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Pete Gillespie

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Peter Patrick Gillespie

  • Bats Left, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 1½", Weight 178 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

Pete Gillespie, also known as Patrick or Pat Gillespie, first played in the National League in 1880 at the age of 28. He had a decent eight-year career with the Troy Trojans and the New York Gothams.

He kept good company - his teammates included Buck Ewing, Roger Connor, Dan Brouthers, Mickey Welch, and Tim Keefe.

He was born in Pennsylvania in 1851 of Irish parents. He worked in the coal fields as a youth. He played in local amateur games in 1874 and 1875. On tour around the state, his team won every game in 1875.

He played again on an amateur team in 1876, one which played both amateur and professional opponents. In 1877, he joined the Wilkes-Barre semi-pro team. In 1878, he played for a Massachusetts team called the Live Oaks. In 1879, he joined a team in Holyoke that was part of the National Association of Base-Ball Clubs, where he hit .411. Connor and Welch were both on the team.

He made his mark in the 1880s early on as a top fielder. However, in 1882, he sustained a serious injury as the result of a collision in the outfield.

Although the New York team was called the Gothams, they were sometimes called the Giants because several of the players, including Gillespie, were quite tall for the time. The team eventually became the New York Giants. It was said that he could have played longer in the major leagues, but insisted on a salary that was not acceptable to the Gothams.

In 1888, he played for two International Association teams, but was released by both. He then played for an amateur team that played the Cuban Giants and got beaten by them 10-0.

His obituary stated that he was the first player to get a salary of $2,800. His brother Jack was said to have been one of the first pitchers to throw a curve ball.

In 1892 it was reported that he was working in the mines in Pennsylvania for $1 a day, but that availability of work was on-and-off.

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