coach Mike Riley at St. Bonaventure to take a flier on Red. In the Fall of 1940, Red entered Bonaventure as a freshman on a football scholarship. As a sophomore he started as a first string varsity player, at end Red was one of the best players they had, leaving Bonaventure undefeated in 1941 during his sophomore season. So much for Red’s heart problem. Thereafter, he entered the U.S. Army in 1942, leaving behind an outstanding athletic career and entering into a building military career. Tragically at the rank of First Lieutenant, Red lost his life at Leyte Island in 1944 and is buried in a military cemetery at Taglaben, Leyte Island, Philippines. He was survived by his wife, the late Doris Hallock McDonald Burleson.