William Joseph Bradley
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 185 lb.
- High School Immaculate Conception School (Cleveland)
- Debut August 26, 1899
- Final Game September 28, 1915
- Born February 13, 1878 in Cleveland, OH USA
- Died March 11, 1954 in Cleveland, OH USA
"Well, if I could field and bat like Bradley, I should lay claim to that title myself." - Jimmy Collins, when asked in 1904 by a fan who the best third baseman in baseball was
An excellent hitter and fielder, Bill Bradley was regarded as one of the top third baseman of the early 20th century.
Bradley began his pro career in 1897 and reached the majors with the Chicago Orphans in 1899. After spending 1900 as Chicago's regular third baseman, he jumped to the Cleveland Blues of the upstart American League the next year. In his first year in Cleveland, 1901, he recorded seven putouts in a game, and in 1902, he homered in four straight contests, a particularly impressive feat during the Deadball Era; this came in the middle of a 29-game hitting streak, the longest in the AL that season. He was the first American League player to homer in four straight games, but the feat was duplicated only a month later by Bill Keister. He ended the campaign with career highs in batting average (.340, sixth best in the AL) and home runs (11, second in the circuit). He remained in the top ten in batting, slugging, and home runs the next two seasons, and he managed the club (now known as the Cleveland Naps) for part of the 1905 season.
Bradley missed much of the 1906 season after suffering a broken arm, then contracting typhoid fever. He returned full-time in 1907 but was not the same player at the plate. In 1908, he did set a record with 60 sacrifice hits (later broken by Ray Chapman in 1917). After playing for Cleveland through 1910, he spent three seasons in the minors with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He returned to the majors as manager (and occasional player) for the Brooklyn Tip-Tops of the Federal League in 1914. After guiding the club to a .500 record and a fifth place finish, he moved on to the Kansas City Packers in strictly a playing capacity in 1915, his final year in the majors.
Following his playing days, Bradley scouted for Cleveland for 25 years, retiring in 1953. He died of pneumonia in March 1954, months before he was inducted into the Indians Hall of Fame.
|Cleveland Naps Manager
Year-By-Year Managerial Record
|1905||Cleveland Naps||American League||20-21||--||Cleveland Naps||replaced Nap Lajoie (35-21) on July 2 /|
replaced by Nap Lajoie on August 17
|1914||Brooklyn Tip-Tops||Federal League||77-77||5th||Brooklyn Tip-Tops|
|1916||Erie Sailors||Interstate League||26-37||7th||none||team disbanded on August 9|