When King Kelly came to the Braves (then known as the Boston Beaneaters) in 1887, he was the acknowledged all time great of the day. In addition to being a great player, he was also known as an amazing showman. No one could match his style.
He would not hesitate to “modify” the rules of baseball to benefit him and his team. He could run the bases like no one else at the time.
He did take some “short cuts” though. If the umpire wasn’t looking, he would cut across the diamond short of the bases. There was only one umpire in those days.