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Russ McKelvy

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Russell Errett McKelvy

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Russ McKelvy was a regular for the 1878 Indianapolis Blues, and then four years later appeared in one game for the 1882 Pittsburgh Alleghenys. He is mentioned in the book 19th Century and Black Baseball in Indianapolis, which says that the Blues were previously an amateur team formed in 1876, but the book doesn't say whether McKelvy was on the team in 1876.

The 1878 Blues were an under-.500 team which disbanded when the money ran out. They did, however, play a full schedule in 1878 and McKelvy led the league in games played (63). He also hit two home runs, which was notable because only four players in the entire league hit two or more home runs that season (Paul Hines was the league leader with four).

McKelvy had been at Allegheny College from 1873-77 before coming to the Blues in 1878.

Russ was the only position player on the 1878 team given the chance to also pitch, and his 2.16 ERA was second best on the staff. However, while his six earned runs were decent, his 17 unearned runs were a bit high.

When not pitching in 1878, he played center field with good defensive stats.

"Rus McKelvy is in Denver and wealthy. I only carried ten players in the good old days. Billy Holbert, catcher, and McKelvy, pitcher, played in the outfield when not on the points." - Manager William Coates, remembering his Pittsburgh team in the 1870's, quoted in Sporting Life, April 25, 1914

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