Bid McPhee

John Alexander McPhee
Inducted to the Hall of Fame in: 2000
Primary team: Cincinnati Red Stockings
Primary position: 2nd Baseman

“This glove business has gone a little too far,” Bid McPhee said. “True, hot-hit balls do sting a little at the opening of the season, but after you get used to it there is no trouble on that score.”

McPhee is regarded as one of the best defensive second basemen in the 19th century. For almost his entire 18-year career, McPhee took the field without benefit of a glove. He first used a glove in 1896 when he was 36 and promptly set the record for fielding percentage by second basemen.

McPhee played his whole career with the Cincinnati Reds, beginning in 1882 when the organization was a part of the American Association and called the Red Stockings. That season, McPhee helped the Red Stockings to the American Association championship and defeated the National League champions, the Chicago White Stockings, in a postseason series.

Aside from his defense, McPhee was also known for his ability to hit triples. He only once led the league in triples (19 in 1887), but he ranks 11th all-time with 189. He also stole more than 568 bases and scored 100 runs 10 times.

But McPhee’s refusal to wear a glove may be his most remembered quality. When he finally put on a glove for the first time, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported it was in an attempt to protect a sore he had developed on his left hand. His fielding percentage jumped from .955 in 1895 to .978 in 1896.

After two seasons as the National League’s oldest player, McPhee retired after the 1899 season. He finished with a career .272 batting average, 1,684 runs scored and a .944 fielding percentage. McPhee managed the Reds in 1901 and 1902. He died in 1943. McPhee’s exploits were forgotten for much of the 20th century, but he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000 by the Veterans Committee.

“He was the outstanding player of his time at his position, certainly comparable to Bill Mazeroski,” baseball historian Ralph Moses said. “He was breaking records barehanded and when he put on a glove, he set a standard so high that it wasn’t broken until 30 years later.”

"He was the outstanding player of his time at his position, certainly comparable to Bill Mazeroski. He was breaking records barehanded and when he put on a glove, he set a standard so high that it wasn't broken until 30 years later. "
Ralph Moses

Career stats

ESSENTIAL STATS
Year Inducted: 2000
Primary Team: Cincinnati Red Stockings
Position Played: 2nd Baseman
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Birth place: Massena, New York
Birth year: 1859
Died: 1943, San Diego, California
Played for:
Cincinnati Red Stockings (1882-1889)
Cincinnati Reds (1890-1899)
CAREER AT A GLANCE
GamesG
2138
At BatsAB
8304
RunsR
1684
HitsH
2258
Doubles2B
303
Triples3B
189
Home RunsHR
53
RBIRBI
1072
Stolen BasesSB
568
WalksBB
982
Batting AverageBA
.272
OPSOPS
.728
On Base %OBP
.355
Slugging %SLG
.373