William J.
"Kid" Gleason




WILLIAM J. "KID" GLEASON JR. was born October 26, 1866 in Camden NJ to William Gleason and his wife, the former Ellen Mars Ivins. He was one of ten children born to the Gleasons. His father was a Civil War veteran who worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad as a foreman on the railroad's Camden docks. The Gleason family lived at 646 John Street in the 1870s, this street was later renamed Locust Street. The Gleasons were living at 404 North Front Street, near the northwest corner of Front and Linden Street when the Census was taken in 1880. Today, if one drew a line followed Linden Street west for about 700 feet, one would be standing on second base at Campbell Field in Camden, the home of the Camden Riversharks minor league baseball team, which is rather interesting in that Kid Gleason played most of his 20 consecutive years as a major league baseball player at second base!

William Gleason Sr. father worked as a foreman with the Pennsylvania Railroad, which operated trains out of the Market Street Ferry Terminal, near the Gleason home, which by 1887 was at 212  Bridge Avenue, where they lived through 1888. The Gleason family moved to 606 Federal Street by 1890. Young Gleason grew up playing baseball, and worked as a brakeman with the railroad as a young man. He would follow that trade in the off-season for a time after turning professional.

One of the local teams William Gleason played for was the 1885 Camden Merrit club. Players from this team went on to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers. After playing ball for Merrit and other teams in and around Camden, he went with another Camden ballplayer, Charles Alcott, to Williamsport in the Pennsylvania State Association league in 1887. Both men later played for the Scranton team in the same league later in the same season. 

William Gleason reached the major leagues in 1888 as a pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies. Nicknamed Kid in part because he was 5'7" but mostly for his enthusiasm, Gleason would go on to play 22 seasons in the majors, and remained in the game as a coach and manager until his death in 1933.

Kid Gleason's first eight years in the big league were spent mostly as a pitcher, although he made occasional appearances in the outfield and at second base. He began as a pitcher with the Phillies. His best season on the mound was 1890. After two losing seasons, he blossomed in 1890 when desertions to the Players' League stripped the Phillies of their regular starters. During the 1890 season he started 60 games, running up a record of 38 wins and 17 losses, with an Earned Run Average of 2.63 for the Phillies. His 38 wins is the Phillies single season record, one which will never be broken. He never approached that level again, although he twice more topped 20 wins. He won 24 and lost 22 for Philadelphia in 1891, and was sent to St. Louis before the 1892 season. He continued as a pitcher, although with reduced effectiveness until 1894, when he was sent to the Baltimore Orioles during the middle of the season. When the distance from the mound to the plate was increased in 1894, he was basically through as a major league pitcher.

The Orioles won the pennant that year, and would for the next two seasons as well. Manager Ned Hanlon recognized Gleason's talent in the field and at the plate, and made him the Orioles' starting second-baseman for the 1895 season. He responded by hitting .309, scoring 90 runs, with 14 doubles, 12 triples and 19 stolen bases for the Orioles. Traded to the New York Giants for Jack Doyle in 1896, he remained with New York until 1900. While with the Giants, where he was named team captain. According to some reports, he was the first to order an intentional base on balls as a way to bypass a strong hitter. In 1897 he had his best offensive year, hitting .319 with 106 RBI.

After the 1900 season, Kid Gleason was involved in a strange incident. Gleason and the Giants, along with the Brooklyn Dodgers and took a boat to Cuba for a series of exhibition games. On the boat trip over, Outfielder Tom O'Brien and Gleason were told that if they drank enough sea water they would be be sick, but would then be cured of any sea sickness. Both O'Brien and Gleason became violently ill following the prescription, but O'Brien was so affected that all his internal organs were damaged, and he never recovered, passing away in Phoenix AZ on February 28, 1901. 

In 1901 Kid Gleason jumped to Detroit in the new American League. He  played their for two years, returning to the Phillies in 1903, where he for all intents an purposes finished his career as an everyday player in 1907. He appeared in two games as a replacement for the Phillies in 1908. Kid Gleason spent 1908, 1909, and 1910 for the most part as a minor league player-manager. In 1911 he took a job as a coach with the Chicago White Sox, and appeared in one game as a player in 1912. When the White Sox won the American League pennant and the World Series in 1917, he was given much credit for the achievement.

Kid Gleason was out of baseball during the the 1918 season. He was named manager for the 1919 season, and won the pennant by four games with an 88 and 52 record. The White Sox were a fine team with many great players, but their was a cancer in the clubhouse. Upset by the low pay and meanness of owner Charles Comiskey, several White Sox players, when approached by gamblers, agreed to throw the 1919 World Series. 

Kid Gleason took the White Sox through the 1920 season, finishing second by three games to the Cleveland Indians. Talk of a possible fix in the 1919 Series had continued through the winter months into the 1920 season.  In July, Gleason ran into gambler Abe Attell at a New York bar.  Attell confirmed Gleason's suspicions about the fix.  "You know, Kid, I hated to do that to you," Attell told Gleason, "but I thought I was going to make a bundle, and I needed it."  Attell revealed that Arnold Rothstein was the big money man behind the fix. Gleason went to the press with the story, but was unable to convince anyone--because of fear of libel suits--to print it.

The Black Sox, as it was called, scandal broke wide open in September of 1920. Team owner Comiskey suspended the compromised players with a few games left in the season. The Sox lost these games, and the pennant. Gleason was absolved of any guilt in the affair, and continued as White Sox manager until 1923. His teams however, stripped of many of their better players, did not fare well, and Gleason's White Sox would not be better than a .500 ball club after 1920. He was let go as manager after the 1923 season. After two seasons away from the major leagues, Kid Gleason was offered a position as a coach with Connie Mack's Philadelphia Athletics. He would return to the World Series with the A's in 1930 and 1931. Seriously ill during most of 1932, Kid Gleason passed away from a heart ailment in Philadelphia on January 2, 1933. He was buried at Northwood Cemetery
on Philadelphia PA.

Kid Gleason's younger brother, Harry Gleason, played parts of five years in the major leagues as well, for Boston and St Louis in the American League, from 1901 through 1905.

Kid Gleason was inducted into the South Jersey Baseball Hall of Fame in 1993.


The
Camden Baseball Club

1885

Kid Gleason is 4th from Left

Click on Image to Enlarge

Kid Gleason

A Definitive Record

Biographical Data

Birth Name: William J. Gleason Bats: Both
Born On: 10-26-1866 Throws: Right
Born In: Camden, New Jersey Height: 5-07
Died On: 01-02-1933 Weight: 158
Died In: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania First Game: 04-20-1888
College: None Attended Nickname -

Kid Gleason

Pitching Statistics

Team

W

L

PCT

ERA

G

GS

GF

CG

SHO

SV

IP

BFP

H

ER

R

HR

BB

IBB

SO

WP

HBP

BK

1888 Quakers

7

16

.304

2.84

24

23

1

23

0

0

199.2

855

199

63

112

11

53

-

89

11

12

0

1889 Quakers

9

15

.375

5.58

29

21

7

15

0

1

205.0

902

242

127

177

8

97

-

64

14

9

0

1890 Phillies

38

17

.691

2.63

60

55

5

54

6

2

506.0

0

479

148

253

8

167

-

222

11

0

1

1891 Phillies

24

22

.522

3.51

53

44

9

40

1

1

418.0

0

431

163

237

10

165

-

100

17

0

0

1892 Cardinals

20

24

.455

3.33

47

45

-

43

2

0

400.0

0

389

148

-

11

151

-

133

-

-

-

1893 Cardinals

21

22

.488

4.61

48

45

-

37

1

1

380.1

0

436

195

-

18

187

-

86

-

-

-

1894 Cardinals

2

6

.250

6.05

8

8

-

6

0

0

58.0

0

75

39

-

2

21

-

9

-

-

-

1894 Orioles

15

5

.750

4.45

21

20

1

19

0

0

172.0

0

224

85

111

3

44

-

35

3

0

0

1895 Orioles

2

4

.333

6.97

9

5

4

3

0

1

50.1

0

77

39

51

4

21

-

6

1

0

0

Career

W

L

PCT

ERA

G

GS

GF

CG

SHO

SV

IP

BFP

H

ER

R

HR

BB

IBB

SO

WP

HBP

BK

8 Years

138

131

.513

3.79

299

266

27

240

10

6

2,389.1

1,757

2,552

1,007

941

75

906

-

744

57

21

1

Kid Gleason

Hitting Statistics

Team

G

AB

H

2B

3B

HR

R

RBI

BB

IBB

SO

SH

SF

HBP

GIDP

AVG

OBP

SLG

1888 Quakers

24

83

17

2

0

0

4

5

3

-

16

-

-

0

-

.205

.233

.229

1889 Quakers

30

99

25

5

0

0

11

8

8

-

12

-

-

0

-

.253

.308

.303

1890 Phillies

63

224

47

3

0

0

22

17

12

-

21

-

-

0

-

.210

.250

.223

1891 Phillies

65

214

53

5

2

0

31

17

20

-

17

-

-

2

-

.248

.318

.290

1892 Browns

66

233

50

4

2

3

35

25

34

-

23

-

-

0

-

.215

.315

.288

1893 Browns

59

199

51

6

4

0

25

20

19

-

8

-

-

2

-

.256

.327

.327

1894 Browns

9

28

7

0

1

0

3

1

2

-

1

0

-

0

-

.250

.300

.321

1894 Orioles

26

86

30

5

1

0

22

17

7

-

2

4

-

0

-

.349

.398

.430

1895 Orioles

112

421

130

14

12

0

90

74

33

-

18

6

-

5

-

.309

.366

.399

1896 Giants

133

541

162

17

5

4

79

89

42

-

13

10

-

2

-

.299

.352

.372

1897 Giants

131

540

172

16

4

1

85

106

26

-

-

5

-

3

-

.319

.353

.369

1898 Giants

150

570

126

8

5

0

78

62

39

-

-

4

-

6

-

.221

.278

.253

1899 Giants

146

576

152

14

4

0

72

59

24

-

-

8

-

0

-

.264

.293

.302

1900 Giants

111

420

104

11

3

1

60

29

17

-

-

10

-

2

-

.248

.280

.295

1901 Tigers

135

547

150

16

12

3

82

75

41

-

-

15

-

2

-

.274

.327

.364

1902 Tigers

118

441

109

11

4

1

42

38

25

-

-

11

-

3

-

.247

.292

.297

1903 Phillies

106

412

117

19

6

1

65

49

23

-

-

20

-

3

-

.284

.326

.367

1904 Phillies

153

587

161

23

6

0

61

42

37

-

-

35

-

2

-

.274

.319

.334

1905 Phillies

155

608

150

17

7

1

95

50

45

-

-

43

-

3

-

.247

.302

.303

1906 Phillies

135

494

112

17

2

0

47

34

36

-

-

31

-

1

-

.227

.281

.269

1907 Phillies

36

126

18

3

0

0

11

6

7

-

-

10

-

2

-

.143

.200

.167

1908 Phillies

2

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

-

-

0

-

0

-

.000

.000

.000

1912 White Sox

1

2

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

-

-

0

-

0

-

.500

.500

.500

Career

G

AB

H

2B

3B

HR

R

RBI

BB

IBB

SO

SH

SF

HBP

GIDP

AVG

OBP

SLG

22 Years

1,966

7,452

1,944

216

80

15

1,020

823

500

-

131

212

-

38

-

.261

.311

.317

Kid Gleason

Fielding Statistics

Team

POS

G

GS

INNOUTS

TC

TC/G

PO

A

E

DP

FLD%

RF

ZR

1888 Philadelphia Quakers

P

24

23

599

44

1.8

6

31

7

1

.841

1.67

-

    "         "

OF

1

-

-

0

0.0

0

0

0

0

.000

0.00

-

1889 Philadelphia Quakers

P

29

21

615

65

2.2

12

44

9

1

.862

2.46

-

    "         "

OF

3

-

-

2

0.7

2

0

0

0

1.000

0.00

-

    "         "

2B

2

-

-

9

4.5

5

3

1

0

.889

0.00

-

1890 Philadelphia Phillies

P

60

55

1,518

127

2.1

24

95

8

4

.937

2.12

-

    "         "

2B

2

-

-

12

6.0

2

7

3

0

.750

0.00

-

1891 Philadelphia Phillies

P

53

44

1,254

106

2.0

22

73

11

2

.896

2.05

-

    "         "

OF

9

-

-

17

1.9

17

0

0

0

1.000

0.00

-

    "         "

SS

4

-

-

17

4.2

8

5

4

1

.765

0.00

-

1892 St. Louis Browns

P

47

45

1,200

152

3.2

42

100

10

4

.934

3.19

-

    "         "

OF

10

-

-

19

1.9

14

2

3

0

.842

0.00

-

    "         "

2B

9

-

-

45

5.0

20

24

1

0

.978

0.00

-

    "         "

1B

1

-

-

4

4.0

4

0

0

0

1.000

0.00

-

1893 St. Louis Browns

P

48

45

1,141

129

2.7

30

87

12

3

.907

2.77

-

    "         "

OF

11

-

-

23

2.1

21

1

1

0

.957

0.00

-

    "         "

SS

1

-

-

8

8.0

2

3

3

0

.625

0.00

-

1894 St. Louis Browns

P

8

8

174

26

3.2

7

16

3

0

.885

3.57

-

    "         "

1B

1

-

-

14

14.0

13

1

0

0

1.000

0.00

-

1894 Baltimore Orioles

P

21

20

516

40

1.9

15

21

4

1

.900

1.88

-

    "         "

1B

1

-

-

6

6.0

6

0

0

1

1.000

0.00

-

1895 Baltimore Orioles

2B

85

-

-

506

6.0

205

250

51

32

.899

0.00

-

    "         "

3B

12

-

-

48

4.0

22

18

8

1

.833

0.00

-

    "         "

P

9

5

151

16

1.8

5

9

2

0

.875

2.50

-

    "         "

OF

4

-

-

2

0.5

2

0

0

0

1.000

0.00

-

1896 New York Giants

2B

130

-

-

774

6.0

329

397

48

38

.938

0.00

-

    "         "

3B

3

-

-

13

4.3

4

7

2

0

.846

0.00

-

    "         "

OF

1

-

-

1

1.0

1

0

0

0

1.000

0.00

-

1897 New York Giants

2B

129

-

-

757

5.9

309

395

53

43

.930

0.00

-

    "         "

SS

3

-

-

16

5.3

5

8

3

1

.812

0.00

-

1898 New York Giants

2B

144

-

-

889

6.2

366

468

55

57

.938

0.00

-

    "         "

SS

6

-

-

42

7.0

17

20

5

1

.881

0.00

-

1899 New York Giants

2B

146

-

-

918

6.3

403

465

50

60

.946

0.00

-

1900 New York Giants

2B

111

-

-

695

6.3

321

326

48

51

.931

0.00

-

    "         "

SS

1

-

-

6

6.0

2

1

3

0

.500

0.00

-

1901 Detroit Tigers

2B

135

-

-

855

6.3

334

457

64

67

.925

0.00

-

1902 Detroit Tigers

2B

118

-

-

711

6.0

320

349

42

66

.941

0.00

-

1903 Philadelphia Phillies

2B

102

-

-

538

5.3

236

280

22

30

.959

0.00

-

    "         "

OF

4

-

-

7

1.8

6

0

1

0

.857

0.00

-

1904 Philadelphia Phillies

2B

152

-

-

894

5.9

379

463

52

44

.942

0.00

-

    "         "

3B

1

-

-

2

2.0

1

1

0

0

1.000

0.00

-

1905 Philadelphia Phillies

2B

155

-

-

868

5.6

365

457

46

49

.947

0.00

-

1906 Philadelphia Phillies

2B

135

-

-

605

4.5

215

358

32

39

.947

0.00

-

1907 Philadelphia Phillies

2B

26

-

-

142

5.5

72

67

3

8

.979

0.00

-

    "         "

1B

4

-

-

36

9.0

34

1

1

2

.972

0.00

-

    "         "

SS

4

-

-

9

2.2

4

4

1

1

.889

0.00

-

    "         "

OF

1

-

-

2

2.0

2

0

0

0

1.000

0.00

-

1908 Philadelphia Phillies

2B

1

-

-

2

2.0

1

1

0

0

1.000

0.00

-

    "         "

OF

1

-

-

2

2.0

2

0

0

0

1.000

0.00

-

1912 Chicago White Sox

2B

1

-

-

2

2.0

1

1

0

0

1.000

0.00

-

Career

POS

G

GS

INNOUTS

TC

TC/G

PO

A

E

DP

FLD%

RF

ZR

22 Years

 

1,969

266

7,168

10,223

5.2

4,235

5,316

672

608

.934

35.98

-


Kid Gleason
with
the Philadelphia Phillies
in
1888

Click on Images to Enlarge 

 


Philadelphia Inquirer - April 17, 1894
Kid Gleason -  Chris Von der Ahe - Billy Egan - Red Armstrong
Charlie Snyder - Joe Jones -
Ike Toy - Zeke Moore - Charley Matthews
"Ned" O'Neill - "Trickey" O'Neill

Kid Gleason
with
the Philadelphia Phillies
in
Chicago
1904

Click on Images to Enlarge 


Kid Gleason
with
the Philadelphia Phillies
in
Chicago
1905

Click on Images to Enlarge 

 


Philadelphia Inquirer - October 17, 1906
Kid Gleason - Morris Steelman - Eggie Lennox - Danny Green - Wid Conroy Harry Gleason - George Clayton - Billy Fischman - Perry Verga
Isaac "Ike" Toy

Philadelphia Inquirer - October 19, 1906
Kid Gleason - Morris Steelman - Eggie Lennox - Danny Green - Wid Conroy Harry Gleason - Bob Black - Harry Davis - Perry Verga - Rube Waddell
Isaac "Ike" Toy

Philadelphia Inquirer - July 28, 1907



Philadelphia Inquirer - October 24, 1906
 Kid Gleason - Harry Gleason - Danny Green - Billy Fischman  - Eggie Lennox
Wid Conroy - Bob Black - Perry Verga -
Ike Toy

Kid Gleason
as a coach with the
Chicago White Sox

1913

Top Row, 6th from left

Click on Images to Enlarge 


Kid Gleason
as a coach with the
Chicago White Sox

1916

Click on Images to Enlarge 

 


Kid Gleason
(left)
as a coach
with
Pants Rowland,  Manager
of the
Chicago White Sox

1917

Click on Images to Enlarge 


Kid Gleason during the 1919 World Series

Click on Images to Enlarge 

 



Kid Gleason
(left)
with White Sox owner
Charles Comiskey 

1920

Click on Images to Enlarge 


Kid Gleason
(right)
with Hughie Jennings
 

1920

Click on Images to Enlarge 

 


Kid
Gleason
1921

Click
on
Images
to

Enlarge 

 


Managerial Record 

 Year League Team G W L WP Finish
+----+-----------+--------+-----+----+----+------+------+
1919 American Lg ChicagoW 140 88 52 .629 AL 1
1920 American Lg ChicagoW 154 96 58 .623 2
1921 American Lg ChicagoW 154 62 92 .403 7
1922 American Lg ChicagoW 155 77 77 .500 5
1923 American Lg ChicagoW 156 69 85 .448 7
+----+-----------+--------+-----+----+----+------+------+
TOTAL 759 392 364 .519

"I think they're the greatest ball club I've ever seen. Period."

During the 1919 "Black Sox" scandal, while on the witness stand after an exhaustive cross examination addressing cheating among ballplayers which culminated with the question, "Well. What do you think of these players of yours NOW, Mr. Gleason?"


Autographed
Baseball

1930

 


Meeting of the Minds

Meeting of the MindsThe year was 1930. Three of the greatest minds in baseball: Coach Kid Gleason, Manager Connie Mack and Coach Eddie Collins discussing strategies for "one of the greatest teams ever assembled in baseball history."These three masters-of-the-game would go on to lead the Athletics to three consecutive Pennants and back-to-back World Championships. The knowledge and experience of these Hall-of-Fame legends show through so vividly on this extremely clear original silver gelatin print. Edition limited to 5000.

Each photograph is hand printed from the original 4" X 5" negative. A full "archival print" process has been used, incorporating museum-quality acid free paper. This time consuming and painstaking procedure ensures the finest quality and longest lasting image. Each photograph is numbered and embossed with "The Bruce Murray Collection" name. Each photograph is also accompanied by an "About the Artist" biography and a Certificate of Authenticity indiviually signed by the grandson of the photographer. The final print will be donated to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., for display. The 11" X 14" image is packaged in a beautiful embossed hard-bound portfolio, ready for framing.

To place orders for this print (B43) and other works by Mr. Murray, including "Babe Ruth Final Game" and "Babe & Lou, 1928", you may contact The Bruce Murray Collection, or print out an order form.

PLEASE NOTE: LARGE COPYRIGHT NOTICE WILL NOT APPEAR ON THE ACTUAL PHOTOGRAPH.

The Bruce Murray Collection LLC

2606 Church Road, Suite B

Cherry Hill, NJ, 08002

(856) 667-9222

Fax(856) 667-1949


THE OBIT FOR KID GLEASON

The New York Times, Tuesday, January 3rd, 1933

 

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