Mike Kelley (baseball)
December 2, 1875|
|Died: June 6, 1955
|July 15, 1899 for the Louisville Colonels|
Last MLB appearance
|October 14, 1899 for the Louisville Colonels|
Michael Joseph Kelley (December 2, 1875 – June 6, 1955) was an American Major League Baseball first baseman. He played one season in the majors with the 1899 Louisville Colonels. He then forged a 30-year career as a manager in the minor leagues and became a legendary figure in the "Twin Cities" of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota.
Major League career
Born in Templeton, Massachusetts, Kelley played only one season in the Major Leagues, with the 1899 Louisville Colonels of the National League. A right-handed hitter and thrower, he appeared in 76 games that season, and he batted .241 with three home runs and had 33 runs batted in. At the end of the season, the NL shrunk from 12 to eight teams and the Colonels were disbanded. Many Louisville players were acquired by the surviving Pittsburgh Pirates, but Kelley returned to the minors.
Minor league career
By 1901, he was managing Des Moines in the Western League, and the following season he was named pilot of the St. Paul Saints of the American Association, where he won back-to-back pennants in 1903–1904.
Apart from 4½ seasons, Kelley managed in the Twin Cities through 1931. He coached the St. Paul team for nearly 18 seasons (1902–05; August 1908 – 1912; 1915–23), where he won five championships. His 1920 Saints won 115 games, the 1922 team notched 107 victories – each time winning the pennant – and his 1923 club won 111 games while finishing second, two games behind the Kansas City Blues.
Kelley first managed the Minneapolis Millers for one season (1906). At the close of the 1923 season, he purchased the Millers and became their manager. He led the Millers through 1931, but never won a pennant; his highest finish was second, to the Indianapolis Indians, in 1928. After a sixth-place finish in '31, he retired to the club presidency, operating the Millers until he sold them to the New York Giants in 1946. His over-all record in his 30 years as a minor league was 2,390 wins and 2,102 losses for a .532 winning percentage.
Kelley died at the age of 79 in Minneapolis, and is interred at Lakewood Cemetery.
- "Mike Kelley's career statistics". retrosheet.org. Retrieved 2008-09-04.
- Lloyd Johnson, ed., The Minor League Register. Durham, N.C.: Baseball America, 1994.