Kenneth Frederick Keltner
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 190 lb.
- High School Boys Technical High School (Milwaukee)
- Debut October 2, 1937
- Final Game May 25, 1950
- Born October 31, 1916 in Milwaukee, WI USA
- Died December 12, 1991 in New Berlin, WI USA
Ken Keltner was a top third baseman during his time in the majors, often being named to the All-Star team in the 1940s while playing for the Cleveland Indians. His most impressive year with the bat was probably 1948, late in his career, when he hit 31 home runs with 119 RBI. His team went on to win the 1948 World Series that year.
He was a truck driver when discovered playing softball in 1936 by the minor league Milwaukee Brewers. After two strong years in the minors, he became quite prominent in the majors as a third baseman, being named as an All-Star seven times in a thirteen-year career.
Keltner entered the Navy in March 1945 and was released in March 1946. As a result, he missed the entire 1945 season.
After his major league career, Keltner played for Sacramento in 1951.
In the 1980s, former major leaguer Paul Schramka and a number of people around Cleveland and Milwaukee launched a campaign to have Ken Keltner elected to the Hall of Fame. Bill James received some of their promotional materials, and as a result decided to examine Keltner's case in detail. He came to the conclusion that Keltner, while a good player, was not quite of the level to deserve enshrinement in the Hall. During this study, he developed a set of questions to be asked about any player being considered for the Hall of Fame, in order to set out what are the major arguments for and against enshrinement. This list of questions is now known as the Keltner List and is regularly used in articles written by analysts when new candidates for the Hall make their appearance on the annual ballot.
- 7-time AL All-Star (1940-1944, 1946 & 1948)
- 20-Home Run Seasons: 3 (1938, 1941 & 1948)
- 30-Home Run Seasons: 1 (1948)
- 100 RBI Seasons: 2 (1938 & 1948)
- Won a World Series with the Cleveland Indians in 1948
- Bill James: "The Keltner List", in Whatever Happened to the Hall of Fame, Fireside Books, Simon & Schuster, New York, NY, 1995, pp. 274-285.