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King Kelly
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Baseball Player
    (December 31, 1857-November 8, 1894)
    Born in Troy, New York
    Birth name was Michael Joseph Kelly
    Outfielder/back-up catcher for the Cincinnati Reds (1878-79), Chicago White Stockings (1880-86), Boston Beaneaters (1887-89,1892), Boston Reds (1890-91), Cincinnati Kellys (1891) and New York Giants (1893)
    Two-time National League batting champion (1884,1886)
    Subject of the popular song 'Slide, Kelly, Slide' (1893)
    Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame (1945)
    He frequently appeared in public with a pet monkey on his shoulder.
    Games in his day were played with only one umpire and if the umpire was not looking, he would run directly from first to third, skipping second base.
    He was traded from Chicago to Boston over his drinking and discipline problems.
    Asked about rumors that he drank during games, he replied, 'It depends on how long the game is.'
    He opened a saloon with his drinking buddies.
    He drank himself to death in his mid-30s.
    He was orphaned at 13 and had to go to work in a textile mill.
    Over the course of his career, he played every position on the diamond, including twelve games as pitcher.
    He popularized the hook slide and the hit and run.
    He was one of the first superstars of baseball.
    He signed baseball's first licensing agreement, when the Boston Beaneaters agreed to pay him $3,000 for the rights to use his name and picture.
    His funeral was the largest Boston had seen at the time.

Credit: C. Fishel

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