First appearing with the Troy Trojans in 1880, Tim Keefe toiled for the mediocre club for three years before moving to the New York Metropolitans of the American Association in 1883. The change of location served him well as he won 41 games, completing all 68 games he started to the tune of 619 innings pitched. He would win another 37 the following year before being purchased by the New York Giants in 1885. His win totals over five seasons with the Giants were 32, 42, 35, 35 and 28. He led the league in wins in 1886 and 1888 and in WHIP (admittedly a statistic that didn’t exist at the time) four times. While his skills dropped off when he jumped to the Players League in 1890, and never really returned, he still finished his career with 342 wins with a lifetime ERA of 2.63 and a .603 winning percentage.
Keefe was a labor activist and loathed the Reserve Clause, leading him to be a driving force behind the Players League.
July 20, 2011