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Mike "King" Kelly

Mike “King” Kelly

Sometimes we are tried and the Boston Beaneaters (now know as the Atlanta Braves) certainly were in 1894. Mike “King” Kelly was major figure in the Braves early history. He was probably the most popular player of his time. On November 8, at the age of 36, he died of pneumonia. Another misfortune also conspired to try the Braves that year. This one was minor compared to King’s death but a huge challenge the Braves. For much of the season, they were on the road with no home stadium.

On May 16th, a fire destroyed the South End Grounds. Imagine playing a game and in the third inning, a fire breaks out. They were playing Baltimore and the fire broke out in the right field bleachers. Gave new meaning to so and so “smoked that one”.

So they switched some of their games to road games and then played some of them in Boston at the old Brotherhood League Grounds on Congress Street adjacent to the Boston Harbor.

Despite those trying happenings, they had a good season finishing in third place.