Mike Grady (baseball)

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Mike Grady
Catcher/First Baseman
Born: (1869-12-23)December 23, 1869
Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
Died: December 3, 1943(1943-12-03) (aged 73)
Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 24, 1894 for the Philadelphia Phillies
Last MLB appearance
September 19, 1906 for the St. Louis Cardinals
Career statistics
Batting average .294
Home runs 35
Runs batted in 461
Teams

Michael William Grady (December 23, 1869 in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania – December 3, 1943 in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania), was a professional baseball player who played catcher in the Major Leagues from 1894 to 1906. He would play for the Philadelphia Phillies, New York Giants, Washington Senators, and St. Louis Cardinals.

Grady was one of the first players from Chester County, Pennsylvania, to play Major League Baseball. Before signing with the Phillies, he played in the Brandywine AA League of West Chester.[citation needed]

Grady made his major league debut on April 24, 1894 as a member of the Phillies. Grady hit .363 over the course of his rookie season, during which the pitching mound was moved back to its current distance of 60 feet, 6 inches from the plate and three Phillies outfielders batted over .400.

Grady is known for being part of an unfortunate piece of baseball history. As a third baseman for the Giants in 1899, Grady committed four fielding errors on a single play. He misplayed a groundball for one error, threw over the first baseman’s head for another, dropped the throw from the first baseman as he tried to gun down the runner at third, and threw over the catcher’s head into the stands as the base runner broke for home.[1]

Grady was vociferous and outspoken during his playing career, and never shied away from recounting the infamous tale of his most embarrassing moment. He was fond of saying that upon committing the third error of the play, he purposefully threw the ball into the stands in anger.[citation needed]

Grady compiled a .294 career average over his 11 major league seasons. He led the league in OPS (a commonly used stat today that adds on-base percentage with slugging percentage) for a catcher in 1904 and 1905, and finished third in that category in his final season in 1906.

All told, Grady finished his career with 884 hits, 35 home runs and 461 RBIs. After a shaky rookie season during which he posted a .720 fielding percentage, he improved his defense considerably, rounding out his career with a .956 mark in that category.

He later was a player/manager in 1907 and 1908 in the Tri-State League.

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