Michael “Smiling Mickey” Welch

Michael “Smiling Mickey” Welch

Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
Death 30 Jul 1941 (aged 82)
Concord, Merrimack County, New Hampshire, USA
Burial Woodside, Queens County, New York, USA
Plot Section 4, Range 17, Plot S, Grave 6
Memorial ID 2735 · View Source
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Hall of Fame Major League Baseball Player. He teamed with long-time teammate Tim Keefe to forge the top pitching duo of the 19th century. In 1885 alone, they won 76 games. Dubbed "Smiling Mickey" for his puckish spirit, such as reciting his humorous poems to fans, he and "Gentle Tim" Keefe rode a horse-drawn carriage to games at the Polo Grounds. Mickey's odes often celebrated beer, while his "Irish Twin," the quiet, serious Keefe didn't drink or smoke. Welch was named to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973, while Keefe and their frequent teammate, Keefe's brother-in-law John Montgomery Ward, went into together in 1964. Welch ranks 6th all-time in complete games (525), and was 307- 210 in his 13 year career. Though only 5'7, 160 pounds, he posted 345 strikeouts in 1884, including the first 9 batters in a single game, setting the major league record, which still stands. Welch was often praised for wily pitching, and may have been the first pinch hitter. In his 1880 rookie season with Troy, he amassed 34 wins, 64 complete games and hit .287. Welch pitched for Troy through 1882, then for the New York Giants for the rest of his career. Welch went 44-11 in 1886 with a 1.68 ERA, then pitched on the 1888 and 1889 winners of the 19th century version of the World Series. While playing, Welch was one of the 8 founders of the first union for athletes, the Brotherhood of Professional Baseball Players. Ward was the union's President, Keefe its Secretary. Though during the 1890 Players' Revolt, Welch did not join his teammates in Ward's brainchild, The Player's League, the "Twins" remained friends for the rest of their lives. In 1892, Welch retired to operate a resort hotel.

Bio by: David Stevens

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 2735
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Michael “Smiling Mickey” Welch (4 Jul 1859–30 Jul 1941), Find a Grave Memorial no. 2735, citing Calvary Cemetery, Woodside, Queens County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .