Ed McKean

Slugging Shortstop of the Cleveland Spiders


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About the Book

The exemplar of the major league slugging shortstop before either Honus Wagner or Lou Boudreau, Ed McKean spent a dozen seasons as a high-profile contributor to the Cleveland Spiders, leading his team to three playoff berths and the 1895 Temple Cup championship. He played in no fewer than four of the Society for American Baseball Research’s “100 greatest games of the 19th century.”
This first McKean biography returns the charismatic Irishman to the spotlight, recounting his efforts to reimagine himself as one of Cleveland’s original sports heroes, his struggle to win a significant place in fin de siècle America, and his leading role in the Emerald Age of baseball. Appendices provide his major league career batting record, his year-by-year offensive rankings, and even lines from a poem attributed to him.

About the Author(s)

Rich Blevins is professor emeritus of English at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, and a member of the Society for American Baseball Research.

Bibliographic Details

Rich Blevins
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 356
Bibliographic Info: 44 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7334-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1553-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments  ix

Preface: Before Boudreau, or Why McKean Matters  1

Prelude: October 11, 1895, 187 Superior Avenue, Cleveland  7

One. The Fields of Ohio (1884)  19

Two. The Best Shortstop in the International League (1885–1886)  38

1895 Temple Cup: October 1, Cleveland  56

Three. The Invention of the Slugging Shortstop (1887–1888)  71

Four. Ed McKean and the Players’ Revolt (1889–1890)  88

1895 Temple Cup: October 2, Game One  111

Five. The Spiders Make a “World’s Series” (1891–1892)  119

Six. Patsy’s Hibernian Spiders (1893–1894)  144

1895 Temple Cup: October 3 and 5, Games Two and Three  166

Seven. Temple Cup Champs (1895–1896 seasons)  172

Eight. Home on the Road (1897–1899)  200

1895 Temple Cup: October 7, Game Four  232

Nine. The Hero of Rochester Revisited (seasons of 1902,

1905–1906)  238

Ten. A Pennant for Springfield (1907–1908 seasons)  265

1895 Temple Cup: October 8, Final Game  293

Appendix A: Ed McKean’s Major League Career Batting Record  299

Appendix B: Ed McKean’s ­Year-by-Year Offensive Rankings  300

Appendix C: Lines from a Poem Attributed by Elmer Bates to Ed McKean  305

Chapter Notes  307

Bibliography  325

Index  331