While researching some things, I came across Kid Gleason’s stat line one season. You may remember Gleason as the manager of the Chicago White Sox during the Black Sox scandle. He was the likable manager in the movie Eight Men Out who told Charles Comiskey he thought the series might be fixed. He was played by John Mahoney, Kelsey Grammer’s father in the sitcom Frasier.
William J. Gleason began his career in 1888 as a 21-year-old pitcher with the Philadelphia Quakers (Phillies). He played a little at other positions, but primarily pitched for four years before being traded to the St. Louis Browns. He saw increased playing time as a fielder and didn’t pitch after the 1895 season. He concluded his 21-year playing career as a second baseman for six years back with the Phillies 1903-08. Although, he did add a year to his career by playing 3.0 innings at second base for the White Sox in 1912.
What caught my eye was his stat line for 1890. He pitched in 60 games, 55 as a starter. He threw 54 complete games and tallied 506.0 innings pitched. He had a 2.63 ERA and 38-17 record. He threw 6 shutouts and saved a league-leading 2 games. None of his other stats led the league. He gave up 479 hits, 8 HR, 167 walks, and struck out 222 batters. He faced 2163 batters, hit 15, balked once, and threw 11 wild pitches. He posted a a 1.277 WHIP, 139 ERA+, and a 3.32 FIP.
Gleason’s 506 innings pitched was only third highest in the National League that season. Bill Hutchinson of the Chicago Colts threw 603.0 innings. The eight teams played 132-game seasons. Half carried just 6 pitchers. The Phillies had a 10-man staff. Others had 9, 12, and the 23-win Pittsburgh Alleghenys used 22 pitchers during the season.
Gleason coached the White Sox from 1912 until he was elevated to manager before the 1919 season. He retired from managing in 1923. He returned to baseball two years later as a coach for the Philadelphia A’s and retired for good after the 1931 season. He was part of the coaching staff for the great A’s teams from 1929-31 that went to the world series three time and won twice.