Thursday, November 14, 2013

#107 John Kiely

About the Front: Could I interest you in a serene shot of John Kiely staring pensively up at an empty Tiger Stadium from the dugout? I'll throw in the windbreaker-underneath-the-1931-throwback uni for free!

About the Back: 18 strikeouts, 28 walks, and a 2.13 ERA? Something tells me that Kiely got a little lucky in the batted-ball department. In his brief big league career, he punched out 24 batters while walking 50. That helps explain the brevity.

Triple Play:

1. John's big league debut was, shall we say, inauspicious. On July 26, 1991, he was brought into a 1-1 game to start the bottom of the eighth inning. His second pitch to Juan Gonzalez was roped down the line for a double, and he was pulled in favor of Paul Gibson. Gonzalez scored later in the inning; the Tigers came back to win in extras, but Kiely was left with an infinite ERA.

2. Jim Thome, Cal Ripken, Kenny Lofton, Albert Belle, Harold Baines, Robin Yount, Dave Winfield, Tim Raines, and Carlton Fisk never reached base against Kiely. Of course, that's a combined sample size of 13 plate appearances, but let's not split hairs.

3. He spent parts of five seasons with the Toledo Mud Hens. Klinger would have been proud.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: I must not have paid close attention to the back of the card, because the tidbit about Kiely being a sidearmer is new to me. Topps went with a posed portrait on the front, and I was oblivious to his unconventional style.

Bill James Said: "He would benefit from being in an organization which can distinguish between a pitcher and a kumquat." Bonus points for the use of "kumquat".

On This Date in 1993: November 14. Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula sets an NFL record with his 325th career win, a 19-13 squeaker over the Philadelphia Eagles.


  1. Not having cable as a kid, the only way that I knew that there were guys who threw from the side was from baseball cards. Brad Clontz and Todd Frohwirth are two that come to mind.

  2. It's a shame that they didn't do in-game photography for 1960s cards. I'd love to see action shots of guys like Dick "Turkey" Hall.