Making his debut with the Boston Beaneaters in 1891, by the following year Joe Kelley was playing for the National League Baltimore Orioles. It was in Baltimore, under the tutelage of Ned Hanlon and playing alongside Hughie Jennings, Wilbert Robinson and John McGraw, that Kelley became a part of one of the best teams in the history of the game. Kelley batted better than .300 twelve times, including an incredible .393 in 1894. He hit for power as well, knocking in 100+ RBIs five years in a row and clubbing 10 home runs in 1895. Additionally, Kelley was a deft base stealer, leading the league with 87 in 1896. Kelley became the player/manager of the Cincinnati Reds in 1903 and would helm the team until 1905.
Kelley is buried in New Cathedral Cemetery in Baltimore, MD, the same cemetery as his old mates, Robinson, Hanlon and McGraw. No other graveyard serves as the final resting place for so many Hall of Famers.
July 8, 2011