Saturday, May 30, 2015

#94 Leo Kiely

Leo Kiely, Boston Red Sox

Career: Kiely went 7-7 in his rookie year of 1951 and then had his career interrupted by a stint in the military. He pitched in Japan in 1953 and later returned stateside to resume his major league career. After 1954 he bacame a full time reliever and was third in the AL in saves in 1958 with 12. His most successful year came while pitching in the PCL in 1957. That year he won 21 games, 20 of them out of the bullpen.

In 1960: Kiely was actually a member of the Kansas City Athletics in 1960 having been dealt twice over the winter. The BoSox sent him to the Indians in January and he was traded again, to the A's this time, just before Opening Day.

In KC he made 20 appearances up through June 20th. All were in relief and most were very good. He allowed only 4 earned runs in 21 innings. After his third blown save he disappeared from the majors. He was suffering from a sore elbow and had surgery to remove bone chips but never pitched again.

WikiFacts: From his SABR bio: Frank Sullivan, a keen observer of his surroundings, described Kiely’s penchant for beer: “He was one of the all-time beer drinkers. Never loud, never out of hand, he could sit quietly and drink you into oblivion. I continually marveled at the way he would pour each bottle of beer slowly and deliberately into a small glass and savor each sip as if it were the first of the day. I believe he was made up of 98% liquid. After five warm-up pitches he would literally be dripping sweat from the bill of his cap. His personality was as even-keeled as anyone I had ever met; he had absolutely no enemies. I counted him as one of my best pals on the team. Leo was one of the sweetest guys I ever met. There wasn't a bad bone in his skinny body."

The Card: My copy is a bit faded with soft corners and it's miscut. In other's perfect for my needs. That's Yankee Stadium and I've seen enough of that usher in the stands over Kiely's shoulder  on other cards in the '59 and '60 sets to think of him as a family friend.

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