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Kid Gleason

Kid Gleason

Position(s):
OF, P, 2B, SS, 1B, 3B
Born:
October 26, 1866
Bats:
Left
Throws:
Right
Height:
5' 7"
Weight:
158 lbs
Major League Debut:
4-20-1888 with PHI

Kid Gleason

Originally a pitcher, Kid Gleason was made into a second baseman by Baltimore Orioles' manager Ned Hanlon in mid-career. Gleason had won 38 games in 1890 for Philadelphia, but enjoyed even more success as a middle infielder, playing regularly until he was 39 years old. He was reknowned for his toughness, despite his small stature. He commanded respect from his teammates, and fear from his opponents. He was not afraid to use his fists, and was known as a tough fighter who packed a harder wallop than his tiny frame suggested. After his playing career, he coached, and then managed the White Sox for five seasons, leading them to their infamous appearance in the 1919 World Series.

Best known today as the betrayed manager of the infamous Black Sox. Originally a pitcher, Kid Gleason was made into a second baseman by Baltimore Orioles' manager Ned Hanlon in mid-career. Gleason had won 38 games in 1890 for Philadelphia and hurled a no-hitter. A fact pointed out during the movie eight men out. He never approached that level again, although he twice more topped 20 wins. When the distance from the mound to the plate was increased in 1894, he lost his effectiveness.

He enjoyed even more success as a middle infielder helping the Orioles win a pennant in 1895. He was traded the next year to the Giants, where he was named team captain. According to some reports, he was the first to order an intentional base on balls as a way to bypass a strong hitter. In 1897 he had his best offensive year, hitting .319 with 106 RBI. He jumped to the AL in 1901, then returned to the Phillies in 1903 for four more years as the regular second baseman. He stole 328 career bases.

He was reknowned for his toughness, despite his small stature. He commanded respect from his teammates, and fear from his opponents. He was not afraid to use his fists, and was known as a tough fighter who packed a harder wallop than his tiny frame suggested.


After retiring as a player, he served first as a coach, then as the manager of the White Sox. Nicknamed Kid in part because he was 5'7" but mostly for his enthusiasm, his heart was broken by his players' sellout of the 1919 WS. He continued as manager of the crippled team through 1923, then became a coach for Connie Mack in Philadelphia.

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Tagged:
1919 Black Sox, Baseball History, Connie Mack, Kid Gleason, New York Giants, Philadelphia Phillies

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