Tim Keefe

Tim Keefe

P, OF, 3B, 2B
Smiling Tim, Sir Timothy
January 1, 1857
5' 10"
185 lbs
Major League Debut:
8-06-1880 with TRN
Allstar Selections:
1888 TC
Hall of Fame:

Keefe was one of the iron-armed marvels of 19th-century baseball. He flourished in the days of two- or four-man pitching staffs, and threw mostly from 50', although his rookie year was the last at 45' and his final one the first at 60'6". Scarcely a season went by without an impressive, league-leading performance in one statistical category or another. In 1880, though pitching only 12 games for Troy (NY), he had an ERA of 0.86. In 1883, when the franchise collapsed and was moved to New York as Jim Mutrie's Metropolitans, he pitched 68 complete games in 68 starts for a total of 619 innings, won 41 and struck out 361. On July 4, he won a doubleheader against Columbus (OH), throwing a one-hitter in the morning game, a two-hitter after lunch. Two years later, John B. Day, who owned both the Mets and the Giants, shifted Keefe and manager Mutrie to the National League team. Keefe's colleagues were Buck Ewing, Monte Ward, and Roger Connor, as well as his Troy pitching mate, Mickey Welch.

Shoulder-high overhand pitching was now permitted and coming into vogue. Keefe had his doubts about the effectiveness of full overhand pitching, but was strong for fundamentals, first of all control. He threw a fastball, curve, and a change-up. In 1886 Keefe had 62 complete games and won 42, his career high, although 1888, when the Giants achieved their first pennant, was his finest season. He led the league in seven categories: 51 complete games, 35 victories (for a winning percentage of .745), a 1.74 ERA, 333 strikeouts, eight shutouts, and the fewest average hits per nine innings (6.55). Nineteen of his wins were consecutive, a record that would stand for 24 years. In postseason play he scored four more over the St. Louis Browns of the American Association. Keefe even designed and sold to the Giants their famous "funeral" uniforms of that year, all-black with "New York" in white letters across the shirt front.

His 1889 contract paid him $4,500, more than any other Giant. Yet for all his star status, Keefe fought actively for ballplayers' welfare. He helped his brother-in-law Monte Ward to establish the Players League and served as secretary for the Brotherhood. He protested player salary ceilings and was among those who won court tests of the reserve clause. He was a quiet, gentle man. In 1887 he had a nervous breakdown after skulling a batter with a fastball.

With the collapse of the Brotherhood, he signed with the Phillies for his final three years, enjoying an outfield of Ed Delahanty, Billy Hamilton, and Sam Thompson behind him. Finished as a player after 1893, he umpired in the National League for two years, then left the game for the real-estate business and occasional coaching duties at Harvard, Princeton, and Tufts.

This day in baseball history

May 06

  • 2008

    On May 6, 2008, Gavin Floyd of the White Sox carried a no-hi ...

  • 1998

    On May 6, 1998, Chicago Cubs rookie Kerry Wood ties a major ...

  • 1982

    On May 6, 1982, Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry enters the exclu ...

More Baseball History

Sponsored Links

1964 Hall of Fame, Baseball History, Tim Keefe


  • refadaditya said: Obat Tradisional Kanker Nasofaring Stadium 4

    Welcome to our official website Warehouse Ace Maxs on this occasion we will discuss about the Traditional Medicine Nasopharyngeal Cancer Stage 4. If you are confused to choose which one is right herbal remedies to treat nasopharyngeal cancer, then this is the right moment. 2:02AM 02/14/15
  • refadaditya said: Obat Tradisional Kanker Hati Alami

    Selamat datang kembali di website Kami secara profesional menyediakan Obat Tradisional Kanker Hati Alami Ace Maxs tanpa efek samping sedikitpun. Ace Maxs merupakan solusi utama bagi Anda untuk mengobati kanker hati yang sedang Anda derita. 2:00AM 02/14/15
  • refadaditya said: Obat Tradisional Kanker Darah Stadium 4

    Blood cancer is a cancer that is most feared by every person in this world. Because most cases of cancer deaths occur in the blood. 1:58AM 02/14/15
Login or register to post comments

Stay Connected

Share |

Today's Poll

Will Red Sox Repeat in 2014:
Browse Player Profiles