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Tim Keefe

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Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1964


Tim "Smiling Tim" Keefe played 14 years in the major leagues. He started at the age of 23 with the Troy Trojans (National League) and played for them from 1880-1882. With the Trojans, Keefe started 98 games, and posted a record of 41-59 in those years as a pitcher (played 1 game as an outfielder in 1881, and another 8 games in the outfield in 1882, with an additional 3 games at third base that year; batting average: 1880: .233; 1881: .230; 1882: .228). The Troy Trojans played from 1879-1882 before folding as a franchise.

Before the 1883 season, Keefe signed with the New York Metropolitans of the American Association. Keefe played with the Metropolitans for the 1883 & 1884 seasons. In those two years, Keefe started and pitched 126 games, posting a combined record of 78-44. Keefe played two games in the field in 1883, appearing in one game in the outfield, and in one game at second base (batting average: 1883: .220; 1884: .238). The Metropolitans (American Association), and Keefe, played in the 1884 World Series against the Providence Grays (National League) and were swept 3-0. The New York Metropolitans played from 1883-1887 before folding as a franchise (1 pennant and 1 playoff appearance before franchise folded).

In 1885, Keefe's contract was purchased by the New York Giants of the National League. Keefe played for the Giants from 1885–1889, and again in 1891. With the Giants, Keefe started a combined 269 games at pitcher, posting a record of 174-82. Keefe played 2 games in the outfield in 1885, 1 game in 1886, 2 games in 1887, 1 final game in the outfield in 1888 (batting average: 1885: .163; 1886: .171; 1887: .220; 1888: .127; 1889: .154; 1891: .095). Keefe won the NL Triple Crown in 1888 with a record of 35-12 1.74 335 SO (pitching triple crown). The Giants and Keefe appeared in the 1888 and 1889 World Series and won both series. The Giants defeated the St. Louis Browns in 1888, winning 6 games and loseing 4. In 1889, the Giants defeated the Brooklyn Bridegrooms in 9 games (6-3). The New York Giants started life as the New York Gothams in 1883, and changed their name to the New York Giants in 1885 (5 World Series championship seasons as the New York Giants). Following the 1957 season, the Giants moved to San Francisco to become the currently active San Francisco Giants (the San Francisco Giants have never won the World Series, though they have appeared in 8 playoffs, and have won 3 pennants).

In 1890, a new league formed, the Players League. In 1890 there were three professional baseball leagues, the Players League, the American Association and the National League. The Players League lasted just one year. Tim Keefe played for the New York Giants of the Players League in 1890 (two New York Giants teams in 1890, Players League and National League). In 1890, Keefe started 30 games, and posted a record of 17-11 with an ERA of 3.38.

In 1891, Keefe played for both the New York Giants (National League) and the Philadelphia Phillies (National League; same Phillies franchise that is currently active). Keefe started a combined 17 games, and posted a combined record of 5-11.

Keefe finished his career with the Philadelphia Phillies, playing for them for part of 1891, and all of 1892-1893. With the Phillies, Keefe started a combined 70 games, and posted a combined record of 32-29.

Keefe's professional career included three leagues and lasted from 1880 (23) until 1893 (36). At the end of his career, Keefe's combined pitching stats were: 594 games started, 342 wins, 225 losses, and a career ERA of 2.62. Tim Keefe's career as a major league player lasted 14 of his 76 years. Tim Keefe was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1964.


<stats> Player=Tim Keefe Type=Pitching </stats> <stats> Player=Tim Keefe Type=Batting </stats>


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Tim Keefe


Name: Timothy John Keefe

Nickname: Smiling Tim or Sir Timothy

Pro Debut: August 6, 1880

Final Game: August 15, 1893

Years in League: 14


Career Highlights

  • All-Star Games:
  • World Series Champion: 1888, 1889
  • Triple Crowns: 1888
  • ERA Leader: 1880 (0.86), 1885 (1.58), 1888 (1.74)
  • Wins Leader: 1886 (42), 1888 (35)
  • Innings Leader: 1883 (619), 1886 (535)
  • Strikeouts Leader: 1883 (361), 1888 (335)
  • Shutouts Leader: 1888 (8)

Batted: Right

Threw: Right

College: none

Playing Weight: 185 lbs

Date of Birth: January 1, 1857

Place of Birth: Cambridge, MA

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