|Second baseman / Pitcher / Manager|
|Born: October 26, 1866|
Camden, New Jersey
|Died: January 2, 1933 (aged 66)|
|April 20, 1888, for the Philadelphia Quakers|
|Last MLB appearance|
|August 27, 1912, for the Chicago White Sox|
|Runs batted in||824|
|Earned run average||3.79|
William Jethro "Kid" Gleason (October 26, 1866 – January 2, 1933) was an American Major League Baseball (MLB) player and manager. Gleason managed the Chicago White Sox from 1919 through 1923. His first season as a big league manager was notable for his team's appearance in the World Series and the ensuing Black Sox Scandal, although Gleason was not involved in the scandal. After leaving the White Sox, Gleason was on the coaching staff for the Philadelphia Athletics, until 1931.
Gleason was born in Camden, New Jersey. He acquired the nickname "Kid" early in life, not only because of his short stature (growing to only 5-foot-7, 155 pounds) but also because of his quite energetic, youthful nature. Gleason played two seasons in the minor leagues of northern Pennsylvania. In 1886, with Williamsport of the Pennsylvania State League, he batted .355 and stole 20 bases in 36 games. Gleason debuted as a pitcher with the Philadelphia Phillies on April 20, 1888, enjoying several successful seasons, especially 1890 with 38 wins, before becoming a second baseman. He was the starting second baseman for the old Baltimore Orioles in 1895. Gleason compiled a .261 career batting average. He retired as a player after the 1908 season at the age of 42, having appeared as a player in just two games for the Phillies that year. However, four years later, Gleason would make an unlikely return to the big leagues as a player, with his two at-bats in one game at second base for the White Sox in 1912 making Gleason one of only 29 MLB players to have played in four different decades.
Gleason had begun his coaching career in 1908 with the Phillies as a player-coach, and continued in that role until 1911.
After his one-game cameo in 1912, Gleason would continue coaching, before becoming manager of the Chicago White Sox on December 31, 1918, following the dismissal of Pants Rowland. In his first season, the team won the pennant but lost the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds, resulting in allegations the White Sox had been paid by gamblers to "throw" the Series. The ensuing scandal resulted in lifetime bans from baseball for eight White Sox players. Gleason, however, was not involved in the gambling, and some sources noted he was among those who alerted White Sox owner Charles Comiskey of the fix. Although he felt betrayed and disappointed by his 1919 team, he continued to manage the White Sox through the 1923 season.
After leaving in 1923, Gleason went on to coach under manager Connie Mack with the Philadelphia Athletics until retiring after the 1931 season. As a coach, Gleason won two World Series championships with the Athletics, in 1929 and 1930.
Gleason died due to a heart ailment in 1933, at the age of 66, in Philadelphia; his funeral was well attended, a testament to his popularity. He is buried in Philadelphia's Northwood Cemetery.
Gleason has been referenced in pop culture in several books, and is a prominent supporting character in Ring Lardner's 1916 novel You Know Me Al. He is portrayed by actor John Mahoney in the 1988 film Eight Men Out, based on Eliot Asinof's book of the same name.
|Games||Won||Lost||Win %||Finish||Won||Lost||Win %||Result|
|CWS||1919||140||88||52||.629||1st in AL||3||5||.375||Lost World Series (CIN)|
|CWS||1920||154||96||58||.623||2nd in AL||–||–||–||–|
|CWS||1921||154||62||92||.403||7th in AL||–||–||–||–|
|CWS||1922||154||77||77||.500||5th in AL||–||–||–||–|
|CWS||1923||154||69||85||.448||7th in AL||–||–||–||–|