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Leo Kiely

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Leo Patrick Kiely
(Kiki)

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[edit] Biographical Information

Leo Kiely was a very good reliever in the majors, posting a 125 ERA+. Kiely, who went 7-7 in the majors with the Boston Red Sox in 1951, missed 1952 due to military service and in 1953 became the first ex-major leaguer to play in Nippon Pro Baseball, appearing for the Mainichi Orions and going 6-0. He came back to the majors from 1954 to 1956 and 1958 to 1960, his final season being spent with the Kansas City Athletics.

He was 63-36 in the minors - in 1957 he was 21-6 for the San Francisco Seals with a 2.22 ERA; he led the Pacific Coast League in victories. The odd part was that Kiely only started 3 games, going 1-2, before being moved to the bullpen. His 20 relief wins are a PCL record as are his 14 consecutive relief wins. The 1958 Sporting News Baseball Guide also credits Kiely with 11 saves during the 14-win streak, but it is unclear what standard was used, as saves were not officially a statistic until 1969.

[edit] Further Reading

  • Greg Erion: "Leo Kiely", in Mark Armour and Bill Nowlin, eds.: Red Sox Baseball in the Days of Ike and Elvis: The Red Sox of the 1950s, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2012, pp. 59-68. ISBN 978-1933599243

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