Born in Collinsville, Illinois, Fletcher came to the Giants in 1909 and became the club's regular shortstop two years later. He played in four World Series while performing for McGraw (1911, 1912, 1913 and 1917). Traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in the midst of the 1920 season, he retired after the 1922 campaign with 1,534 hits and a .277 batting average. He batted and threw right-handed. Fletcher is the Giants' career leader in being hit by pitches (132) and ranks 21st on the MLB career list (141) for the same statistic.
In 1923 he replaced Kaiser Wilhelm as manager of the seventh-place Phillies and led the club through four losing seasons, bookended by last-place finishes in 1923 and 1926. In October 1926, he was replaced by Stuffy McInnis.
Fletcher then began a 19-year tenure (1927–45) as a coach for the Yankees, where, beginning with the 1927 team, he would participate on ten American League pennant winners and nine World Series champions. On a tragic note, he served as the acting manager of Yankees for the last 11 games of the 1929 season when Huggins was fatally stricken with erysipelas. He won six of those 11 games, to compile a career major league managing record of 237-383 (.382).
Arthur Fletcher Field, located in Collinsville, Illinois, is named for him. The field is home of the Collinsville High School Kahoks, the Collinsville Miners American Legion team, and the Collinsville Herr Travelers junior legion team.