This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History: January 11th, Hall of Famer Max Carey

Seven former Pittsburgh Pirates born on this date, including one of the best outfielders in franchise history.

Max Carey, Hall of Fame center fielder for the Pirates from 1910 until 1926. Carey debuted in the majors at the end of the 1910 season for two games, then was a regular in the Pirates lineup for the next 16 seasons. He led the National League in stolen bases ten times from 1913 until 1925. He led the league in runs in 1913, in triples in 1914 and 1923, in walks in 1918 and 1922. He scored 140 runs in 1922, which is the fifth highest total in team history. Carey finished his career with 738 stolen bases, which still ranks as the ninth highest total all-time. He had a career .285 average with 1,545 runs scored, 2,665 hits and 1,040 walks. Among Pirates all-time records, he ranks fourth in games played with 2,178, fourth in runs with 1,414, tied with Pie Traynor for fourth in hits with 2,416, fifth in doubles, sixth in triples, second in walks to Willie Stargell, and first in stolen bases with 688. He has the fourth most putouts as an outfielder all-time and seventh most assists. He led NL center fielders in putouts seven times and assists five times. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1961.

Carey had a short minor league career, playing 48 games for South Bend of the Class-B Central League in 1909 at 19 years old, followed by another 96 games for South Bend in 1910. He batted just .158 and collected two extra-base hits (both doubles) in 158 at-bats during his first pro season. He then nearly doubled his average in 1910, putting up a .294 average, with 15 doubles, eight triples and two homers. He was still attending college at the time, which limited his playing time during those first two seasons. Despite a brief minor league career, the Pirates obtained his rights on August 15, 1910, though he was allowed to finish the season with his minor league club before reporting to Pittsburgh. He went 3-for-6, with a triple and two walks in his brief big league stint in 1910. After seeing him for just two games that first year, Carey earned a big league starting spot in 1911, and he put together a solid performance for a 21-year-old rookie in the deadball era. He hit .258 in 129 games, with 77 runs, 30 extra-base hits, 43 RBIs and 27 steals, while posting a .712 OPS that was 21 points above league average. He really took off in 1912, batting .302 in 150 games, with 114 runs scored, 36 extra-base hits, 68 RBIs, 61 walks and 45 stolen bases, leading to a .766 OPS.

Carey won his first stolen base crown in 1913, swiping 61 bags. He also led the National League that year with 99 runs scored and 692 plate appearances. He batted .277 in 154 games, with 38 extra-base hits, 49 RBIs, 55 walks and a .710 OPS. He hit .243 in a league leading 156 games during the 1914 season, with 76 runs scored, 25 doubles, a league leading 17 triples, 31 RBIs, 38 steals, 59 walks and a .661 OPS. That was followed up by a .254 average over 140 games in 1915. He had 76 runs, 26 doubles, 27 RBIs, 57 walks, a .660 OPS and a league leading 36 steals. Carey’s speed and defense helped him excel during the deadball era, when hitting numbers were at an all-time low. A good example was his 1916 season in which he hit .264 with 41 extra-base hits and 59 walks in 154 games. Carey stole a league leading 63 bases, and he scored 90 runs, which ranked him second in the league. His .711 OPS doesn’t look like much that year, but it was 79 points above league average, and he actually put up 5.1 WAR. He mostly played left field during his first five full seasons in the majors, but he switched to center field during that 1916 season.

Carey’s best season (according to WAR) came in 1917, which was a rough year in Pittsburgh, as the club finished 51-103. He put up 5.2 WAR, thanks in part to a .296 average, 82 runs, 34 extra-base hits, 51 RBIs, 58 walks and 46 steals. His .746 OPS was the tenth best in the league that season. The 1918 season was shortened a month due to the war. Carey led the league with 58 steals and 62 walks. He hit .274 in 126 games, with 70 runs, 23 extra-base hits, 48 RBIs and a .712 OPS. He also lost some playing time during the 1919 season due to surgery on his arm for an abscess, which took a while to heal. He managed to put up a .307 average and 41 runs scored in 66 games that year, but his RBI total (nine all season) and stolen bases (18) took a hit that year right in the middle of his career. Carey returned healthy in 1920, and he put together a solid run of six seasons as the deadball era came to an end. The streak began with a .289 average in 130 games in 1920, with 74 runs, 23 extra-base hits, 35 RBIs, 59 walks, a .718 OPS and a league leading 52 stolen bases. He batted .309 in 140 games during the 1921 season, with 85 runs, 34 doubles, 56 RBIs, 37 steals, 70 walks and an .825 OPS.

Carey had an .868 OPS in 1922, which was the second best mark of his career, and helped lead to 5.1 WAR. His 140 runs scored that season set a career high, as did his 207 hits and ten homers. He batted .329 that year, with 50 extra-base hits and league leading totals of 51 steals and 80 walks (also a career high). He was thrown out stealing just two times all year. That total of 140 runs is the fifth highest single season mark in team history. Carey batted .308 in 153 games during the 1923 season, with 120 runs scored, 32 doubles, a career high/league leading 19 triples, 63 RBIs, 73 walks, an .841 OPS and his eighth stolen base crown, with 51 steals. Carey received mild MVP support (18th place finish) for hitting .297 over 149 games in 1924, with 113 runs, 47 extra-base hits, 55 RBIs, 58 walks (just 17 strikeouts) and his ninth stolen base crown, with 49 steals. He had a .783 OPS that year.

Carey set career bests in 1925 by hitting .343 in 133 games, while putting up a .909 OPS. He collected his tenth stolen base title with 46 steals. He had 109 runs scored, a career best 39 doubles, 13 triples and 66 walks. He led the league with 683 plate appearances, while striking out just 19 times all year. He finished 11th in the MVP voting that year. Carey then batted .458 during the 1925 World Series, with four doubles, three steals and six runs scored. That was a high point during his time in Pittsburgh, but he 1926 Pirates had a lot of issues, both on and off the field. Carey got caught up in the drama, which eventually led to him being put on waivers in August after everything came to a boil. It was part of the ABC affair, which saw the Pirates part ways with three of their veteran players on the same day, which did not go over well with fans. The very quick explanation is that the players didn’t like Fred Clarke sitting on the bench as a second manager giving different information than Hall of Fame manager Bill McKechnie, which led to major issues, including player fines for reasons that the players deemed to be the fault of the coaching. The team took a secret vote to talk about the removal of Clarke, but the votes came out anyway. The players thought to be at the forefront due to their veteran status, Babe Adams, Carson Bigbee and Max Carey, all took the brunt of the punishment. The letters of their last name  led to the name “ABC Affair” (after they were let go). At the time of his departure, Carey was batting just .222 in 86 games, with 46 runs, 19 extra-base hits, ten steals and a .584 OPS.

Carey remained in the majors for three more full seasons after leaving Pittsburgh, playing his final 298 games for the Brooklyn Robins, who picked him up on waivers on August 13, 1926. Over the final seven weeks of the 1926 season, he hit .260 in 27 games, with 18 runs, seven RBIs and a .625 OPS. It seemed like he was done at that point, especially with him turning 37 years old after the season, but he bounced back nicely. He batted .266 in 144 games during the 1927 season, with 70 runs, 30 doubles, ten triples, 54 RBIs, 32 steals, 64 walks and a .709 OPS, which earned him mild MVP support and a 20th place finish in the voting. He batted .247 over 108 games in 1928, with 41 runs, 13 extra-base hits, 19 RBIs, 18 steals and a .658 OPS. He was seldom used in his final season and didn’t make a single start after May 13th. He lasted through the end of the year though, and finished with a .304 average and a .712 OPS, albeit in 19 games. He took up managing after his playing career was over, and led the Brooklyn Dodgers for two seasons (1932-33), finishing with a 146-161 record. He also put in four years of managing at the minor league level, taking the helm for the last time in 1956. His real name was Maximilian Carnarius, but he always went by Max Carey during his baseball days.

Warren Morris, second baseman for the 1999-2001 Pirates. He was a fifth round draft pick of the Texas Rangers in 1996 out of LSU. He didn’t sign until late in the summer of 1996, and then he made his pro debut in 1997. He started pro ball in High-A and finished that first season in Triple-A, skipping right over the Double-A level. He would then spend the entire following season in Double-A, split between the Rangers and Pirates. Morris hit .300 in 136 games during his first season, with 81 runs, 28 doubles, nine triples, 13 homers, 78 RBIs, 16 steals, 65 walks and an .846 OPS. He played 128 of those games for Port Charlotte of the Florida State League, before putting in his final eight games with Oklahoma City of the Triple-A American Association. He was acquired by the Pirates from the Rangers, along with Todd Van Poppel, in exchange for Esteban Loaiza on July 17, 1998. Morris hit .331 over 139 games in 1998, with 87 runs, 30 doubles, eight triples, 19 homers, 103 RBIs, 17 steals, 67 walks and a .927 OPS, which helped him earn the Pirates starting second base job in 1999. He batted .331 with the Rangers Double-A affiliate in Tulsa of the Texas League before the trade, then hit .331 in 44 games after the deal with the Pirates Double-A affiliate, Carolina of the Southern League. He played 147 games during his rookie season for the 1999 Pirates, putting up a .288 average, with 65 runs, 20 doubles, 15 homers, 73 RBIs, 59 walks and a .787 OPS, earning a third place finish in the National League Rookie of the Year voting.

Morris had a sophomore slump in 2000, hitting .259 in 144 games, with three homers and 43 RBIs, despite getting 25 more plate appearances than the previous season. He improved in other stats, with 68 runs, 31 doubles and 65 walks, but his OPS dropped 103 points to a .684 mark. His struggles continued in 2001, and he spent nearly half the season in the minors, where he put up an .804 OPS in 57 games for Triple-A Nashville of the Pacific Coast League. Morris hit .204/.239/.320 in 48 games that season for the Pirates, as he finished with six runs, eight extra-base hits and 11 RBIs. He was released by the Pirates during Spring Training in 2002. He batted .267 in 339 games for the Pirates, with 139 runs, 20 homers and 127 RBIs over three seasons. Morris signed as a free agent with the Minnesota Twins just two days after being released by the Pirates. He played in four big league games during the 2002 season, before being traded in mid-June to the St Louis Cardinals, who then lost him on waivers to the Boston Red Sox just five weeks later. He played 99 games at Triple-A that year while seeing at least 27 games for all three teams, but his brief time with the Twins was his only big league action that year. Morris combined to hit .281/.321/.427 during his Triple-A time, playing for Edmonton (Twins) and Memphis (Cardinals) of the Pacific Coast League, and Pawtucket (Red Sox) of the International League. He went 0-for-7 in the majors.

Morris became a free agent after the 2002 season and signed with the Detroit Tigers. He started the 2003 season with Toledo of the International League, hitting .277/.330/.408 in 56 games, before getting promoted to the majors in early June. He batted .272 that year for the Tigers, finishing with 37 runs, 21 extra-base hits, 37 RBIs and a .689 OPS in 97 games. Despite the solid performance, he still ended up playing his final big league game that year. Part of the reason he saw so much time is that the Tigers went 43-119 that year. Morris re-signed with the Tigers for 2004, then spent the entire year in Toledo, while the big league club improved an amazing 29 games in the standings. He hit .287 that year in 102 games, with 55 runs, 40 extra-base hits, 51 RBIs and a .770 OPS. He played one more year of minor league ball before retiring, spending time in the Milwaukee Brewers (back in Nashville) and Cleveland Indians system (five games with Akron of the Double-A Eastern League) in 2005. In 69 games that season, Morris had a .250 average and a .692 OPS. In addition to finishing with a .267 average with the Pirates, he also finished as a career .267 hitter in 440 big league games.

Jermaine Allensworth, outfielder for the 1996-98 Pirates. He was a first round draft pick of the Pirates in 1993, taken 34th overall out of Purdue University. Allensworth was originally drafted by the California Angels in the 15th round out of high school in 1990, but chose the college route instead. He hit well that first season in pro ball with Welland in short-season New York-Penn League, batting .308 with 44 runs, 21 extra-base hits, 32 RBIs, 18 steals and an .801 OPS in 67 games. He was moved to Double-A Carolina of the Southern League during the 1994 season, but struggled with the big jump in levels, posting a .241 average, 63 runs, 35 extra-base hits, 36 RBIs and a .656 OPS in 118 games. After being successful in 86% of his steals in 1993, he went 16-for-30 in 1994. He hit better at Carolina in 1995, posting a .269 average and a .723 OPS in 56 games, and then moved up mid-season to Triple-A Calgary of the Pacific Coast League, where he put up a .316 average and an .849 OPS in 51 games. He combined to finish with a .291 average, 83 runs, 37 extra-base hits, 25 RBIs and 26 steals in 38 attempts. Allensworth broke out with Calgary in 1996, hitting .330 in 95 games, with 77 runs, 23 doubles, six triples, eight homers, 43 RBIs, 25 steals (in 30 attempts) and a .903 OPS, which earned him a promotion to the big leagues in late July. He hit .262/.337/.380 in 61 games for the Pirates that season, with 32 runs, 16 extra-base hits, 31 RBIs, 11 steals and a .717 OPS.

Allensworth started the 1997 season in the majors, and he was playing center field everyday until a broken hand in May cost him six weeks of the season. He would hit .255 that season, with 55 runs, 23 extra-base hits, 43 RBIs, 14 steals and a .679 OPS in 108 games, posting much better results before the injury. The 1998 season saw him hit .309/.372/.429 through 69 games, before the Pirates traded him to the Kansas City Royals for minor league pitcher named Manuel Bernal. It seemed like a one-sided deal, but it ended up being perfect timing. Allensworth would be shipped to the New York Mets before the season was over, and he finished his MLB career there in 1999. After the trade from the Pirates, he compiled -0.4 WAR in a total of 104 games. He had just 0.3 WAR during his time in Pittsburgh, though he put up 1.6 WAR during the first half of the 1998 season. He hit .205 with no homers and a .600 OPS in 30 games with the 1998 Royals, then finished the season with a .204 average and a .597 OPS in 34 games with the Mets. He batted .219/.310/.370 in 40 games with the 1999 Mets, playing his last game on May 29th, before finishing the year at Triple-A. He had a .264 average and a .791 OPS in 81 games that year with Norfolk of the International League.

Allensworth was out of the majors by 1999, though he played pro ball until 2008. The Mets traded him to the Boston Red Sox after the 1999 season, but he never played for Boston, getting released in the middle of Spring Training. He didn’t play in 2000, then saw time in the Detroit Tigers and Atlanta Braves systems in 2001-02. He had a .272 average and a .755 OPS in 133 games for Toledo (Tigers) of the International League during the 2001 season, then played in Double-A for the Braves in 2002, hitting .282 with a .765 OPS in 77 games for Greenville of the Southern League. He got released during Spring Training in 2003, and didn’t play that season. He spent his final five years (2004-08) playing independent ball in the Northern League. Allensworth hit .321 in 79 games for Joliet in 2004, finishing with 71 runs scored and an .854 OPS. He remained in Joliet in 2005, where he hit .263 in 91 games, with 57 runs, 23 extra-base hits and a .717 OPS. He moved on to Gary for the 2006-07 seasons. He had a .297 average, 26 steals and a .789 OPS over 95 games in 2006. He then batted .278 over 87 games in 2007, finishing with a .701 OPS. His final season of pro ball saw him put up a .326 average and an .828 OPS in 85 games with Schaumburg. Allensworth hit .272 while with the Pirates, collecting 117 runs, 40 doubles, ten homers, 98 RBIs and 33 steals in 238 games.

Lloyd McClendon, utility player for the 1990-94 Pirates, then managed the team from 2001 until 2005. The Pirates acquired him late in the 1990 season from the Chicago Cubs for a player to be named later. It was his fourth season in the majors and he was hitting just .159 at the time of the trade. McClendon worked his way through the minors the hard way, getting drafted in the eighth round by the New York Mets in 1980 out of Valparaiso University. He didn’t debut in the majors until seven years later at 28 years old, though the Mets traded him five years earlier to the Cincinnati Reds as part of the package to acquire Tom Seaver in 1982. McClendon debuted in pro ball in short-season ball, spending most of 1980 with Little Falls of the New York-Penn League, though he also played 14 games with Kingsport of the Appalachian League. He hit .288 in 54 games that year, with 32 runs, 16 extra-base hits, 29 RBIs, 37 walks and an .86 OPS. He moved up to Lynchburg of the Class-A Carolina League in 1981, where he stayed for two season. That first year he hit .251 in 103 games, with 55 runs, 25 extra-base hits, 57 RBIs, 60 walks and a .738 OPS. McClendon hit .273 in 108 games during the 1982 season, with 61 runs, 25 doubles, 18 homers, 78 RBIs, 55 walks and an .849 OPS. Most of his time was spent at catcher during his first three seasons, but he added more time at third base and first base as time went along.

McClendon moved up to Double-A Waterbury of the Eastern League with the Reds in 1983. He hit .263 in 123 games that year, with 58 runs, 19 doubles, 15 homers, 57 RBIs and a .753 OPS. He split the 1984 season between Double-A Vermont of the Eastern League (new affiliate of the Reds) and Triple-A Wichita of the American Association. McClendon hit .285 in 108 games between both stops, with 64 runs, 29 doubles, 13 homers, 55 RBIs, 49 walks and an .857 OPS, putting up slightly better results at the higher level.  The Reds moved their Triple-A affiliate to Denver of the American Association in 1985, and McClendon hit .277 that year, with 57 runs, 18 doubles, 16 homers, 79 RBIs, 51 walks and an .842 OPS in 114 games. He batted .259 in 132 games during the 1986 season, with 75 runs, 30 doubles, 24 homers, 88 RBIs, 70 walks and an .860 OPS. The Reds switched their Triple-A affiliate to Nashville of the American Association in 1987, and McClendon spent some time there, but most of the year was spent on the big league bench. He had a .286 average and an .874 OPS in 26 games with Nashville, and he batted .208/.247/.361, with two homers and 13 RBIs in 77 plate appearances over 42 games for the Reds. He saw more playing time in 1988 with Cincinnati, but still had a limited role, batting 157 times in 72 games. He hit .219 that year, with nine runs, four doubles, three homers, 14 RBIs and a .615 OPS.

McClendon was dealt to the Chicago Cubs after the 1988 season. He began the 1989 season with Iowa of the American Association, where he had a .321 average and a .950 OPS in 34 games. He batted .286 with the 1989 Cubs, collecting 47 runs, 12 doubles, 12 homers, 40 RBIs and an .847 OPS, while playing a career high 92 games. He hit a rough patch at the plate before joining the Pirates on September 7, 1990, which led to his spending time back with Iowa during the season. The Pirates acquired him for minor league pitcher Mike Pomeranz, who never made the majors. In 49 games with the 1990 Cubs, McClendon hit .159/.254/.215 in 122 plate appearances. He was a part-time player for the Pirates after the trade, getting used as a corner outfielder, first baseman, pinch-hitter and emergency catcher during his four full season with the Pirates. He finished the 1990 season by going 1-for-3 in four games. He hit .288 in 1991, with 24 runs, seven doubles, seven homers, 24 RBIs and an .826 OPS in 183 plate appearances. He pinch-hit 40 times that season, while making a total of 32 starts spread over four positions. McClendon hit .253 in 1992, with 26 runs, eight doubles, three homers, 20 RBIs and a .702 OPS in 84 games, then had a huge postseason performance. He went 8-for-11 with four walks and four RBIs in the NLCS. That was after going 0-for-2 with a walk in the previous postseason.

McClendon’s average dropped during the next two seasons, before the Pirates allowed him to leave via free agency in October of 1994. He played 88 games in 1993, which was his high with the Pirates, but he hit just .221 that year, with 21 runs, 11 doubles, two homers, 19 RBIs and a .632 OPS. He batted .239 during the strike-shortened 1994 season, with nine runs, four doubles, four homers and 12 RBIs in 97 plate appearances over 51 games. McClendon signed with the Cleveland Indians in 1995, and finished his playing career in Triple-A with Buffalo of the American Association. He had a .278 average and an .872 OPS in 37 games that year. He batted .251 over 312 games in Pittsburgh, with 17 homers and 77 RBIs. He was a .244 career hitter in 520 big league games, with 150 runs, 54 doubles, 35 homers and 154 RBIs. He played 260 games in the outfield during his big league time, to go along with 101 games at first base, 50 at catcher and nine at third base.

McClendon was named as the Pirates manager for the 2001 season, his first big league managerial experience. He was a hitting coach prior to that promotion. He lost 100 games during that first season, then finished between 72-75 wins in each of the next three years. He was let go near the end of the 2005 season, with the team sitting at a 55-81 record through early September. He had a 336-446 record during his managerial tenure with the Pirates, finishing as high as fourth place twice. McClendon managed the 2014 Seattle Mariners to a winning record (87-75) and a third place finish, then dropped below .500 in his second season there, putting up a 76-86 record. He took over managing the Detroit Tigers during the final eight games of the 2020 season. He had also worked as a bullpen coach, bench coach and hitting coach and minor league manager since leaving the Pirates. He has a 501-613 big league managerial record.

Mickey Keliher, first baseman for the 1911-12 Pirates, who was born on the same day as Max Carey. Keliher began his pro career in 1910 with Portsmouth/Petersburg of the Class-C Virginia League, hitting .225 in 25 games, with four doubles and three triples. He broke out the following year for Petersburg, hitting .323 in 122 games, which earned him a September look with the Pirates. The Pirates purchased his contract on August 21, 1911, under the advisement of scout Howard Earle. At the same time, the Pirates also purchased Keliher’s teammate Everett Booe, who would play briefly for the 1913 Pirates. The price for Keliher was $2,000, while the Pirates paid $1,500 for Booe, with an option to return him if he didn’t make the grade. Both players were allowed to finish their minor league season before joining the Pirates. Keliher was said to be a strong hitter, with speed and defense, but he was lacking experience, so he would take some time to reach his potential. He did not make a great impression on paper in his only three games during his September trial, going 0-for-7 with five strikeouts and an error. Keliher started one game in his big league career, coming on September 29, 1911, in a 7-4 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.

Keliher was with the Pirates early in 1912 after earning a spot during Spring Training, but the only playing time he received during the regular season was two pinch-running appearances on May 3rd and May 9th. He stayed with the team for nearly another month before being sold on option to Montreal of the Double-A International League (highest level of the minors at the time) on June 7th. Not even four weeks later, he was back with the Pirates, after Montreal decided they had no use of his services, partially due to missed time with an illness. He hit .179 in 16 games with Montreal, and all ten of his hits were singles. Keliher returned to the Pirates and worked out with the team for about two weeks before he was released on option to Wichita of the Class-A Western League. Fred Clarke said at the time that he believed that Keliher would make a fine first baseman within a few years with added experience, comparing him to a young Hal Chase, which was a big compliment at the time. Keliher was back with Petersburg by the end of the year, and then he moved on to Hartford of the Class-B Eastern Association for the 1913-14 seasons. He spent a total of 16 seasons playing in the minors over an 18-year span, never getting another chance at the majors. He batted .276 in 134 games for Hartford in 1913, with 25 doubles, 15 triples and two homers. He had a .281 average in 118 games in 1914, with 52 runs, 30 extra-base hits and 21 steals.

Keliher played for three teams in 1915, seeing time with Petersburg again, Worcester of the New England League, and Troy of the Class-B New York State League. He made national baseball news on June 14, 1915 with Worcester by playing an entire game without a single chance at first base, which was said to have been done just one before in pro ball. He batted .195 over 35 games, with 11 doubles and three triples with Worcester, which are his only stats available from that season. Keliher had a .261 average and 24 extra-base hits in 106 games for Richmond of the Double-A International League in 1916. He played 119 games for Springfield of the Class-B Central League in 1917, where he had a .287 average and four homers. He was playing in Vancouver early in 1918 before joining the war effort, which carried into the early part of 1919. That 1919 season was spent with Peoria of the Class-B Three-I League, where he hit .322 in 122 games, with 18 doubles, ten triples and five homers. Keliher played for Regina of the Class-B Western Canada League in 1920. He hit .301 in 101 games that year. He was with Rocky Mount of the Virginia League in 1921, then a Class-B League. He had a .345 average in 129 games, with 31 doubles, ten triples and two homers.

Keliher played for Greenville of the Class-B South Atlantic League, and Norfolk of the Virginia League in 1922. Just the Greenville stats are available, and they show a .298 average in 85 games, with 23 doubles, nine triples and four homers. He was with Norfolk for all of 1923, hitting for a .300 average, with 31 doubles, two triples and three homers in 121 games. He split 1924 between Decatur of Peoria, both of the Three-I League. He batted .271 that year in 128 games, with 23 doubles, five triples and five homers. His 1925 season started with him willing to take a pay cut to join Peoria in April, but that was followed by him reportedly playing a short time with Richmond in the Virginia League, followed by semi-pro ball in the summer. No stats are available from that season. Keliher played 88 games for Martinsburg of the Class-D Blue Ridge League in 1926. He dominated, as you would expect with a drop in competition to the lowest level of the minors. He hit .370 that year, with 36 extra-base hits. He was a player-manager his last three seasons in the minors. Keliher had a .352 average and 38 extra-base hits in 100 games for Chambersburg of the Blue Ridge League in 1927. He remained there for 1928, when he hit .322 in 98 games, with 53 runs, 34 extra-base hits and an .861 OPS. His final season was spent in the Blue Ridge League with Hagerstown. He had a .313 average and 24 extra-base hits over 84 games in his last season in 1929, then passed away in September of 1930 at age 40 due to injuries suffered in an auto accident. He was playing semi-pro ball that last year. His minor league stats are incomplete, but he had at least 1,954 hits in 1,731 games. His name was often misspelled as Kelliher in the newspapers.

Silver King, pitcher for the 1891 Pirates. He was a big-time signing for the Pirates/Alleghenys, who had just finished 23-113 during the dreadful 1890 season when they lost almost all of their best players to the newly-formed Player’s League. With the Player’s League ceasing operations after the 1890 season (the only year in the league’s existence), almost all of those players in the Player’s League returned to their original teams. King was one of the handful of players who didn’t, choosing to sign with the Pirates instead for a $5,000 contract. The off-season had a lot of stories about him signing and possibly not signing with Pittsburgh, but he finally ended up debuting in the eighth game of the season. He was a star player, who by age 22 had already won 143 Major League games.

King debuted in the majors in late September of 1886 at 18 years old, playing in the National League for the Kansas City Cowboys. He had just debuted in pro ball that same year with St Joseph of the Western League (no stats available), which turned out to be his only minor league experience. After going 1-3, 4.85 in 39 innings over five starts with Kansas City at the end of the 1886 season, he moved on to the St Louis Browns of the American Association in 1887 and had a huge season. He went 32-12, 3.78 in 390 innings, with 43 complete games in 44 starts. He helped the Browns to a first place finish and a World Series appearance against the Detroit Wolverines of the National League. The two teams played 15 postseason games that year and King made four starts. He had a 2.03 ERA, though it came with a 1-3 record. He was even better the next season, posting one of the best pitching seasons ever. King won 45 games (with 20 losses), which led the American Association. He also led the league with 64 starts, 64 complete games, six shutouts, 584.2 innings, an 0.87 WHIP and a 1.63 ERA. He also picked up 258 strikeouts (second most in the league), the only time he topped the 200-strikeout mark in a season, though he finished in the top ten in strikeouts six times in his career. St Louis went back to the World Series against the New York Giants and he went 1-3 in five starts, despite a 2.31 ERA. King’s 14.7 WAR that season is the tenth best mark in baseball history for pitchers.

King had another big year in 1889, going 35-16, 3.14 in 458 innings, with 53 starts, 47 complete games and 188 strikeouts, which ranked fifth in the league. He then became the all-time ERA leader in Player’s League history with his 2.69 mark, while playing for the team that went by the name Chicago White Stockings. His 13.2 WAR that year is the 17th best mark all-time among pitchers. He went 30-22 in 461 innings in 1890, leading the league in games started (56) and shutouts (four). He had 48 complete games. Pittsburgh did not get the kind of production from him they had hoped for, but he wasn’t as bad as things seemed. He had a 14-29 record in his only season with the team. That led the National League in losses, though it came with a 3.11 ERA in 384.1 innings.The league had a 3.34 ERA, so he was a good distance better than league average, but the Pirates finished that year with a very disappointing 55-80 record. He finished fifth in the league with 160 strikeouts, and despite the poor win-loss record, his season was worth 2.9 WAR by modern metrics. The Pirates released King just before the season ended. He went 22-24, 3.29 in 410.1 innings in 1892 for the New York Giants, finishing with 170 strikeouts. His ERA was right at league average, though his record matches up with the Giants finishing nine games under the .500 mark.

When the pitching distance was changed in 1893 to the current distance they still use today, King had a tough time adjusting. He was a sidearm pitcher with a lot of deception in his delivery, who almost exclusively threw fastballs. It wasn’t so much the added distance for pitchers, it was the fact that they had to pitch from a pitching rubber, instead of having the ability to move around a box marked out on the ground. The distance going from 50 feet to 60 feet six inches isn’t as big as it sounds, because 50 feet was marked from the front of the pitcher’s box to the middle of home plate, and pitchers had to deliver from inside the box. The new distance was measured from the pitching rubber to the back of home plate, so once you add the difference in the stride towards home plate off the rubber, plus the different measurements on home plate, it was really adding a much shorter distance. King saw his ERA nearly double in one season, going 8-10, 6.08 in 154 innings in 1893, after posting a 3.29 ERA in 1892. His results were split that year, with an 8.63 ERA in seven starts with the Giants, followed by a 4.89 ERA in 15 starts and two relief appearances with the Cincinnati Reds. The latter work actually wasn’t bad for the year, with the league posting an average ERA of 4.66 that season.

King would end up winning just 24 Major League games after the age of 24. He retired during the 1894-95 seasons because he made more money outside of baseball. He returned for the 1896-97 seasons with the Washington Senators and he went 16-16, 4.45 in 299.1 innings over two seasons, with somewhat similar results each year. He went 10-7, 4.09 in 145.1 innings in 1896, and 6-9, 4.79 in 154 innings in 1897. He finished up his career at 29 years old with a 203-152, 3.18 record in 3,180.2 innings over 370 starts and 27 relief appearances. He threw 328 complete games and he had 19 shutouts.

Bill Niles, third baseman for the 1895 Pirates. He was a light-hitting third baseman who started his minor league career in 1888, and bounced around the minors before getting his only shot in the majors at age 28. Stats at missing from his early years, which started at 21 years old with Logansport of the Indiana State League. He played for Hamilton and Dayton of the Tri-State League in 1889. The next year he bounced around a bit, playing for three teams in two leagues, including a second stint with Dayton, and McKeesport of that same Tri-State League. He also played part of that season with Meadville of the New York-Penn League, where he spent the 1891 season. Stats are available for that season, and they show that he hit .287 in 73 games, with 52 runs, 29 extra-base hits and 13 steals. Niles played for Birmingham of the Class-B Southern League during the 1892-93 seasons (the team moved to Pensacola during the middle of the latter season). He hit just .191 in 98 games in 1892, collecting 18 extra-base hits, while scoring 41 runs and stealing 15 bases. He improved slightly in 1893, batting .221 in 90 games, with 42 runs and 22 extra-base hits. Offense was up around all of baseball in 1894 due to new pitching rules that favored the hitters. Despite the baseball-wide improvements in offense, Niles took an even bigger step than most people while playing for Kansas City of the Western League. He batted .338 in 124 games that year, with 125 runs, 32 doubles, 14 triples, 16 homers and 16 steals, which led to his one big league chance. The Pirates took him in the Rule 5 draft from Kansas City in September of 1894.

Niles went through Spring Training competing for the third base job with Billy Clingman. Niles lost out in the battle, but he played well enough that he won a backup job. He was used for the first time on May 13th, then sent out to the minors on loan, where he played for Franklin of the Iron and Oil League. He was recalled by the Pirates on July 20th to take the place of an injured Clingman at third base. Niles was released on August 7, 1895, with manager Connie Mack saying that they had no playing time to offer him now that Clingman was healthy again and utility player Frank Genins was playing well. The Pirates also signed pitcher Jake Hewitt that same day they released Niles, after Hewitt did well in a trial appearance for the Pirates during the previous day. The Pirates still held on to the contract rights of Niles after agreeing to send him to Milwaukee of the Class-A Western League (highest level of the minors at the time) on August 10th. Releases back then came with ten days notice, in which a team still held the rights of a player before they were given their unconditional release. Niles had a .233 average, 16 runs and six extra-base hits in 21 games with Milwaukee. He was still on the Pirates reserved list after the 1895 season ended, one of 15 players they held the rights to on October 14th when the list was released. However, he wasn’t on the list anymore early in 1896. Niles posted a .930 fielding percentage during his short time in the majors, which was 58 points above league average for third baseman at the time. The Pirates used him in 11 games in 1895, and he hit .216/.310/.216, with two runs, five walks and two steals.

Niles returned to the minors for good after his release by the Pirates, and played until 1901. The 1896 season was spent with Grand Rapids of the Western League (no stats available for the league that year). He held out for more money in 1897, and ended up playing semi-pro ball instead. He then played for Springfield (1898) and Wheeling (1899), both of the Class-B Interstate League. Only the 1898 stats are available, and they show a .244 average in 144 games, with 62 runs, 15 doubles, eight triples and 18 steals. He was with  Sioux City of the Western League in 1900, as the league was dropped down to Class-B that season. That’s another year with no stats available. That was followed by time spent with three different teams during the 1901 season. Niles hit .241 in 14 games with Columbus of the Class-A Western Association, while also seeing time with Birmingham and Chattanooga of the Class-B Southern Association.

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