John Alexander McPhee
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 8", Weight 152 lb.
- Debut May 2, 1882
- Final Game October 15, 1899
- Born November 1, 1859 in Massena, NY USA
- Died January 3, 1943 in San Diego, CA USA
"The glove business has gone a little too far. True, hot-hit balls do sting a little at the opening of the season, but after you get used to it, there is no trouble on that score." - Bid McPhee, on playing barehanded
"Nobody . . . pulled off the plays that McPhee did . . . second basemen may come and second basemen may go, but it will take a Corker to eclipse "King Bid's" great work afield." - from Sporting Life, June 24, 1911
Bid McPhee was a Hall of Fame second baseman best known as the last player to play the field without a fielder's glove. McPhee broke into the majors in 1882 with the American Association's Cincinnati Red Stockings. He stayed with the Red Stockings, who moved to the National League and changed their name to the Reds in 1890, for his entire career. If the National Association is considered to be a major league, McPhee was the only 19th Century Hall of Famer to play his entire major league career for the same team.
McPhee was a good but not outstanding hitter, with an average batting average and power and above average on-base skill, and an excellent baserunner, with more than 500 stolen bases. His exact stolen base total is unknown because stolen bases were not an official statistic for his entire career. He was better known as an outstanding fielder who routinely led the league in fielding percentage despite his refusal to wear a glove. When he finally gave in and started wearing a glove (in 1896), he set a new record for fielding percentage that lasted for more than 20 years.
Shortly after retiring as a player in 1899, McPhee rejoined the Reds as a manager, albeit without much success. He led the team to a last place finish in 1901 and was replaced as manager with a record of 27-37 in 1902. He also scouted for the Reds.
A SABR publication indicates that McPhee was a bookkeeper by trade and loved to go hunting. In the winter after 1887 he played barnstorming games in California.
The San Francisco Call newspaper dated August 11, 1907 reports that McPhee "is successful business man in Cincinnati". See here for the newspaper.
Last player to take the field without a glove
- AA Triple Leader (1887)
- AA Home Runs Leader (1886)
- 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 10 (1884, 1886, 1887 & 1889-1895)
- 50 Stolen Bases Seasons: 4 (1887-1890)
- Baseball Hall of Fame: Class of 2000
|Cincinnati Reds Manager
Year-By-Year Managerial Record
|1901||Cincinnati Reds||National League||52-87||8th||Cincinnati Reds|
|1902||Cincinnati Reds||National League||27-37||--||Cincinnati Reds||Replaced by Frank Bancroft on July 11|
- Putouts, second baseman, career, 6552
- Putouts, second baseman, season, 529, 1886
- Triple plays, career, 9 (tied)
- Triple plays, second baseman, career, 9
- David L. Fleitz: "Bid McPhee", in Ghosts in the Gallery at Cooperstown: Sixteen Little-Known Members of the Hall of Fame, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2004, pp. 216-228. ISBN 978-0-7864-1749-0