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Thread: Bill James AL 1901-1909 All Decade Team

  1. #11

    Rube Waddell AL 1901-1909

    First Team, Pitcher, Rube Waddell

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rube_Waddell

    George Edward Waddell (October 13, 1876 – April 1, 1914) was an American southpaw pitcher in Major League Baseball. In his thirteen-year career he played for the Louisville Colonels (1897, 1899), Pittsburgh Pirates (1900–01) and Chicago Orphans (1901) in the National League, and the Philadelphia Athletics (1902–07) and St. Louis Browns (1908–10) in the American League. Waddell earned the nickname "Rube" because he was a big, fresh kid. The term was commonly used to refer to hayseeds or farmboys. He was born in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

    Waddell was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1946.

    Waddell, a remarkably dominant strikeout pitcher in an era when batters mostly slapped at the ball to get singles, had an excellent fastball, a sharp-breaking curve, a screwball, and superb control (his strikeout-to-walk ratio was almost 3-to-1). He led the Major Leagues in strikeouts for six consecutive years.

    Personality issues

    Waddell was unpredictable, and had a habit of leaving the dugout in the middle of games to follow passing fire trucks to fires. He performed as an alligator wrestler in the offseason.(Would've loved to see this guy!) He was easily distracted by opposing team fans who used to hold up puppies and shiny objects, which seemed to put Waddell in a trance on the mound. An alcoholic for much of his adult life, Waddell reportedly spent the entirety of his first signing bonus on a drinking binge (Sporting News called him "the sousepaw"). Waddell's eccentric behavior led to constant battles with his managers and scuffles with bad-tempered teammates, and complaints from his teammates forced his trade from Philadelphia to St. Louis in early 1908 despite his importance to the team and his continued success. Recent commentators (such as Bill James) have suggested that Waddell may have suffered from a developmental disability, mental retardation, autism, or attention deficit disorder (ADD). Essentially, none of these mental issues was either known of or properly diagnosed at the time. Though eccentric and childlike, Rube Waddell was not illiterate (as some sources have claimed). Ken Burns' baseball documentary claims Waddell lost track of how many women he'd married.

    James wrote that Waddell would not be allowed to be himself today, but would be analyzed, compartmentalized and would not be allowed to compete anywhere save for "heaving a rubber-tipped javelin in the Special Olympics."

    Walter Johnson said of Waddell:

    "In my opinion, and I suppose if there is any subject that I am qualified to discuss it is pitching, Rube Waddell had more sheer pitching ability than any man I ever saw. That doesn't say he was the greatest pitcher, by a good deal. Rube had defects of character that prevented him from using his talents to the best effect. He is dead and gone, so there is no need for me to enlarge on his weaknesses. They were well enough known. I would prefer to dwell on his strong points. And he had plenty."

    Alan Howard Levy, in his book Rube Waddell: The Zany, Brilliant Life of a Strikeout Artist, wrote:

    "He was among the game's first real drawing cards, among its first honest-to-goodness celebrities, and the first player to have teams of newspaper reporters following him, and the first to have a mass following of idol-worshiping kids yelling out his nickname like he was their buddy."

    Cooperstown historian Lee Allen encapsulated Waddell's erratic behavior:

    "He began that year (1903) sleeping in a firehouse in Camden, New Jersey, and ended it tending bar in a saloon in Wheeling, West Virginia. In between those events he won 22 games for the Philadelphia Athletics, played left end for the Business Men's Rugby Football Club of Grand Rapids, Michigan, toured the nation in a melodrama called The Stain of Guilt, courted, married and became separated from May Wynne Skinner of Lynn, Massachusetts, saved a woman from drowning, accidentally shot a friend through the hand, and was bitten by a lion."


    Teams

    Louisville Colonels (1897, 1899)
    Pittsburgh Pirates (1900–1901)
    Chicago Orphans (1901)
    Philadelphia Athletics (1902–1907)
    St. Louis Browns (1908–1910)

    Career highlights and awards

    Won American League pitching Triple Crown (1905: 27–10, 287, 1.48)
    Led NL in WHIP (1.107) in 1900
    Led NL in ERA in 1900 (2.37) and AL in 1905 (1.48)
    Led AL in Wins (27), won–loss % (.730) and games (46) in 1905
    Led NL in Hits Allowed/9IP in 1900 (7.59) and AL in 1905 (6.33)
    Led NL in Strikeouts/9IP in 1900 and AL from 1902 to 08
    Led AL in Strikeouts from 1902 to 07
    Led AL in Strikeouts to Walks (3.28) in 1902
    Led AL in Complete Games (34) in 1903
    Ranks 10th on MLB all-time ERA list (2.16)
    Ranks 18th on MLB all-time WHIP list (1.102)
    Ranks 34th on MLB all-time hits allowed/9IP list (7.48)
    Ranks 79th on MLB all-time strikeouts/9IP list (7.04)
    Ranks 42nd on MLB all-time strikeouts list (2,316)
    Ranks 68th on MLB all-time complete games list (261)
    Ranks 19th on MLB all-time shutouts list (50)
    Ranks 39th on MLB all-time strikeout to Walk list (2.88)
    1905 American League pennant

    HOF, 1946, Veterans Committee
    Attached Images Attached Images

    Batboy: Get a hit Crash!
    Crash: Shut up!

    Backer of Rockies and Yankees.

  2. #12

    Eddie Plank AL 1901-1909

    First Team, Pitcher, Eddie Plank

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie_Plank

    Edward Stewart Plank (August 31, 1875 - February 24, 1926), nicknamed "Gettysburg Eddie", was a Major League Baseball pitcher. He is the first left-handed pitcher to win 200 games and then 300 games, and now ranks third in all-time wins among left-handers with 326 career victories (eleventh all time).

    Plank was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1946.

    Early life

    History books often erroneously state that Plank graduated from Gettysburg College. He attended Gettysburg Academy, a prep school affiliated with the college, but Plank never attended or graduated from the college. However, he did play for the Gettysburg College baseball team.

    Career

    Plank made his major league debut on May 13, 1901, for the Philadelphia Athletics, a team he would play for until 1914. Over this time, he would be one of the most consistent pitchers in the game, winning over 20 games seven times and contributing to two World Series championships, one in 1911, the other in 1913 (He sat out the 1910 Series due to a sore arm).

    Plank was known as a finesse pitcher with a good sidearm sweeping curveball. He was also known for his long pauses on the mound, which some claimed lengthened the duration of the games in which he pitched.

    In 1915, Plank played for the St. Louis Terriers of the Federal League, and won 21 games, the eighth and final time he would reach the 20-win plateau. Some baseball reference works decline to acknowledge the Federal League as a "major league", and therefore give Plank credit for only seven 20-win seasons and 305 total wins.

    In 1916 and 1917 Plank played for the St. Louis Browns. He retired after the 1917 season. His final game was a 1-0 11-inning complete game loss to Walter Johnson and the Washington Senators on August 6, 1917.

    Over his career, Plank amassed a 326-194 record, a 2.35 ERA, and 2,246 strikeouts. He won 305 games in the American League, making him that league's winningest left-handed pitcher. In addition, he was the winningest pitcher (left or right-handed) in the American league until 1921, when he was surpassed by Walter Johnson.
    [edit] Honors and later life

    In addition to Plank's induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1946, in 1999 he ranked 68th on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, and was a nominee for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.

    Teams

    Philadelphia Athletics (1901-1914)
    St. Louis Terriers (1915)
    St. Louis Browns (1916-1917)

    Career highlights and awards

    World Series Champion: 1911, 1913
    American League pennant: 1902, 1905, 1914
    13th-most wins in Major League history (326)
    21st-best earned run average in Major League history (2.35)
    2-time American League shutout leader
    8 20-win seasons

    HOF, 1946, Veterans Committee.
    Attached Images Attached Images

    Batboy: Get a hit Crash!
    Crash: Shut up!

    Backer of Rockies and Yankees.

  3. #13

    Lou Criger AL 1901-1909

    Second Team, Catcher, Lou Criger

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lou_Criger

    Louis Criger (February 3, 1872 in Elkhart, Indiana – May 14, 1934 in Tucson, Arizona) was a Major League Baseball player for the Cleveland Spiders (1896-1898), St. Louis Cardinals (1899-1900), Boston Americans/Red Sox (1901-1908), St. Louis Browns (1909, 1912), and the New York Highlanders (1910).

    Criger became the first Opening Day catcher in Boston American League franchise's history. A catcher for most of Cy Young's 511 victories, he also caught every inning for eight games with Boston in the first-ever World Series in 1903, helping his team win the championship.

    In a 16-season career, he batted .221 with 11 home runs and 342 RBIs. Criger stole 58 career bases and scored 337 runs. He had 709 career hits in 3202 at bats.

    Teams

    Cleveland Spiders (1896-1898)
    St. Louis Perfectos (1899)
    St. Louis Cardinals (1900)
    Boston Americans (1901-1907)
    Boston Red Sox (1908)
    St. Louis Browns (1909)
    New York Highlanders (1910)
    St. Louis Browns (1912)

    Career highlights and awards

    World Series champion: 1903
    Attached Images Attached Images

    Batboy: Get a hit Crash!
    Crash: Shut up!

    Backer of Rockies and Yankees.

  4. #14

    Piano Legs Hickman AL 1901-1909

    Second Team, First Baseman, Piano Legs Hickman<now what happened to great names like that?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Hickman

    Charles Taylor Hickman (March 4, 1876 - April 19, 1934) born in Taylortown, Pennsylvania was a utility player for the Boston Beaneaters (1897-1899), New York Giants (1900-1901), Boston Americans (1902), Cleveland Bronchos/Naps (1902-1904 and 1908), Detroit Tigers (1904-1905), Washington Senators (1905-1907) and Chicago White Sox (1907).

    Despite being saddled with the nickname 'Piano Legs,' Hickman was an above-average base runner who amassed 91 career triples and several inside-the-park home runs. He also had an above-average range factor throughout his career (although a sub-par fielder; in 1900 he set a record by committing 86 errors as a third baseman). He helped the Beaneaters win the 1897 and 1898 National League pennants.

    He led the American League in hits (193) and total bases (288) in 1902 and at Bats per home run (43.5) in 1903. In 12 seasons he played in 1,081 games and had 3,982 at bats, 478 runs, 1,176 hits, 217 doubles, 91 triples, 59 home runs, 614 RBI, 72 stolen bases, 153 walks, .295 batting average, .331 on-base percentage, .440 slugging percentage, 1,752 total bases and 59 sacrifice hits.

    As a pitcher he had a 10-8 win-loss record, in 30 games, with 22 games started; 15 complete games, 3 shutouts, 8 games finished, 4 saves, 185 innings pitched, 175 hits allowed, 105 runs allowed, 88 earned runs allowed, 4 home runs allowed, 94 walks allowed, 37 strikeouts, 12 hit batsmen, 4 wild pitches, 62 batters faced and a 4.28 ERA. He died in Morgantown, West Virginia at the age of 58.

    Teams

    Boston Beaneaters (1897-1899)
    New York Giants (1900-1901)
    Boston Americans (1902)
    Cleveland Bronchos/Naps (1902-1904)
    Detroit Tigers (1904-1905)
    Washington Senators (1905-1907)
    Chicago White Sox (1907)
    Cleveland Naps (1908)
    Attached Images Attached Images

    Batboy: Get a hit Crash!
    Crash: Shut up!

    Backer of Rockies and Yankees.

  5. #15

    Jimmy Williams AL 1901-1909

    Second Team, 2nd Baseman, Jimmy Williams

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_W...ond_baseman%29

    James Thomas Williams (December 20, 1876 - January 16, 1965) was a second baseman in Major League Baseball from 1899 to 1909. He played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Baltimore Orioles, New York Highlanders, and St. Louis Browns. The power-hitting Williams set several records during his rookie season and led a major league in triples three times. He stood at 5' 9" and weighed 175 lbs.

    Career

    Williams was born in St. Louis, Missouri.[1] He first played semi-pro baseball in 1892[2] and started his professional baseball career in 1896. In 1897, he established himself as a premiere power hitter, slugging 31 home runs for the Western Association's St. Joseph Saints. He hit more homers than any two other players in the league combined, and he also paced the circuit in slugging percentage and total bases.[3] In 1898, Williams' power dropped off when he moved up to the class A Western League. However, he did raise his batting average to .343 (third in the league) and still led the WL in slugging percentage at .494.[4]

    Williams was then purchased by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was the team's starting third baseman in 1899 and made an immediate impact. In May and June of that year, he ran off a 26-game hitting streak.[5] He continued to rip extra-base hits throughout the entire season and eventually ranked sixth in the National League in doubles (28), first in triples (27), and third in home runs (9).[1] In August and September, Williams had another long hitting streak, this time reaching 27 games before being stopped. The streak set an MLB rookie record that was not broken until 1987;[5] it is still a Pittsburgh Pirates team record.[6] The 27 triples are also an MLB rookie record.[6] Williams ended the season with a .354 batting average.[1]

    In 1900, Williams slumped badly, and his statistics all declined from the previous season. He hit just .264, while his slugging percentage fell by .141 points.[1] After the season, Williams jumped to the new American League with the Baltimore Orioles. He converted to second base and would remain at that position for the rest of his career. In 1901, Williams returned to his rookie form at the plate, batting .317 with a league-leading 21 triples. His production was similar the following year, as well, and he led his league in triples for the third time.[1]

    In 1903, the Baltimore franchise was transferred to New York. Williams played decently in the new city, but his hitting never approached his Pittsburgh and Baltimore levels again. After five years with the Highlanders, he was traded to the St. Louis Browns, where he finished out his major league career.[1] He hit just .195 in 1909 and played his final MLB game on October 3.[1]

    Williams played for the American Association's Minneapolis Millers from 1910 to 1915.[7] No longer facing major league quality pitching, he batted over .310 in both 1910 and 1911 and was one of the league's best sluggers. He helped the Millers win four AA pennants during his time there[2] before retiring after the 1915 season, by which time he was 38 years old.[7]

    After his baseball career ended, Williams held various jobs, including one as an area scout and coach for the Cincinnati Reds.[2] He was married to Nannie May Smith in 1900, and the marriage lasted until her death in 1949. They had two sons.[6]

    Jimmy Williams died in 1965 in St. Petersburg, Florida.

    Teams

    Pittsburgh Pirates (1899-1900)
    Baltimore Orioles/New York Highlanders (1901-1907)
    St. Louis Browns (1908-1909)

    Career highlights and awards

    National League leader in triples (1899)
    2x American League leader in triples (1901, 1902)
    Attached Images Attached Images

    Batboy: Get a hit Crash!
    Crash: Shut up!

    Backer of Rockies and Yankees.

  6. #16

    Jimmy Collins AL 1901-1909

    Second Team, Third Baseman, Jimmy Collins

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Collins

    James Joseph Collins (January 16, 1870 – March 6, 1943) was a Major League Baseball player at the turn of the 20th century who was widely regarded as being the best third baseman prior to Brooks Robinson. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1945.

    Career

    Collins joined the major leagues in 1895 as a member of the Louisville Colonels, but would finish the season with the Boston Beaneaters. He asserted himself as a skilled player in 1897 when he held a .346 batting average and knocked in 132 runs. He followed with an equally impressive 1898 season, in which he hit .328, drove in 111 runs and belted a league-high 15 home runs.

    However it was Collins' defense that made him a star. He was best known for his ability to field a bunt -- prior to his debut, it was the shortstop who fielded bunts down the third base line - and is regarded as a pioneer of the modern defensive play of a third baseman.

    Collins joined the Boston Red Sox in 1901 as a player and a manager. He led the team to the World Series title in 1903 and the American League pennant in 1904.

    Collins was traded to the Philadelphia Athletics in 1907 and retired there after the 1908 season. He finished his career with 65 home runs, 1055 runs, 983 RBI and a .294 batting average.

    Honors

    When Collins was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1945 he was the first to be chosen primarily as a third baseman. In 1981, Lawrence Ritter and Donald Honig included him in their book The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time.

    In a 1976 Esquire magazine article, sportswriter Harry Stein published an "All Time All-Star Argument Starter," consisting of five ethnic baseball teams. Because of space limitations the Irish team, including Collins as third baseman, was omitted.

    Jimmy Collins was born and died in Buffalo, New York. He is buried in Holy Cross (Roman Catholic[citation needed]) Cemetery, in nearby Lackawanna.

    Teams

    Louisville Colonels (1895)
    Boston Beaneaters (1895-1900)
    Boston Americans (1901-1907)
    Philadelphia Athletics (1907-1908)

    Career highlights and awards

    World Series champion: 1903
    National League pennant: 1897, 1898
    American League pennant: 1904
    National League home run champion: 1898
    5 seasons with a .300+ batting average
    2 seasons with 100+ RBI
    4 seasons with 100+ runs scored

    HOF, 1945, Veterans Committee

    Jimmy Collins (center, below) with infielders Bobby Lowe, Fred Tenney and Herman Long.
    Attached Images Attached Images

    Batboy: Get a hit Crash!
    Crash: Shut up!

    Backer of Rockies and Yankees.

  7. #17

    George Davis AL 1901-1909

    Second Team, Shortstop, George Davis

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_...28shortstop%29

    George Stacey Davis (August 23, 1870 – October 17, 1940) was a shortstop and manager in Major League Baseball at the turn of the 20th century. Davis also spent multiple seasons as a third baseman and center fielder, and lesser amounts of time at other positions.

    Playing career

    Born in Cohoes, New York, Davis started playing professional ball in Albany in 1889. Purchased by the Cleveland Spiders the following year, Davis patrolled center field for the first two seasons of his career, leading the National League in outfield assists with 35 in 1890. Davis's strong throws ultimately led the team to move him to third base in 1892, a position he would call home for the next five seasons.

    The Spiders traded Davis to the New York Giants for aging star Buck Ewing shortly before the 1893 season, and Davis blossomed in New York. With league rules moving the pitcher's mound back to 60 feet, 6 inches that season, offensive totals jumped across the league, and Davis was at the forefront of the surge. He compiled a .355 batting average and set career highs with 27 triples and 11 home runs. He also collected 22 doubles and 37 stolen bases, while scoring 112 runs and driving in 119.

    The bizarre behavior of owner Andrew Freedman hampered the team's performance in subsequent seasons, but Davis continued to perform at an elite level throughout the 1890s, regularly ranking among the league leaders in doubles, triples, RBI, and stolen bases. He became the team's regular shortstop in 1897 and quickly demonstrated an aptitude for the position, ultimately leading the league in double plays and fielding percentage four times each.

    The formation of the American League provided new financial opportunities to ballplayers, and induced by a $4,000 salary, Davis jumped to the Chicago White Sox in 1902. He attempted a return to the Giants the following season for a further raise to $6,700 (the second-highest figure in the league, after that of Nap Lajoie), but was prevented by the implementation of a peace agreement between the warring leagues. Davis sat out the bulk of the 1903 season before returning to the White Sox, with whom he spent the remainder of his career. His raw offensive statistics from this time pale before those of his earlier career, but when properly compared to a drastic league-wide decline in offense, they remain impressive. His decline began for real in 1907, though, and he retired after the 1909 season.

    Teams

    As Player

    Cleveland Spiders (1890-1892)
    New York Giants (1893-1901, 1903)
    Chicago White Sox (1902, 1904-1909)

    As Manager

    New York Giants (1895, 1901-1902)

    Career highlights and awards

    World Series champion: 1906
    National League RBI champion: 1897
    17th-most stolen bases in Major League history (616)
    9 consecutive seasons with a .300+ batting average
    3 seasons with 100+ RBI
    5 seasons with 100+ runs scored

    HOF, 1998, Veterans Committee
    Attached Images Attached Images

    Batboy: Get a hit Crash!
    Crash: Shut up!

    Backer of Rockies and Yankees.

  8. #18

    Patsy Dougherty AL 1901-1909

    Second Team, Left Fielder, Patsy Dougherty

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patsy_Dougherty

    Patrick Henry Dougherty (October 27, 1876 - April 30, 1940) was a Major League baseball outfielder. Dougherty was born in Andover, New York[disambiguation needed].

    He was the first player to hit two home runs in a single World Series game, doing so with the Boston Americans in Game 2 of the first modern World Series. By doing so, he was also the first player for the Red Sox to hit a homer in the World Series.[1]

    Dougherty died in Bolivar, NY[disambiguation needed] at the age of 63. He was laid to rest at St. Mary Catholic Cemetery in Bolivar, NY.

    Teams

    Boston Americans (1902-1904)
    New York Highlanders (1904-1906)
    Chicago White Sox (1906-1911)

    Career highlights and awards

    July 29, 1903: Hit for the cycle.
    1908: Led AL in stolen bases (47).
    2x World Series champion (1903, 1906)
    Attached Images Attached Images

    Batboy: Get a hit Crash!
    Crash: Shut up!

    Backer of Rockies and Yankees.

  9. #19

    Fielder Jones AL 1901-1909

    Second Team, Center Fielder, Fielder Jones<good name!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fielder_Jones

    Fielder Allison Jones (August 13, 1871 – March 13, 1934) was an American center fielder and manager in baseball. Born in Shinglehouse, Pennsylvania, his playing career began with the Brooklyn Bridegrooms/Superbas in 1896. In 1901, he joined the Chicago White Stockings in the new American League, where he would finish his playing career. Six years after his last game with the White Sox, he joined the St. Louis Terriers of the newly-formed Federal League, where he served as a player-manager before the league folded.

    Jones managed the "Hitless Wonders" in the 1906 World Series, which was the White Sox' first World Series win. That year, the White Sox has a team batting average of only .230.[1]
    “ This should prove that leather is mightier than wood. ”

    —Fielder Jones after his 1906 Hitless Wonders won the World Series with a .230 club batting average

    He had one last stint as a manager with the St. Louis Browns, but his earlier success with the White Sox eluded him, as his St. Louis teams never finished above fifth place.

    He was head coach for the Oregon State Beavers baseball team in 1910, going 13-4-1 and winning the Northwest championship[2].

    He died in Portland, Oregon at age 62.

    Teams

    As player

    Brooklyn Bridegrooms/Superbas (1896-1900)
    Chicago White Sox (1901-1908)
    St. Louis Terriers (1914-1915)

    As manager

    Chicago White Sox (1904-1908)
    St. Louis Terriers (1914-1915)
    St. Louis Browns (1916-1918)

    Career highlights and awards

    1899-1900 National League Championships
    1901 & 1906 American League Championships
    1906 World Series Championship
    Managerial record: 683-582
    Attached Images Attached Images

    Batboy: Get a hit Crash!
    Crash: Shut up!

    Backer of Rockies and Yankees.

  10. #20

    Willie Keeler AL 1901-1909

    Second Team Right Fielder, Willie Keeler

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willie_Keeler

    William Henry Keeler (March 3, 1872 - January 1, 1923) in Brooklyn, New York, nicknamed "Wee Willie", was a right fielder in professional baseball who played from 1892 to 1910, primarily for the Baltimore Orioles and Brooklyn Superbas in the National League, and the New York Highlanders in the American League.

    Biography

    Keeler's advice to hitters was "Keep your eye clear, and hit 'em where they ain't"—"they" being the opposing fielders. His .385 career batting average after the 1898 season is the highest average in history at season's end for a player with more than 1,000 hits (1,147 hits).[1] He compiled a .341 batting average over his career, currently 14th all time behind Pete Browning. He hit over .300 16 times in 19 seasons, and hit over .400 once. He twice led his league in batting average and three times in hits. Keeler had an amazing 206 singles during the 1898 season, a record that stood for more than 100 years until broken by Ichiro Suzuki. Additionally, Keeler had an on-base percentage of greater than .400 for seven straight seasons. When Keeler retired in 1910, he was second all-time in hits with 2,932, behind only Cap Anson.

    He was one of the smaller players to play the game, standing approximately 5′7″ (some sources say he was as short as 5′4″) and weighing 140 pounds (64 kg), resulting in his nickname. Keeler was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939. He is among the shortest players ever elected to the Hall, and the shortest to appear on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, where he ranked number 75. In 1999, he was named as a finalist to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. Having played his last game in 1910, he was the most chronologically distant player on both Top 100 lists.

    Keeler had the ability to bunt practically any ball sent his way. He was the impetus for the rule change that made a third-strike foul bunt into a strike out. With Ned Hanlon's Baltimore Orioles he perfected the "Baltimore Chop," in which he would chop the ball into the ground hard enough for it to bounce so high he could reach base before the fielder could throw the ball to first. Bill James has speculated that Keeler introduced the hit and run strategy to the original Orioles and team-mate John McGraw. James found that Boston's Tom McCarthy was the first manager to make wide use of the hit and run. McCarthy then taught the tactic to Monte Ward, who introduced the strategy to Keeler.[2]

    In forming the powerful original Baltimore Orioles of the late 19th century, manager Ned Hanlon was given a piece of the team and a free rein to form his team. In one of the most one-sided trades in baseball history, Hanlon obtained Dan Brouthers and Keeler from Brooklyn. Keeler and six of his teammates from the Orioles eventually were inducted into the Hall of Fame.[3]

    In 1897, Keeler had a 44-game hitting streak to start the season, beating out the previous single season record of 42, set by Bill Dahlen. Keeler had a hit in his final game of the 1896 season, giving him a National League record 45-game hitting streak. This mark was surpassed by Joe DiMaggio in 1941, who had a 56-game hitting streak. In 1978, Pete Rose tied Keeler's single season mark of 44 games. No other player in baseball has ever matched this feat. Keeler also had eight consecutive seasons with 200 hits or more, a record broken by Ichiro Suzuki in 2009. [4]

    In 1901 when Ban Johnson formed the American League, one of the first acts was to raid the National League and offer their stars big contracts. In 1901, Keeler received offers from six of the eight new American League clubs, including an offer from Chicago for two years at $4,300 a season. Keeler remained in Brooklyn and did not actually jump to the new league until 1903, when he signed with New York. In 1905, Keeler set the Yankees team record for most sacrifice hits in a season with 42.[5]

    In a 1976 Esquire magazine article, sportswriter Harry Stein published an "All Time All-Star Argument Starter," consisting of five ethnic baseball teams. Because of space limitations the Irish team, including Keeler as center fielder, was omitted.

    Teams

    New York Giants (1892-1893, 1910)
    Brooklyn Grooms/Superbas (1893, 1899-1902)
    Baltimore Orioles (1894-1898)
    New York Highlanders (1903-1909)

    Career highlights and awards

    Career batting average (.341) 14th in major league history
    National League batting champion: 1897, 1898
    National League runs scored leader: 1899
    National League hits leader: 1897, 1898, 1900
    8 200-hit seasons
    8 seasons with 100+ runs scored

    HOF, 1939, BBWAA 75.5%
    Attached Images Attached Images

    Batboy: Get a hit Crash!
    Crash: Shut up!

    Backer of Rockies and Yankees.

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