William Henry

William Henry "Bill" Kelly

Baseball

Enshrined: 1994

Born: December 28, 1899

Syracuse, NY

Died: April 8, 1990

William Kelly, nicknamed Big Bill, spent 55 years in baseball and has the distinction of being the only man to play, manage and umpire in the International League.

A graduate of Syracuse's North High School, Kelly was 21 when he broke into the big leagues in 1920 with the Philadelphia Athletics. The 6-foot first baseman was signed by the legendary Connie Mack. Kelly played in just 32 major league games.

Kelly’s hardball career included solid seasons at the Triple-A level. He also worked as a minor league umpire between 1932 and 1940. Kelly served in the military during World War II and turned to managing in the minors after the war. Kelly’s diverse career also featured scouting jobs with the Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets.

Career highlights:

1919: Played for H.H. Franklin Syracuse Industrial League

1920: Played for St. Regis Paper Co., a Canadian semi-pro league. Signed by Connie Mack to the Philadelphia Athletics in the American League

1932-1940: Minor League umpire

1941-1944: World War II U.S. Army Air Corps

1945-1952: Minor League Manager

1947: Managed Los Angeles Angels of the Pacific Coast League Championship

1953-1960: Scout for the Cubs and the Phillies

1961-1974: Special Assignment Scout for the New York Mets, including 1969 World Champions

1999: Inducted into the Syracuse Baseball Wall of Fame

Also a member of Buffalo and International League Baseball Halls of Fame

 

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