Skip to main content

Sunday School: History Lesson 50

Bill Killefer was a catcher for the Phillies from 1911-1917. Killefer's excellent defense kept him employed in the Major Leagues for over a decade. He led the league in fielding percentage four times. Killefer took over as the Phillies' everyday catcher in 1912 and quickly built a reputation for gunning down opposing baserunners. In 1913, he played 120 games and threw out 130 baserunners.

At the plate, Killefer provided minimal offensive pop. During his time with the Phillies, his batting average was .244 or lower in every season except one. In his 13 combined years in the Majors, he hit a grand total of 4 homers and drove in more than 30 runs in a season only once. To top that off, Killefer acquired the nickname "Reindeer Bill" for his lack of speed on the bases.

Part of the Phillies' 1915 pennant winning team, it was Killefer's superb handling of the Phils' pitching staff that enhanced his value. He became Hall of Fame pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander's favorite catcher. Killefer was often credited with tutoring Alexander's development. The two players grew so tight that they were even traded together to the Cubs after the 1917 season.

1917 was, in fact, Killefer's best offensive season. In 125 games, he batted .274, drove in 31 runs and reached a single season career high with 112 hits.

With Chicago, Killefer won a second NL pennant the following season. In 1921, Killefer began pulling double duty when he was named manager of the Cubs. It was his last season as a player. He stayed on as manager of the Cubs for three more seasons. "Reindeer Bill" went on to manage the lowly St. Louis Browns in the 1930's, and would coach in the Majors after that as well.

Bill's brother Wade also played in the Majors.

------------------------------

Follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter HERE!


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Diekman a Late Addition to Mesa AFL Roster

On Wednesday, Phillies lefty pitching prospect Jacob Diekman made his Arizona Fall League debut. Diekman, who was drafted in the 30th round of the 2007 amateur draft, was assigned to Mesa late, in order to increase his 2010 innings total, according to Mesa hitting coach Mark Parent, who managed Diekman in Lakewood this past season. Diekman, 23, posted a 2-0 record with 1.90 ERA in 21 games with Class A Lakewood before being promoted to High-A Clearwater on June 24th. In 24 games with the Threshers, Diekman went 0-2 with a 3.66 ERA. Combined, Diekman tossed 55 2/3 innings and held opponents to a .187 batting average against at two levels in 2010. However, after not pitching in an official game since he threw a shutout inning to wrap up the Clearwater season on September 5th, Diekman was unable to record an out as all seven batters he faced reached base, six with hits, one on an error. Diekman was charged with 5 earned runs in the outing. Diekman had spent time at instructional ball from

McGwire Stays Phony, Despite Admitting Drug Use

Mark McGwire made an effort to publicly come clean today, admitting to the world that he took performance enhancing drugs during his playing career. Steroids and human growth hormones were among the drugs that McGwire admitted to using. MLB Network featured a one on one interview with Bob Costas and McGwire on Monday evening. The broadcast was virtually garbage, thanks to McGwire. Ahead is a list of quotes from McGwire's interview. McGwire repeatedly stated his point of view that there were no dishonorable intentions involved when taking steroids, and that he was merely using them as a means to recover from varying ailments. When asked if he felt like he cheated... "As I look back now...I can see how people would say that. As far as the talent goes and the hand-eye coordination, the ability, the genetics I was given...I don't see it." "I did not take this for any strength purposes." Denial. Read on for similar B.S. He whined about the abuse he's taken at

Bubby Rossman's long awaited MLB debut

Eight years after he initially signed a professional contract with the Dodgers and a five-year stretch playing away from affiliated ball, Bubby Rossman became a major leaguer on Wednesday. Added as a substitute for pitcher Kyle Gibson, who is restricted from travel to Canada for the Phillies' series in Toronto, due to his medical inability to be vaccinated from COVID-19, Rossman took the mound for the first time in the majors. Rossman, who was a 22nd round draft selection in 2014 had pitched in 200 professional games before his one-inning outing in the Phillies' 8-2 loss to the Blue Jays. In 27 appearances with Double-A Reading this year, the 30-year-old right-hander has performed well, tallying a 2-2 record with a save, a 3.32 ERA and a .200 batting average against.   The embedded video below features a media session with Rossman from prior to opening day this year, in which the California native discusses his journey through independent baseball and back to affiliated ball wi