Jake Beckley debuted in 1888 with the Pittsburgh Alleghenys/Pirates and immediately established himself as “Eagle Eye,” a nickname that would follow him throughout his career. A star in Pittsburgh until 1896 (one of those with the Player’s League Burghers in 1890), Beckley hit 19 triples five years in a row, a sign of not only tremendous speed and skill, but consistency. After a brief stop with the New York Giants in 1896, by the following year he would revive his flagging career with the Cincinnati Reds, where he would hit better than .300 in six of the next seven seasons (and thirteen times total in his career). Because of his solid defense and long, twenty-year career, Beckley still hold the record for most putouts by a first baseman and, subsequently, most putouts ever by a player. He ended his career in 1907 as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals, retiring with a .308 batting average. He ranks fourth all-time in triples.
September 16, 2016