Friday, December 9, 2016

12/9 Birthdays: HBD Handsome Joe, Mike, Adam, Henry & Doc

  • 1871 - OF’er “Handsome Joe” Kelley was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He played for 17 MLB seasons, but only spent a partial campaign in Pittsburgh, hitting .239 in 56 games in 1892 as a wet-behind-the-ears 21 year-old. Pity the Bucs didn’t hang on to him - Joe was an early five tool player, one of the linchpins of the powerful early Baltimore Oriole clubs and a Hall of Famer. He finished with a lifetime .317/.402/.451 slash and 443 stolen bases. Joe knocked in 100+ runs in five straight seasons, scored 100+ runs six times and had 212 assists from the OF; one story about his fielding prowess claims that he hid balls in the pasture so that if one got by him, he had another stashed away near at hand. When he retired, he stayed in the MLB mix as a manager, scout, and coach. As for his nickname, SABR’s Jimmy Keenan wrote “Dubbed ‘Handsome Joe Kelley’ by his multitude of female admirers in Baltimore, he kept a small mirror and comb in his back pocket in order to maintain his well-groomed appearance during games.”
Mike Mitchell 1913-14 (photo Conlon Collection/The Sporting News)
  • 1979 - OF Mike Mitchell was born in Springfield, Ohio. Mike was known for his speed and strong arm, leading the NL in triples and outfield assists early in his career. He finished his MLB time in 1913-14, hitting .250 over that span for the Pirates before being waived to the Senators to complete his eight-year big league tenure.
  • 1905 - OF Adam Comorosky was born in Swoyersville, in Luzerne county. He played eight years (1926-33) for the Pirates with a line of .285/26/363. In 1929 and ‘30, he was one of the hot NL bats. Over that period, he hit .317 with 216 RBI and 198 runs scored, banging out 73 doubles, 34 triples (he led the NL with 23 in ‘30) and 18 homers. Adam is the only NL outfielder to register two unassisted double plays in a season, both within the span of a week in 1931.
  • 1914 - C Henry Camelli was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Camelli was a reserve during the war years (he only got three at-bats in 1945 due to service obligations) with a Bucco BA of .229 between 1943-46. Hank played just 159 games in his MLB career, but paid his dues with 13 minor league campaigns. He once caught six straight doubleheaders while on the farm.
Doc Medich 1967 Topps
  • 1948 - RHP George “Doc” Medich was born in Aliquippa and became a three-sport star at Hopewell HS. For a local boy (he played football and baseball at Pitt, starting on both squads), he didn’t get much Pirates love, pitching just one of his 11 big league season in Pittsburgh, going 8-11/3.52 in 1976. Doc lived up to his name. Twice as a player (once as a Pirate) he went into the stands to perform CPR on a fan, saving one of the victims. Doc was chosen as a member of the Beaver County Hall of Fame.

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