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About Bid McPhee
John Alexander "Bid" McPhee (November 1, 1859 – January 3, 1943) was a 19th century Major League Baseball second baseman. He played 18 seasons in the majors, from 1882 until 1899, all for the Cincinnati Reds franchise. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000. Known more for his fielding than his hitting, McPhee was the last second baseman to play without a glove.
Born in Massena, New York, McPhee broke into professional baseball in 1877 as a catcher with the Davenport Brown Stockings of the Northwestern League. He played for Davenport for three seasons, shifting to second base during the 1879 season. After not playing baseball in 1880, he joined an independent team in Akron, Ohio in 1881. Before the 1882 season, he signed a contract to play for the Cincinnati Red Stockings, a team in the newly-formed American Association.
Making his major league debut on May 2, 1882, the 22-year-old McPhee had a batting average of just .228, but he led the league in several fielding categories, including putouts and fielding percentage. With McPhee in the lineup for 78 out of their 80 games, the Red Stockings won the inaugural AA championship. McPhee was the only starting second baseman Cincinnati would have for the first eighteen seasons of its existence, accompanying the team to the National League in 1890, when they became the Cincinnati Reds. In last two seasons of his career, he was the oldest player in the major leagues.
Over 18 years, McPhee batted .271, hit 53 home runs, hit 188 triples, scored 1678 runs, had 1067 RBI, and stole 568 bases. He had ten 100-plus seasons in runs scored and regularly led the league in many defensive categories despite playing without a glove for the first 14 years of his career. Without the benefit of the padding provided by fielding gloves, McPhee toughened his hands by soaking them in salt water.
Shortly after retiring as a player in 1899, McPhee rejoined the Reds as a manager. At the team's helm for 1901 and part of 1902, he posted 79 wins and 124 losses for a .389 winning percentage.
Death and honors
McPhee died in 1943. He was cremated and his ashes were interred in the mausoleum at Cypress View Memorial Gardens in San Diego.
McPhee was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000, more than one hundred years after he played in his last Major League game. He is one of two Baseball Hall of Famers, along with Johnny Bench, who played their entire career in Cincinnati. McPhee is also the only Hall of Famer who played on the 1882 pennant winning Cincinnati Red Stockings team.
Two years after his induction into the Hall of Fame, McPhee was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame.