- 1B, OF, 2B, P
- Eagle Eye
- August 4, 1867
- 5' 10"
- 200 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 6-20-1888 with PIT
- Hall of Fame:
During the late 1800’s, Jake Beckley was one of the greatest sluggers in the game and while a Pirate, would top the 100 RBI level in three consecutive seasons between 1893-1895.
Jake, nicknamed Eagle Eye due to his great batting eye, was not only a solid offensive player who hit .308 for his career and fell only 66 short of the magical 3,000 plateau was also a very able defensive first baseman who made a major league record 23, 709 put out in his career, although he was also known for an inaccurate arm in which he would often throw wild towards a base causing runners to take an extra base on him. Beckley also became known for his trickery, as he would hide the ball behind the bag and tag out an unsuspecting base runner when he took a lean off first base.
He signed with the club midway during the 1888 season and knocked in 97 runs in his first full season the following year. Eagle Eye jumped to the cross-town rival Pittsburgh Burghers of the brand new players league the following year, hitting .324 with 120 RBI’s and a league high 22 triples. His defection, along with several other Allegheny’s, was the main contributing factor for the club dismal 23-113 1890 season.
After the league folded in 1891, he returned to the newly named Pirates with back-to-back sub par seasons hitting .292 and .236 in 1891 and 1892 before returning to his high level of play as he went over the century mark in RBI’s in three consecutive years between 1893-1895, hitting .303, .343, and .328 respectively.
Beckley was hitting only .253 in 1896 when he was dealt to the Giants for Harry Davis. Jake lasted until 1907 and was rightfully elected to the Hall of Fame by the veterans committee in 1971.
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