100 Greatest Phillies: 99 – Kid Gleason – Phillies Nation
100 Greatest Phillies

100 Greatest Phillies: 99 – Kid Gleason

Kid Gleason
Starting Pitcher/Second Baseman
1888-1891, 1903-1908

Career w/Phillies: 1328.2 IP / 78-70 / 3.39 ERA / 475 K / .246 AVG / 2 HR / 228 RBI / 88 SB

William “Kid” Gleason was best known as manager of the 1919 Chicago White Sox, leading a team of players who tanked games because of their roles in a gambling scandal. But what you may not know is Gleason is something of a Philadelphia baseball icon. Born in Camden, he debuted with the Phillies in 1888 with a 2.84 ERA over 24 games. His best pitching season was 1890, when he won an astouding 38 games and recorded a 2.63 ERA. He followed that with a 24-21 season, then was sold to Saint Louis in 1892. He returned to Philadelphia 11 years later as a second baseman. Past his best offensive seasons, he still managed to hit .274 at age 37 before slowly wearing down. He played his final game at age 45, then turned to coaching, managing the Sox and working under Connie Mack for the Athletics. He died in Philadelphia, and was buried in Northwood Cemetery in West Oak Lane.

Comment: As a pitcher, Gleason rates high in Phillies history, but his somewhat weak hitting drops him down the list. Sure it was the dead-ball era, but two home runs in 10 seasons? He wasn’t an ace defender either — in 1904 he committed 52 errors. Still, Gleason had a few solid seasons and remains a local success story.



  1. Phillies Phan SC

    December 18, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    Too often we forget about the older players. Good second choice (or 99th)

  2. MikeMc26

    December 18, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    38 wins and a 2.63 ERA is crazy, even in the dead-ball days

  3. Jim

    December 18, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    As a side note, 38 wins is a club record

  4. RichieAllen

    December 18, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    Now I remember….This guy crossed the Delaware with Geo Washington,who was a good hitter-no glove 1st baseman for the Nationals.

  5. Megary

    December 18, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    I had him at 93 in the pool.

    Did I win?

  6. Phil

    December 18, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    good pick for 99. on a side note manual and gillick won tyib awards. glad fans can see charlie as manager of the year since baseball writers cant

  7. Realmetsfan

    December 18, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    Here is an add Chase Utley should be proud of

    Chase Utley is a great ball player, but he’s going to get abused by his own team mates and by opposing fans for this. What was he thinking. It can’t be about the money??? When he comes to New York, Mets fans are going to be all over this. Trust me.

  8. Woodman

    December 18, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    I’m sure Chase can care less what any MUTS fan may say…. since they have no class to begin with!

  9. john of Albuquerque

    December 18, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    Kid Gleason had 54 complete games and pitched 506 innings in 1890. He was only 5’7″ and in 1891 he pitched 418 innings and was 24-22. Good to see an old timer on the list.

  10. JohnKruksLoveChild

    December 18, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    Anyone recommend a good book about the old era of baseball ? I’ll be honest, anything prior to the 40s-50s is just a murky haze for me. Sure some of the big names are familiar, but otherwise it’s lost in time.

    Part of that is because when they throw up numbers that seem impressive, it’s hard to really wrap your head around it, because in so many ways it was a much, much different game back then. Small example, but hitting the ball until it was literally mushy and falling apart. Just think of all the almost homeruns or big hits that fell flat because the cover was falling off ! Or the evolution of the strike zone and the impact that has on the game. Sometimes I wonder if the baseball of old would even be enjoyable if you could be time-warped back to watch a game in the very early 1900s.

    In my day, we played baseball until the pitcher died of a stroke, and we liked it !

  11. Patrick

    December 18, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    52 errors in one season? wow

  12. Gavin

    December 18, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    I’ll never forget that game in 1891 when he struck out 7 NY Knickerbockers in a row. How is he only 99?

    BTW, Utley only rubs the vasoline into his skin for 15 secs? That has to be a record of some sort. If Kid Gleason could have done that I bet he would be at least #98.

  13. Jack

    December 18, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    looks like my dad

  14. Jason B

    December 18, 2008 at 5:36 pm

    I never thought I’d agree with a METS fan, but your right, WHAT WAS HE THINKING? WOW. 15 seconds working on his skin? Well, as far as MUTT fans getting all over him, They only wish they could get all over him! Chase is still the man, despite the unfortunate career move, and Chase will still “pound” the Mets, when he is not “pounding” his skin.

  15. Johnson

    December 18, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    u guys ever see the movie 8 men out? the guy who plays kid gleason is great…been in a ton of films

  16. Johnson

    December 18, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    not to metion way back then the pitchers instead of a rubber they had to stand on they had a pitchers box…i think it was something like 3feet by 1.5 feet that they could stand anywhere in…could switch it up and pitch from different angles for different batters

  17. RichieAllen

    December 18, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    looks like Lee Harvey Oswald who BTW comes in at #97

  18. Justin

    December 18, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    Though none of us were actually alive to see the team play i would call the 1919 roster he managed one of the best ever. I’m big into baseball history and have read just about anything and everything on the subject of the fix and I’m not entirely sure outside of 3 or 4 guys who actually “tanked” games I still feel that Joe Jackson deserves to be in the Hall of Fame for what how great he was. That man if he was playing in today’s game would still rake.

  19. Mark T

    December 18, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    Eight Men Out was a great movie and even better book. It goes to show that the root of most baseball (and sport) problems is ownership. Back then gamblers convinced players to fix the World Series because Charlie Comiskey wouldn’t give the players promised bonuses (ranging from performance incentives for individuals, to winning the pennant for the whole team). If you look at the steroid era that we’ve been through, it’s been promoted by owners looking the other way at obvious signs and paying more for the fake muscles that put record numbers of balls and fans in the seats. (Remember…”chicks dig the long ball”.)

    After the Black Sox scandal the owners came together to form the office of commissioner to cover their asses, but never expected the first man awarded the office, Kenesaw Landis, to take it so seriously. At least that portion of the situation showed what a commish with some stones could accomplish (read – Not Bud Selig).

  20. Kenny

    December 18, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    This is a great idea , i love reading about the old players and look forward to the rest of the list and hearing the memories people have about our beloved team and players. I cant wait to see the rest of the list.

  21. Kenny

    December 18, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    Justin i am huge into baseball history too, I even interned at the Hall of Fame, and you are absolutely right. He is one of the best if not the best natural hitters of all time no matter the era!

  22. unknowen

    February 9, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Phillies99@aol.com everyone be warned. I looked up on this person. They been sending out e-mails & spewing filth on aol posts & other sites the last year in a half with racial slurs. I don’t care if this is a kid or not . He’s gotta learn you can’t be spewing racial re-marks. So glad he made philly look bad . He claimed all is racist down there along with him. He makes it look like a bad state when he throws haterd comments on websites. Sorry dude but you sound like a total whack-job. It just never ends with this person. He can show his pride for philly games. I have no issue with that. When he starts bashing people who don’t agree with him. Then I got an issue. This redneck -white racist piece of scum. Should be chased out of philly & move to another country. I don’t care if he does get chased out he already makes the state & people kinda look bad by the way he writes. He needs to think twice. And keep his racial-hatered slurs to himself. He only has enough sense to post about philly games on sites. The rest he just throws hatered . He’s a wannabe I think. He should come down here to the South. They’ll love him…. Ha ! They’ed laugh him out of the state. (punk)

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