Roger Philip Bresnahan
(The Duke Of Tralee)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 9", Weight 200 lb.
- High School Toledo Central High School
- Debut August 27, 1897
- Final Game October 3, 1915
- Born June 11, 1879 in Toledo, OH USA
- Died December 4, 1944 in Toledo, OH USA
Bresnahan began his career playing for a team in Lima, Ohio, and was an eighteen year old pitcher for the 1897 Washington Senators, going 4-0 with a 3.95 ERA in six appearances. After playing with the Toledo Mud Hens for a time, he returned to the majors with the 1900 Chicago Orphans, appearing in two games as a catcher. He spent the next season and a half with the Baltimore Orioles, splitting time between the outfield and behind the plate.
Midway through the 1902 campaign, Bresnahan, pitcher Joe McGinnity, and manager John McGraw jumped from the Orioles to the New York Giants of the National League, the club with which he would have his greatest seasons. He hit .350 and stole 34 bases with the team in 1903 and was a member of the 1905 world champs. In the 1905 World Series, he caught a record four shutouts (three by Christy Mathewson) while batting .313.
After the 1908 season, Bresnahan was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals, whom he was also given the opportunity to manage. The club finished in the second division in each of his four years at the helm, and he saw only part-time duty on the field. He was then sold to the Chicago Cubs, whom he also managed in 1915, his final season as both a big league player and skipper.
Bresnahan returned to his hometown and purchased the Toledo Iron Men (later known as the Mud Hens) in 1916. He appointed himself president of the franchise until he left in 1925 and also served as manager, coach, and player. He later was a Giants coach (under skipper John McGraw) from 1925 to 1928 and a member of the Detroit Tigers staff in 1930 and 1931.
Bresnahan is credited with inventing shin guards and was the first catcher to use them, while he was playing for the Giants. He also developed a leather batting helmet in 1908 after he was severely injured by a beaning.
Bresnahan was nicknamed "The Duke of Tralee" because he told people he was born in Tralee, Ireland. In reality, he was born and died in Toledo, Ohio, and is the only Toledoan to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame. He was also the first catcher elected to Cooperstown, and he was also highlighted in Heroes Behind the Mask as one of the top catchers of all-time.
In 1901, Bresnahan lost a game as a pitcher. He was the last bona fide catcher to lose a game until Jamie Burke in 2008.
His great-nephew was Dave Bresnahan.
- NL Bases on Balls Leader (1908)
- Won a World Series with the New York Giants in 1905
- Baseball Hall of Fame: Class of 1945
|St. Louis Cardinals Manager
|Chicago Cubs Manager
Year-By-Year Managerial Record
|1909||St. Louis Cardinals||National League||54-98||7th||St. Louis Cardinals|
|1910||St. Louis Cardinals||National League||63-90||7th||St. Louis Cardinals|
|1911||St. Louis Cardinals||National League||75-74||5th||St. Louis Cardinals|
|1912||St. Louis Cardinals||National League||63-90||6th||St. Louis Cardinals|
|1915||Chicago Cubs||National League||73-80||4th||Chicago Cubs|
|1916||Toledo Iron Men||American Association||76-86||6th||none|
|1917||Toledo Iron Men||American Association||57-95||8th||none|
|1918||Toledo Iron Men||American Association||23-54||8th||none||League suspended operations on July 21|
|1919||Toledo Mud Hens||American Association||37-44||7th||none||replaced Rollie Zeider (22-47) on July 15|
|1920||Toledo Mud Hens||American Association||87-78||3rd||none|
|1922||Toledo Mud Hens||American Association||0-2||--||none|| replaced Fred Luderus (3-19) on May 12/|
replaced by Al Wickland (15-3) on May 26