Jim Keenan

  • Card series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Cincinnati
  • Team: Red Stockings (AA)
  • League: American Association

James William Keenan (1858-1926) had a substantial major league career as a decent hitting catcher, primarily for Cincinnati. He got his start at the dawn of pro ball with his hometown entry in the National Association in 1875, its final season. The New Haven Elm Cities struggled to a 9th place finish but Keenan was on his way. He played minor league ball until the Buffalo Bisons of the NL hired him in 1880. After brief appearances with the Pittsburgh Alleghenys & Indianapolis Hoosiers, Jim caught on as a regular catcher with Cincinnati, 5 years with their AA team and his last two with the NL version, the Reds. A lifetime .240 average testifies to his skills at the plate in a rugged era for catchers. He played other positions and even gets his name in the record books: per the Encyclopedia of Baseball Catchers he is one of 41 receivers to pitch in major league games and his 2.37 ERA places him first all-time among his cohorts (he hurled 19 innings and was 0-1).

  • As an emergency replacement at catcher for New Haven, Jim witnessed teammate Billy Geer make seven errors in one inning at second base

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