Tuesday, February 10, 2015

HALL OF FAME #8: JOE KELLEY: CLASS OF 1971

Now HERE'S a legit Hall of Fame inductee!
Former Baltimore Oriole outfielder Joe Kelley, who teamed up with the likes of Hugh Jennings, Willie Keeler, John McGraw and Wilbert Robinson to form one of the greatest pre-1900 teams around:


Inducted in 1971 by the Veteran's Committee, there's no doubt about this guy in Cooperstown.
Kelley played 17-years in the Majors, with seven of them as a member of the fabled team mentioned earlier.
A career .317 batter, Kelley also drove in over 100 runs five times (topping out at 134 in 1895), scored over 100 six times (with a high of 165 in 1894) and batted .300 or higher 11-times with a high of .393 in 1894.
By the time he retired after the 1908 season he collected 2220 hits, scored 1421 runs, drove in 1194, smacked 194 triples and stole 443 bases.
It was his time with the Baltimore club in the 1890's that solidified his legacy as a Major League player.
Managed by Ned Hanlon, the team finished first three years in a row between 1894-1896, as well as second in 1897 and 1898.
Kelley was an integral part of that group of players that pretty much invented "small ball" as we know it over 100 years later.
If anyone wants to read a great book on the club and the players that made them so (in)famous, check out: Where They Ain't: The Fabled Life And Untimely Death Of The Original Baltimore Orioles by Burt Solomon.
Fun stuff for sure!

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