Kid Gleason

From BR Bullpen

Kid Gleason.jpg

William J. Gleason

  • Bats Both, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 7", Weight 158 lb.

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

Gleason shown in Chicago in 1921

The brother of Harry Gleason, Kid Gleason is often remembered only as the manager of the Black Sox in 1919. However, he played 22 years in the major leagues, including eight as a pitcher. As a pitcher he won 138 games, winning 38 in 1890. As a hitter he had nearly 2,000 hits and led the league twice in sacrifice hits. As a position player he was primarily a second baseman, appearing in 1583 games at that position.

Gleason went on to serve as a coach for the Philadelphia Phillies from 1908 to 1911 and had two stints on the Chicago White Sox coaching staff, first from 1912 to 1914 and again in 1916 and 1917. He became the Sox manager in 1919 and managed the club for five years. Ironically, his team won more games in 1920 than in 1919, even though it won the pennant in the 1919 but finished second the next year. He was later a Philadelphia Athletics coach from 1926 to 1932.

He umpired a few games in the National League in 1890 and 1892.

Gleason's biography done as part of the SABR BioProject is rife with errors. For instance, it credits Gleason with inventing the intentional walk while with the Giants between 1896 and 1900, although the intentional walk was used in the 1880s, and Bill Deane has been unable to verify any 19th Century bases-loaded intentional walks. For another, it says Gleason "believed in preseason conditioning long before the popularity of spring training". Spring training was popular, or at least common, before Gleason's career began.

At another point, it seems to be intentionally misleading, claiming that Gleason struck out only 131 times in his career, when in fact that is his total through 1896, the last year in his career that the statistic was kept. Gleason walked 180 times in the same years that he struck out 131 times. Another obvious misstatement is found in here: "Gleason played a pivotal role in building an obscure franchise into a three-time world championship team", referring to the Athletics. Besides the ridiculousness of describing them as obscure, they only won two World Series while Gleason was coaching for them.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • NL Saves Leader (1890)
  • 20 Wins Seasons: 4 (1890-1893)
  • 30 Wins Seasons: 1 (1890)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 6 (1889-1894)
  • 300 Innings Pitched Seasons: 4 (1890-1893)
  • 400 Innings Pitched Seasons: 3 (1890-1892)
  • 500 Innings Pitched Seasons: 1 (1890)
  • 200 Strikeouts Seasons: 1 (1890)
  • 100 RBI Seasons: 1 (1897)
  • AL Pennants: 1 (1919)

Preceded by
Pants Rowland
Chicago White Sox Manager
Succeeded by
Johnny Evers

Year-By-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs
1919 Chicago White Sox American League 88-52 1st Chicago White Sox Lost World Series
1920 Chicago White Sox American League 96-58 2nd Chicago White Sox
1921 Chicago White Sox American League 62-92 7th Chicago White Sox
1922 Chicago White Sox American League 77-77 5th Chicago White Sox
1923 Chicago White Sox American League 69-85 7th Chicago White Sox

Further Reading[edit]

  • Dan Lindner: "Kid Gleason", in Jacob Pomrenke, ed.: Scandal on the South Side: The 1919 Chicago White Sox, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2015, pp. 249-254. ISBN 978-1-933599-95-3

Related Sites[edit]