Jake Beckley
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Jake Beckley
Jake Beckley
MLB-Jake Beckley.jpg
First baseman
Born: (1867-08-04)August 4, 1867
Hannibal, Missouri
Died: June 25, 1918(1918-06-25) (aged 50)
Kansas City, Missouri
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
June 20, 1888, for the Pittsburgh Alleghenys
Last MLB appearance
June 15, 1907, for the St. Louis Cardinals
MLB statistics
Batting average.309
Home runs87
Runs batted in1,578
Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svgEmpty Star.svgEmpty Star.svgBaseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svgEmpty Star.svgEmpty Star.svg
Election MethodVeterans Committee

Jacob Peter Beckley (August 4, 1867 - June 25, 1918), nicknamed "Eagle Eye", was an American first baseman in Major League Baseball. He played for several major league teams between 1888 and 1907. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971.

Early life

Beckley was born in Hannibal, Missouri.[1] He was the son of Bernhart and Rosina (Neth) Beckley. Beckley began playing semi-professional baseball while still a teenager. A former Hannibal teammate, Bob Hart, suggested the 18-year-old Beckley to the Leavenworth Oilers (Leavenworth, Kansas) of the Western Association.[2] After splitting two seasons between Leavenworth and a team in Lincoln, Nebraska, Beckley's contract was sold to the St. Louis Whites in the Western Association before he was purchased (along with Harry Staley) by the Pittsburgh Alleghenys for $4,500 midway through the 1888 season.[3]

Major league career

After playing one and a half seasons for the Alleghenys, Beckley and eight of his teammates jumped to the Pittsburgh Burghers,[3] a team in the newly-formed Players' League (PL). Manager Ned Hanlon crossed over, as well. Beckley stated he was willing to go to the PL because "I'm only in this game for the money anyway."[2] The league lasted only one season, and Beckley spent the next five and a half seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates.[3]

On July 25, 1896, Beckley was traded to the New York Giants for Harry Davis and $1,000.[3] Beckley was released by the Giants the following season on May 22, and signed as a free agent with the Cincinnati Reds five days later.[3] In his first season with the Reds, Beckley was unsuccessful in getting rookie Honus Wagner out with the hidden ball trick, a tactic he had been known to use against the opposition. But later when Wagner's Louisville Colonels came to play at Cincinnati, Beckley was successful in getting Wagner out, employing a strategy that involved the use of two baseballs.[4] Against the St. Louis Cardinals, Beckley belted three home runs in the same game on September 26, 1897, a feat not again matched until 1922 by Ken Williams.[2] He played with Cincinnati for seven seasons and was later purchased by the Cardinals on February 11, 1904.[3]

Beckley retired after the 1907 season with 2,930 career hits, second only to Cap Anson.[5] He continues to rank fourth all-time among major leaguers in triples with 244. As of the 2014 season, Beckley holds the all-time best batting average among Pirates first basemen (.300).[6] Beckley holds the MLB record for career putouts, with 23,743,[7] and ranks second all-time in games played at first base, with 2,376.[7]

Later life

Beckley's plaque at the Baseball Hall of Fame

After his MLB career ended, Beckley became a player/manager for Kansas City in the American Association in 1908-1909, Bartlesville in the Western Association in 1910, and Hannibal in the Central Association in 1911. He served as an umpire in the Federal League in 1913 and also served as a baseball coach at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri. In addition to his umpiring and coaching after retirement from professional play, Beckley operated a grain business in Kansas City.

Beckley married Molly Murphy of Hannibal in 1891,[2] but she died of tuberculosis seven months after their wedding. He later remarried after his playing career concluded.[8] Beckley died of heart disease[9] in Kansas City, Missouri at the age of 50.[1] He was interred at the Riverside Cemetery in Hannibal.[1]


See also


  1. ^ a b c "Jake Beckley Stats". Baseball-Almanac.com. Retrieved .
  2. ^ a b c d Fleitz, David (2003). "The Baseball Biography Project - Jake Beckley". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Jake Beckley". Retrosheet.org. Retrieved .
  4. ^ Smith, Ira L. (1956). "Baseball's Famous First Basemen". Baseball Digest. New York: A.S. Barnes & Co. Retrieved 2012.
  5. ^ "Jake Beckley". Baseball Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2012.
  6. ^ "Pittsburgh Pirates Statistics at MLB.com". MLB.com. Retrieved 2012.
  7. ^ a b "Jake Beckley". BaseballHallOfFame.com. Archived from the original on 2007-08-20. Retrieved .
  8. ^ "Beckley enters Reds HOF for good reasons". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved 2014.[dead link]
  9. ^ "Jake Beckley". TheDeadballEra.com. Archived from the original on 2006-12-16. Retrieved .
  10. ^ "Pirates Hall of Fame". Pittsburgh.Pirates.MLB.com. Retrieved 2012.
  11. ^ "Reds Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2014". Cincinnati.Reds.MLB.com. Retrieved 2013.
  12. ^ http://www.prospectleague.com/view/prospectleague/prospect-league-news/news_404622

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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