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Charlie Kelly

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Charles J. Kelly

  • Bats Right, Throws Right

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[edit] Biographical Information

Charlie Kelly played briefly for teams in Philadelphia, PA, namely the Philadelphia Quakers in 1883 and the Philadelphia Athletics in 1886. His major league career amounted to 3 games. Not much is known about him, but there exists an 1887 baseball card of him, so we know that he is not, for example, King Kelly, another Kelly of the time.

Kelly's name first turned up in an account of an exhibition game played by the Quakers on June 13, 1883, a day before his major league debut, where he was the third baseman for the team. It is noted that he was a player for the Solar Tips team, a local semi-pro team sponsored by the John Mundell Shoe Company. When he showed with the Athletics, three years later, newspapers again mentioned he was from the Solar Tips. In his second stint, he was used at shortstop, although the same newspaper said he was also a catcher. His name was sometimes spelled "Kelley". There were two other Kellys playing for the Solar Tips, known by their initials as "P. Kelly" and "R. Kelly" although it was not known if the three were related in any way.

On December 6, 1917, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the skeleton of a former ballplayer, William C. Kelly, had been found in a wooded area in Clifton Heights, PA. The article went on to say that William had three brothers, all ballplayers: John, Charles and Thomas. John was actually John Kelly, who had a longer big league career. William is identified as a former member of the Solar Tips. This news clip enabled researchers to trace the Kelly family in Clifton Heights through census records; Charles was the oldest child of weaver Thomas Kelly, an immigrant from Ireland, with four younger brother, John being the youngest (and two sisters). Charles was then traced until his death in the same town in 1940, of a heart attack at age 78. His obituary mentions that he was a baseball player and that he worked for the Mundell Shoe Company for a number of years.

[edit] Further Reading

  • "Charles Kelly", in Bill Carle, ed.: Biographical Committee Report, SABR, May/June, 2014, pp. 11-13.

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