Joe Kelley

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Joe Kelley
Baseball player, Joe Kelley, Cincinnati Reds, standing at West Side Grounds.jpg
Kelley with the Cincinnati Reds
Left fielder / Manager
Born:(1871-12-09)December 9, 1871
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Died: August 14, 1943(1943-08-14) (aged 71)
Baltimore, Maryland
Batted: RightThrew: Right
MLB debut
July 27, 1891, for the Boston Beaneaters
Last MLB appearance
October 8, 1908, for the Boston Doves
MLB statistics
Batting average .317
Hits 2,220
Home runs 65
Runs batted in 1,194
Stolen bases 443
Managerial record338–321
Winning %.512
Teams
As player

As manager

Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svgEmpty Star.svgEmpty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svgEmpty Star.svgEmpty Star.svg
Induction 1971
Election MethodVeterans Committee

Joseph James Kelley (December 9, 1871 – August 14, 1943) was an American left fielder in Major League Baseball (MLB) who starred in the outfield of the Baltimore Orioles teams of the 1890s. Making up the nucleus of the Orioles along with John McGraw, Willie Keeler, and Hughie Jennings, Kelley received the nickname "Kingpin of the Orioles". [1]

Left fielder outfielder who plays defense in left field

In baseball, a left fielder (LF) is an outfielder who plays defense in left field. Left field is the area of the outfield to the left of a person standing at home plate and facing towards the pitcher's mound. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the left fielder is assigned the number 7.

Major League Baseball Professional baseball league

Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization, and the oldest of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. A total of 30 teams play in the National League (NL) and American League (AL), with 15 teams in each league. The NL and AL were formed as separate legal entities in 1876 and 1901, respectively. After cooperating but remaining legally separate entities beginning in 1903, the leagues merged into a single organization led by the Commissioner of Baseball in 2000. The organization also oversees Minor League Baseball, which comprises 256 teams affiliated with the Major League clubs. With the World Baseball Softball Confederation, MLB manages the international World Baseball Classic tournament.

John McGraw American baseball player, manager

John Joseph McGraw, nicknamed "Little Napoleon" and "Mugsy", was a Major League Baseball (MLB) player and manager of the New York Giants. He stood 5 feet 7 inches (1.70 m) tall and weighed 155 pounds (70 kg). He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1937. While primarily a third baseman throughout his career, he also played shortstop and the outfield in the major leagues.

Contents

In his MLB career, Kelley played in the National League (NL) for the Boston Beaneaters (1891), Pittsburgh Pirates (1892), Baltimore Orioles (1892–1898), and Brooklyn Superbas (1899–1901), before he jumped to the upstart American League to play for the Baltimore Orioles (1902). He returned to the NL with Cincinnati Reds (1902–1906) and Boston Doves (1908). Kelley served as player-manager of the Reds (1902–1905) and Doves (1908). After extending his career in the minor leagues, he coached the Brooklyn Robins (1926), and scouted for the New York Yankees (1915–1916).

National League Baseball league, part of Major League Baseball

The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, known simply as the National League (NL), is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball (MLB) in the United States and Canada, and the world's oldest current professional team sports league. Founded on February 2, 1876, to replace the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players (NAPBBP) of 1871–1875, the NL is sometimes called the Senior Circuit, in contrast to MLB's other league, the American League, which was founded 25 years later.

Pittsburgh Pirates Baseball team and Major League Baseball franchise in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

The Pittsburgh Pirates are an American professional baseball team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Pirates compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) Central division. The Pirates play their home games at PNC Park; the team previously played at Forbes Field and Three Rivers Stadium, the latter of which was named after its location near the confluence of the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio Rivers. Founded on October 15, 1881 as Allegheny, the franchise has won five World Series championships. The Pirates are also often referred to as the "Bucs" or the "Buccos".

American League Baseball league, part of Major League Baseball

The American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, or simply the American League (AL), is one of two leagues that make up Major League Baseball (MLB) in the United States and Canada. It developed from the Western League, a minor league based in the Great Lakes states, which eventually aspired to major league status. It is sometimes called the Junior Circuit because it claimed Major League status for the 1901 season, 25 years after the formation of the National League.

Kelley was regarded as an excellent batter, a good base runner, and a great leader. Over his seventeen-season MLB career, Kelley had a .317 batting average, and batted over .300 in eleven consecutive seasons. Kelley stole a career-high 87 bases in the 1896 season, which led MLB. He finished in the league's top ten in categories such as batting average, home runs, runs batted in (RBI), and stolen bases numerous times. He served as team captain of the Orioles and the Superbas. In recognition of his career achievements, Kelley was elected a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1971.

Batting average (baseball)

In baseball, the batting average (BA) is defined by the number of hits divided by at bats. It is usually reported to three decimal places and read without the decimal: A player with a batting average of .300 is "batting three-hundred." If necessary to break ties, batting averages could be taken beyond the .001 measurement. In this context, a .001 is considered a "point," such that a .235 batter is 5 points higher than a .230 batter.

Home run in baseball, a 4-base hit, often by hitting the ball over the outfield fence between the foul poles without 1st touching the ground; inside-the-park home runs—where the batter reaches home safely while the ball is in play—are possible but rare

In baseball, a home run is scored when the ball is hit in such a way that the batter is able to circle the bases and reach home safely in one play without any errors being committed by the defensive team in the process. In modern baseball, the feat is typically achieved by hitting the ball over the outfield fence between the foul poles without first touching the ground, resulting in an automatic home run. There is also the "inside-the-park" home run where the batter reaches home safely while the baseball is in play on the field. A home run with a high exit velocity and good launch angle is sometimes called a "no-doubter," because it leaves no doubt that it is going to leave the park when it leaves the bat.

Stolen base

In baseball, a stolen base occurs when a runner advances to a base to which he is not entitled and the official scorer rules that the advance should be credited to the action of the runner. The umpires determine whether the runner is safe or out at the next base, but the official scorer rules on the question of credit or blame for the advance under Rule 10.

Early life

Kelley was born to Patrick Kelly and Ann Kelly (née Carney) in Cambridge, Massachusetts on December 9, 1871. [2] Kelley's parents emigrated to the United States from Ireland, and he had five siblings. According to the 1880 United States Census, Patrick worked as a marble cutter. [3]

Cambridge, Massachusetts City in Massachusetts, United States

Cambridge is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, and part of the Boston metropolitan area.

1880 United States Census 10th U.S. national census

The United States Census of 1880 conducted by the Census Bureau during June 1880 was the tenth United States Census. It was the first time that women were permitted to be enumerators. The Superintendent of the Census was Francis Amasa Walker. This was the first census in which a city – New York – recorded a population of over one million.

As a child, Kelley was educated at a parochial grammar school and St. Thomas Aquinas College in Cambridge, where he starred for the school's baseball team as a pitcher. He worked for a local piano manufacturer and the John P. Lowell Arms Company. He practiced with the Harvard Crimson, the college baseball team of Harvard University, and played semi-professional baseball for the Lowell Arms Company. [3] [4]

Pitcher the player responsible for throwing ("pitching") the ball to the batters in a game of baseball or softball

In baseball, the pitcher is the player who throws the baseball from the pitcher's mound toward the catcher to begin each play, with the goal of retiring a batter, who attempts to either make contact with the pitched ball or draw a walk. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the pitcher is assigned the number 1. The pitcher is often considered the most important player on the defensive side of the game, and as such is situated at the right end of the defensive spectrum. There are many different types of pitchers, such as the starting pitcher, relief pitcher, middle reliever, lefty specialist, setup man, and the closer.

Harvard Crimson baseball baseball team of Harvard University

The Harvard Crimson baseball team is the varsity intercollegiate baseball team of Harvard University, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The program has been a member of the Ivy League since the conference officially began sponsoring baseball at the start of the 1993 season. The team plays at Joseph J. O'Donnell Field, located across the Charles River from Harvard's main campus. Bill Decker has been the program's head coach since the 2013 season.

College baseball is baseball that is played on the intercollegiate level at institutions of higher education. In comparison to football and basketball, college competition in the United States plays a smaller role in developing professional players, as baseball's professional minor leagues are more extensive, with a greater history of supplying players to the top professional league. Moving directly from high school to the professional level is more common in baseball than in football or basketball. However, if players do opt to enroll at a four-year college to play baseball, they must complete three years to regain professional eligibility, unless they reach age 21 before starting their third year of college. Players who enroll at junior colleges regain eligibility after one year at that level. In the most recently completed 2017 season, there were 298 NCAA Division I teams in the United States.

Career

Early career: Minor leagues and Boston Beaneaters (1891)

Kelley made his professional debut with the Lowell Indians of the New England League (NEL) in 1891, at age 19. During games he did not pitch, Lowell's manager put him in the lineup as an infielder. [3] [5] Kelley had a 10–3 win–loss record and a NEL-leading .323 batting average with Lowell. [3]

The New England League was a mid-level league in American minor league baseball that played intermittently in five of the six New England states between 1886 and 1949. After 1901, it existed in the shadow of two Major League Baseball clubs in Boston and alongside stronger, higher-classification leagues.

In baseball and softball, a pitcher's win–loss record indicates the number of wins and losses they have been credited with. For example, a 20–10 win–loss record would represent 20 wins and 10 losses.

Lowell folded in July. [6] Three days later, Kelley signed with the Boston Beaneaters of the National League (NL). [7] Kelley made his major league debut in August 1891 with the Beaneaters. After batting .244 in twelve games played, the Beaneaters released Kelley after the season. [3] Kelley began the 1892 season with the Omaha Omahogs of the Class–A Western League, turning down a $1,200 salary ($33,462 in current dollar terms) from the Oakland Oaks of the Pacific Coast League. With Omaha, Kelley batted .316 with 19 stolen bases in 58 games. [3]

Pittsburgh Pirates and NL's Baltimore Orioles (1892–1898)

The Pittsburgh Pirates of the NL purchased Kelley's contract from Omaha for $500 ($13,943 in current dollar terms) on July 2, 1892. Ned Hanlon, new manager of the Baltimore Orioles, traded George Van Haltren to the Pirates for Kelley and $2,000 ($55,770 in current dollar terms) in September 1892. [3] Hanlon had succeeded Van Haltren as Orioles' manager during the season; remaining with the Orioles as a player, Van Haltren openly criticized Hanlon. Hanlon mentioned that he "had [his] eye on Kelley for a long time." [8]

Kelley (sitting, left) with Baltimore Orioles teammates Hughie Jennings (sitting, right), Willie Keeler (standing, left), and John McGraw (standing, right) Stars players of the Baltimore Orioles.jpg
Kelley (sitting, left) with Baltimore Orioles teammates Hughie Jennings (sitting, right), Willie Keeler (standing, left), and John McGraw (standing, right)

Hanlon taught Kelley how to play center field. [8] During the 1893 season, Kelley batted .305, with 120 runs scored, and stole 33 bases. [8] He finished ninth in the NL with a .476 slugging percentage (SLG), and tied Eddie Burke for ninth in home runs with 9. [9] The Orioles won the NL pennant in 1894, 1895, and 1896. Kelley moved to left field in 1894 with the acquisition of Steve Brodie, who played center. [8] That year, he batted .393 with 111 runs batted in (RBI), 199 hits, and 165 runs scored, tying teammate Willie Keeler for second in runs and finishing sixth in batting average and eighth in hits. [10] Combined with 107 walks, which were tied for second most in the NL with Cupid Childs and behind only Billy Hamilton, Kelley posted a .502 on-base percentage (OBP), finishing second in the NL to Hamilton, and hit 48 doubles, good for second in the NL, behind only Hugh Duffy. [10] His .602 SLG was the fourth best in the NL. [10]

These Orioles teams, led by John McGraw, were known to break the rules in order to win, including tampering with their bats and the playing field. [11] Kelley hid baseballs in the outfield, using the closest hidden ball instead of finding the ball batted into the outfield. [12] Kelley hit ten home runs in 1895, a then-franchise record, [13] tying him for fifth in the NL with five other players. He also tied Brodie for second with 134 RBI, finished fourth with 54 stolen bases, fifth with a .546 SLG, and sixth with a .456 OBP. [14] In 1896, Kelley finished seventh in the NL in batting average (.364), fourth in runs scored (148), fourth in SLG (.543), fifth in OBP (.469), ninth in hits (189), and tied Gene DeMontreville for eighth in home runs (8). [15]

In 1897, Kelley agreed to serve as the coach of the Georgetown Hoyas, the college baseball team of Georgetown University. [16] That year, he finished fifth in the NL in batting average (.362) and RBI (118), seventh in OBP (.447), and eighth in SLG (.489). [17]

By 1898, Kelley earned an annual salary of $2,500 ($75,290 in current dollar terms), plus a $200 ($6,023 in current dollar terms) bonus for serving as team captain. [3] He finished third in the league with 110 RBI and ninth with a .438 SLG. [18] Due to insolvency, the Brooklyn Superbas purchased the Orioles after the 1898 season and transferred Kelley, Hanlon, Keeler, Joe McGinnity, and Hughie Jennings to Brooklyn. [19] Wanting an opportunity to manage, and to remain near Baltimore, Kelley requested a transfer to the Washington Senators, but Washington did not have enough talent to send to Brooklyn to make a trade. [19]

Brooklyn Superbas and AL's Baltimore Orioles (1899–1902)

With McGraw remaining in Baltimore, Hanlon named Kelley team captain. [19] The Superbas won the NL pennant in 1899 and 1900, as Kelley finished tenth in RBI (93), OBP (.410), and tied several players for tenth in home runs (6) in 1899 [20] and led the team with a .319 batting average in 1900, [19] [21] while finishing fourth in the league in SLG (.485), tying Hickman for seventh in RBI (91), and tying Jimmy Collins and Buck Freeman for tenth in home runs (6). [22]

Kelley moved back to the infield, becoming the regular first baseman in 1901. [21] After the 1901 season, Kelley denied reports that he would jump from the Superbas to the Detroit Tigers of the American League (AL), the former Western League which had decided to compete with the NL by creating franchises in east coast cities that housed NL franchises. [23] However, the opportunity to return to Baltimore proved irresistible to Kelley, and after the AL's successful 1901 season, he jumped from the Superbas to the Baltimore Orioles AL. [21] [24] Kelley's father-in-law, John Mahon, was president and principal share holder of the AL's Orioles. [25]

Kelley's 1909 American Tobacco Company baseball card JoeKelley.jpg
Kelley's 1909 American Tobacco Company baseball card

Kelley was named Orioles' captain and received some stock in the team. [21] McGraw, player-manager of the Orioles, resigned from the team to take over as manager of the New York Giants on July 7, 1902. In his absence, Kelley and Wilbert Robinson took over in the interim. [26] Under indefinite suspension by Ban Johnson by July 1902 for fighting with umpires, [3] Kelley entertained the idea of leaving the Orioles with McGraw, who was becoming frustrated with Johnson, and had begun negotiating to join the New York Giants of the NL. [27] With the team in financial straits, [28] Kelley sold his shares of the Orioles to Mahon, who had purchased McGraw's shares when he left for New York, becoming principal shareholder of the Orioles. [3] Mahon then sold controlling interest in the Orioles to Andrew Freedman, principal owner of the Giants, and John T. Brush, principal owner of the Cincinnati Reds, on July 17. [3] On the day they owned the franchise, they released the best players on the Orioles from their contracts so that they could be signed by National League teams: Kelley and Cy Seymour signed with the Reds, while McGinnity, Roger Bresnahan, Dan McGann, and Jack Cronin signed with the Giants. [29] [30] Johnson, along with Orioles minority owners, took control of the Orioles franchise, which had to forfeit their game that day as they did not have enough players. [3] Kelley stated that the Orioles owed $12,000 ($347,492 in current dollar terms), and that selling his shares was the only way Mahon could pay the team's debts. [3]

Cincinnati Reds, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Boston Doves (1902–1908)

The Superbas lodged a complaint against the Reds, claiming that Kelley was still under their control, seeking compensation from the Reds. [31] [32] However, the other NL owners saw the situation as a coup for their league, and compelled Hanlon to drop his complaint. [33] Kelley did not immediately report to Cincinnati, instead traveling to Boston to attempt to convince members of the Boston Americans to join him in the NL. [33] Kelley joined the Reds on July 31. [28]

With rumors that Kelley was negotiating to become the Reds' manager, incumbent manager Bid McPhee resigned, and Kelley succeeded him. [33] Kelley served as manager of the Reds from 1902 until 1905. In 1903, Kelley finished ninth in the NL in OBP (.402). [34] He was dismissed as manager after the 1905 season, and replaced by Hanlon. [35] He remained as a Reds player for the 1906 season. He batted .228 during the 1906 season, and the Reds released him. [35]

Kelley signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs of the Class–AA International League (IL) in 1907, receiving a $5,000 salary ($134,446 in current dollar terms), the highest for a minor league player to date. [3] Kelley batted .322 for the Maple Leafs as a part-time player, spending time in left field and first base. [35] The Maple Leafs won the IL pennant that season. [3]

With Fred Tenney set to leave the Boston Doves of the NL for the Giants, [36] the Doves claimed Kelley from the Maple Leafs, [35] [37] signing Kelley to a two-year contract [38] with an annual salary of $5,500 ($153,369 in current dollar terms). [3] Kelley announced that he would play left field. [39] Kelley feuded with Doves' owner George Dovey, as Dovey wanted George Browne fined for "indifferent play", which Kelley refused to do. [40] Dovey fired Kelley in December 1908. [35] Kelley threatened legal action against Dovey, stating in the press that Dovey was releasing him to cut salary. [40] [41] Kelley and Dovey settled their case, freeing Kelley from the second year of his Doves contract. [42]

Later career (1909–1926)

Maple Leafs president James McCafferey secured Kelley's return to the club in 1909. [38] [43] He played with the Maple Leafs through 1910, managing the Maple Leafs from 1912 to 1914, winning a second pennant in 1912. [3]

After the 1914 season, the Maple Leafs released Kelley. The New York Yankees considered hiring Kelley as their manager after the 1914 season. [44] Kelley scouted for the Yankees in 1915 and 1916. [3] [45] Former teammate Wilbert Robinson, then manager of the Brooklyn Robins, hired Kelley and McGinnity to join his coaching staff for the 1926 MLB season. [3] Kelley and McGinnity were not retained after the season. [46]

Legacy

Joe had no prominent weakness. He was fast on the bases, could hit the ball hard and was as graceful an outfielder as one would care to see. He covered an immense amount of ground and had that necessary faculty, so prominent in Speaker and others, of being able to place himself where the batter would be likely to hit the ball.

John McGraw [2]

As a player, Kelley had 11 consecutive .300-plus seasons during his MLB career. Kelley was also known as a good base runner and stole a career-high 87 bases in 1896. He retired with a career .317 batting, .402 OBP, 65 home runs, 1,421 runs, 1,194 RBI and 443 stolen bases in 1,853 career games. His 194 triples ranks him ninth all-time. [47] Kelley tied Fred Carroll's MLB record with nine hits in a doubleheader, [48] [49] which he presently shares with eight other players. [50]

Additionally, he was known as a great leader. [51] He compiled a 338–321 win–loss record as an MLB manager.

Kelley was considered by the Veterans Committee for induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1964, [48] but was not selected. He was voted into the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1971. [52]

Personal life

Kelley married Margaret Mahon on October 26, 1897. Keeler served as Kelley's best man, and McGraw and Jennings served as groomsmen. [53] Kelley is buried at New Cathedral Cemetery.

See also

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References

Bibliography
In-line citations
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