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King Kelly
CIN-N, CHI-N, BOS-N, BOS-P, CIN-A, NY-N
Hall of Fame Inductee - 1945
Led NL in Batting Avg 1884, 1886
Led NL in Doubles 1881, 1882, 1889
Baseball's First Superstar

Full Name: Michael Joseph Kelly
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 170 lbs.
Born: Dec 31, 1857 in Troy, NY
Major League Debut: May 01, 1878
Died: Nov 08, 1894 in Boston, MA
PHOTO GALLERY


CAREER STATISTICS - BATTING TOTALS

BATTING
YR
1878
1879
1880
1881
1882
1883
1884
1885
1886
1887
1888
1889
1890
1891
1891
1891
1892
1893
TM
Cin
Cin
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Bos
Bos
Bos
Bos
Cin
Bos
Bos
Bos
NY
LG
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
PL
AA
AA
NL
NL
NL
POS
OF
3B
OF
OF
SS
OF
OF
OF
OF
OF
C
OF
C
C
C
C
C
C
G
60
77
84
82
84
98
108
107
118
116
107
125
89
82
4
16
78
20
AB
237
345
344
353
377
428
452
438
451
484
440
507
340
283
15
52
281
67
R
29
78
72
84
81
92
120
124
155
120
85
120
83
56
2
7
40
9
H
67
120
100
114
115
109
160
126
175
156
140
149
111
84
4
12
53
18
2B
7
20
17
27
37
28
28
24
32
34
22
41
18
15
0
1
7
1
3B
1
12
9
3
4
10
5
7
11
11
11
5
6
7
0
0
0
0
HR
0
2
1
2
1
3
13
9
4
8
9
9
4
1
1
0
2
0
RBI
27
47
60
55
55
61
95
75
79
63
71
78
66
53
4
5
41
15
TB
76
170
138
153
163
166
237
191
241
236
211
227
153
116
7
13
66
19
BB
7
8
12
16
10
16
46
46
83
55
31
65
52
51
0
6
39
6
IBB
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Totals G
1455
AB
5894
R
1357
H
1813
2B
359
3B
102
HR
69
RBI
950
TB
2583
BB
549
IBB
0


BATTING BASERUNNING PERCENTAGES
YR
1878
1879
1880
1881
1882
1883
1884
1885
1886
1887
1888
1889
1890
1891
1891
1891
1892
1893
TM
Cin
Cin
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Chi
Bos
Bos
Bos
Bos
Cin
Bos
Bos
Bos
NY
LG
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
NL
PL
AA
AA
NL
NL
NL
K
7
14
22
14
27
35
24
24
33
40
39
40
22
28
2
10
32
5
HBP
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
4
2
2
2
0
1
0
0
SH
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
SF
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
GDP
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
SB
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
53
84
56
68
51
22
1
6
24
3
CS
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
SB%
-.---
-.---
-.---
-.---
-.---
-.---
-.---
-.---
1.000
1.000
1.000
1.000
1.000
1.000
1.000
1.000
1.000
1.000
AVG
.283
.348
.291
.323
.305
.255
.354
.288
.388
.322
.318
.294
.326
.297
.267
.231
.189
.269
OBP
.303
.363
.315
.352
.323
.282
.414
.355
.483
.393
.368
.376
.419
.408
.267
.322
.288
.329
SLG
.321
.493
.401
.433
.432
.388
.524
.436
.534
.488
.480
.448
.450
.410
.467
.250
.235
.284
AB/HR
--.-
172.5
344.0
176.5
377.0
142.7
34.8
48.7
112.8
60.5
48.9
56.3
85.0
283.0
15.0
--.-
140.5
--.-
AB/K
33.9
24.6
15.6
25.2
14.0
12.2
18.8
18.3
13.7
12.1
11.3
12.7
15.5
10.1
7.5
5.2
8.8
13.4
Totals K
418
HBP
12
SH
0
SF
0
GDP
0
SB
368
CS
0
SB%
1.000
BAVG
.308
OBP
.368
SLG
.438
AB/HR
85.4
AB/K
14.1


19th CENT. WORLD SERIES STATISTICS - BATTING TOTALS

BATTING PERCENTAGES
YR
1885
1886
1892
TM
Chi
Chi
Bos
LG
NL
NL
NL
G
7
6
2
AB
26
24
8
R
9
4
0
H
9
5
0
2B
3
0
0
3B
1
0
0
HR
0
1
0
RBI
4
1
0
TB
14
8
0
BB
2
2
0
K
0
2
2
SB
0
1
1
BAVG
.346
.208
.000
SLG
.538
.333
.000
AB/HR
--.-
24.0
--.-
AB/K
--.-
12.0
4.0
Totals G
15
AB
58
R
13
H
14
2B
3
3B
1
HR
1
RBI
5
TB
22
BB
4
K
4
SB
2
AVG
.241
SLG
.379
AB/HR
58.0
AB/K
14.5


CAREER STATISTICS - PITCHING TOTALS

HOW MUCH HE PITCHED WHAT HE GAVE UP
YR
1880
1883
1884
1887
1890
1891
1892
TM
Chi
Chi
Chi
Bos
Bos
Cin
Bos
LG
NL
NL
NL
NL
PL
AA
NL
G
1
1
2
3
1
3
1
GS
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
CG
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
GF
1
1
0
3
1
2
1
IP
3.0
1.0
5.1
13.0
2.0
15.1
6.0
BF/9
39
27
54
49
0
0
0
H
3
1
12
17
1
21
8
R
2
0
11
16
1
15
4
ER
0
0
5
5
1
9
1
HR
0
0
2
1
0
2
0
SH
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
BB
1
0
2
14
2
7
4
Totals G
12
GS
0
CG
0
GF
9
IP
45.2
BF/9
23
H
63
R
49
ER
21
HR
5
SH
0
BB
30


WHAT HE GAVE UP (cont.) THE RESULTS
YR
1880
1883
1884
1887
1890
1891
1892
TM
Chi
Chi
Chi
Bos
Bos
Cin
Bos
LG
NL
NL
NL
NL
PL
AA
NL
HB
0
0
0
0
0
1
3
IBB
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
K
1
0
1
0
2
0
0
WP
0
0
2
5
0
1
0
BK
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
BAVG A
.250
.333
.400
.298
-.500
-2.625
-1.143
W
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
L
0
0
1
0
0
1
0
ShO
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Sv
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
ERA
0.00
0.00
8.44
3.46
4.50
5.28
1.50
Totals HB
4
IBB
0
K
4
WP
8
Bk
0
AVG A
.741
W
2
L
2
ShO
0
Sv
0
ERA
4.14


TEAM ABBREVIATION KEY
YEARS
1878-1879
1880-1886
1887-1892
1890
1891
1891
1893
TM
Cin
Chi
Bos
Bos
Bos
Cin
NY
LG
NL
NL
NL
PL
AA
AA
NL
TEAM NAME
Cincinnati Reds
Chicago White Stockings
Boston Beaneaters
Boston Reds
Boston Reds
Cincinnati Kellys
New York Giants
LEAGUE NAME
National League
National League
National League
Players' League
American Assoc.
American Assoc.
National League

King Kelly was baseball's first superstar personality and the greatest sports hero of the 1880's. As one of the game's earliest and most notorious drunks, he began a tradition that continues right up to the present day. But he could play the game. Kelly stayed sober enough to win the National League batting championship in 1884 (.354) and 1886 (.388). The following season - - the first year stolen bases were recorded - - he stole eighty-four. He once swiped six bases in a single game.

Kelly's trademark hook slide, a maneuver which few players had perfected before the turn of the century, was immortalized in the popular 1889 song "Slide, Kelly, Slide." Kelly was also said to have inspired the poem "Casey at the Bat." Playing in an era when the rules and structure of baseball were still taking shape, Kelly was known for being innovative and crafty. He was the first catcher to send signals to his pitcher. He also perfected, if not invented, the hit-and-run play.

He would wring every loophole out of the rulebook. The most oft-told Kelly story is the one about the time he was sitting out a game one day, probably with a hangover, when an opposing batter lofted a lazy foul ball toward the dugout. Seeing that his catcher had no chance to make the play, Kelly shouted, "KELLY, NOW CATCHING FOR BOSTON!" and stepped out of the dugout to snare the ball. A rule was quickly put into effect banning substitutions in mid-play.

A handsome man with a huge handlebar mustache, Kelly had a happy-go-lucky, uninhibited manner that shocked and thrilled the fans in the Victorian era. Today, we'd call him a hot dog. Whatever he did, he drew crowds. Mostly Kelly was known for consuming enormous quantities of booze. He considered it a point of honor to get smashed. He would drink before, after, and during ballgames. On one occasion a game had to be held up so that Kelly could finish hoisting a few with some fellows in the box seats.

Cap Anson, his manager in Chicago, said Kelly had "one enemy, that one being himself." The Chicago management grew increasingly exasperated with his drinking problem, and in 1887 sold him to the Boston "Beaneaters" for the then astonishing sum of $10,000. It was "the baseball story of the century," according to David Quentin Voight's history of the game, American Baseball.

He had a few good years with Boston, until the booze finally started to catch up with him. Quite often he had to be sent to a Turkish bath to sober up. He was a pathetic figure at the end, staggering under fly balls as an outfielder and falling flat on his face when his feet became tangled. During his last season (1893) he played just twenty games. He had never saved a dime when he was on top. Penniless, he tried a vaudeville act, and then opened a bar in New York. Neither was successful. He headed back to Boston in November 1894 and caught a cold that turned into pneumonia. Three days later he died at Boston Emergency Hospital. He had drunk himself to death at the age of thirty-six.

He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1945.


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