Ken Keltner Stats

Ken Keltner was born on Tuesday, October 31, 1916, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Keltner was 20 years old when he broke into the big leagues on October 2, 1937, with the Cleveland Indians. His biographical data, year-by-year hitting stats, fielding stats, pitching stats (where applicable), career totals, uniform numbers, salary data and miscellaneous items-of-interest are presented by Baseball Almanac on this comprehensive Ken Keltner baseball stats page.

Baseball Almanac Top Quote

"Not only did the slick-fielding Cleveland Indian third baseman (Ken Keltner) stop Joe DiMaggio's record 56-game hitting streak , but this seven-time All Star also hit the pennant-winning home run in the first-ever single- game American League playoff." - Baseball Historian Jim Nitz (SABR Baseball Biography Project, Ken Keltner , Source )

Ken Keltner

Ken Keltner Autograph on a 1989 Pacific Trading (#143)

Ken Keltner Autograph on a 1989 Pacific Trading (#143)

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Birth Name:
Kenneth Frederick Keltner
Nickname:
Butch or Ken
Born On:
10-31-1916  (Scorpio)
Place of Birth Data Born In:
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Year of Death Data Died On:
12-12-1991 ( 500 Oldest Living )
Place of Death Data Died In:
New Berlin, Wisconsin
Cemetery:
Wisconsin Memorial Park, Brookfield, Wisconsin
High School:
Boy's Technical High School (Milwaukee, WI)
College:
None Attended
Batting Stances Chart Bats:
Right
Throwing Arms Chart Throws:
Right
Player Height Chart Height:
6-00
Player Weight Chart Weight:
190
First Game:
10-02-1937 (Age 20)
Last Game:
05-25-1950
Draft:
Not Applicable

Ken Keltner

Ken Keltner Pitching Stats

- - Did Not Pitch - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Ken Keltner

Ken Keltner Hitting Stats

1937 21 Indians 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
1938 22 Indians 149 576 86 159 31 9 26 0 113 33 2 75 7 0 3 15 .276 .319 .497
1939 23 Indians 154 587 84 191 35 11 13 0 97 51 9 41 10 0 0 15 .325 .379 .489
1940 24 Indians 149 543 67 138 24 10 15 2 77 51 5 56 11 0 3 11 .254 .322 .418
1941 25 Indians 149 581 83 156 31 13 23 0 84 51 4 56 10 0 2 9 .269 .330 .485
1942 26 Indians 152 624 72 179 34 4 6 0 78 20 2 36 16 0 3 16 .287 .312 .383
1943 27 Indians 110 427 47 111 31 3 4 0 39 36 4 20 6 0 0 13 .260 .317 .375
1944 28 Indians 149 573 74 169 41 9 13 2 91 53 8 29 6 0 0 23 .295 .355 .466
1946 30 Indians 116 398 47 96 17 1 13 0 45 30 2 38 7 0 0 14 .241 .294 .387
1947 31 Indians 151 541 49 139 29 3 11 0 76 59 5 45 12 0 1 8 .257 .331 .383
1948 32 Indians 153 558 91 166 24 4 31 1 119 89 7 52 8 0 1 23 .297 .395 .522
1949 33 Indians 80 246 35 57 9 2 8 0 30 38 3 26 8 0 0 10 .232 .335 .382
1950 34 Red Sox 13 28 2 9 2 0 0 0 2 3 0 6 1 0 0 2 .321 .387 .393
13 Years 1,526 5,683 737 1,570 308 69 163 5 852 514 51 480 102 0 13 159 .276 .338 .441

Ken Keltner

Ken Keltner Fielding Stats

1937 Indians 3B 1 0 14 1 1.0 1 0 1 0 0 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 1.93
1938 Indians 3B 149 149 3,939 431 2.9 412 141 271 19 19 n/a n/a n/a .956 2.82
1939 Indians 3B 154 154 4,443 497 3.2 484 187 297 13 40 n/a n/a n/a .974 2.94
1940 Indians 3B 148 148 3,843 469 3.2 447 170 277 22 27 n/a n/a n/a .953 3.14
1941 Indians 3B 149 147 3,870 543 3.6 527 181 346 16 36 n/a n/a n/a .971 3.68
1942 Indians 3B 152 151 4,037 549 3.6 519 166 353 30 38 n/a n/a n/a .945 3.47
1943 Indians 3B 107 106 2,826 352 3.3 341 113 228 11 24 n/a n/a n/a .969 3.26
1944 Indians 3B 149 148 4,036 555 3.7 537 168 369 18 37 n/a n/a n/a .968 3.59
1946 Indians 3B 112 108 2,787 318 2.8 307 112 195 11 18 n/a n/a n/a .965 2.97
1947 Indians 3B 150 150 3,963 434 2.9 422 156 266 12 29 n/a n/a n/a .972 2.88
1948 Indians 3B 153 153 4,088 449 2.9 435 123 312 14 27 n/a n/a n/a .969 2.87
1949 Indians 3B 69 67 1,776 200 2.9 196 51 145 4 11 n/a n/a n/a .980 2.98
1950 Red Sox 1B 1 0 6 1 1.0 1 1 0 0 0 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 4.50
1950 Red Sox 3B 8 7 192 19 2.4 18 8 10 1 0 n/a n/a n/a .947 2.53
3B Totals 1,501 1,488 39,814 4,817 3.2 4,646 1,576 3,070 171 306 n/a n/a n/a .965 3.15
1B Totals 1 0 6 1 1.0 1 1 0 0 0 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 4.50
13 Years 1,502 1,488 39,820 4,818 3.2 4,647 1,577 3,070 171 306 n/a n/a n/a .965 3.15

Ken Keltner

Ken Keltner Miscellaneous Stats

1937 Indians 0 0 .000 0 0 n/a 0.0 0.0 1.0 - - -
1938 Indians 4 3 .571 0 0 n/a 22.2 7.7 5.1 - - -
1939 Indians 6 6 .500 0 0 n/a 45.2 14.3 6.1 - - -
1940 Indians 10 5 .667 1 0 n/a 36.2 9.7 7.1 - - -
1941 Indians 2 2 .500 0 0 n/a 25.3 10.4 6.9 - - -
1942 Indians 4 3 .571 1 0 n/a 104.0 17.3 8.0 - - -
1943 Indians 2 2 .500 4 0 n/a 106.8 21.4 10.9 - - -
1944 Indians 4 3 .571 0 0 n/a 44.1 19.8 6.3 - - -
1946 Indians 0 3 .000 4 0 n/a 30.6 10.5 8.8 - - -
1947 Indians 5 4 .556 1 0 n/a 49.2 12.0 7.1 - - -
1948 Indians 2 1 .667 0 0 n/a 18.0 10.7 4.7 - - -
1949 Indians 0 1 .000 12 0 n/a 30.8 9.5 8.2 - - -
1950 Red Sox 0 0 .000 4 1 n/a 0.0 4.7 14.0 - - -
13 Years 39 33 .542 27 1 n/a 34.9 11.8 6.7 - - -

Ken Keltner

Ken Keltner Miscellaneous Items of Interest

1937 Cleveland Indians 25 Undetermined - -
1938 Cleveland Indians 25 Undetermined - -
1939 Cleveland Indians 25 Undetermined - -
1940 Cleveland Indians 25 Undetermined Stats -
1941 Cleveland Indians 25 , 8 Undetermined Stats -
1942 Cleveland Indians 8 Undetermined Stats -
1943 Cleveland Indians 8 Undetermined Stats -
1944 Cleveland Indians 8 Undetermined Stats -
1946 Cleveland Indians 9 Undetermined Stats -
1947 Cleveland Indians 6 Undetermined - -
1948 Cleveland Indians 6 Undetermined Stats Stats
1949 Cleveland Indians 6 Undetermined - -
1950 Boston Red Sox 4 Undetermined - -
baseball almanac flat baseball

baseball almanac fast facts

Did you know that Ken Keltner was named one of the 100 Greatest Cleveland Indians Players Top 100 Greatest Indians and Keltner was named one of the nine third basemen.

Kenneth Frederick Keltner was a Major League Baseball player who played the hot corner for the Cleveland Indians (1937-1944, 1946-1949) and Boston Red Sox (1950), missing 1945, because he joined the US Navy. Ken, his nickname, was one of the best fielding third baseman for nearly ten years and went to seven All-Star Games due largely to his glove.

Joe DiMaggio's , in Lucky to Be a Yankee , said Keltner was the best third baseman he ever played against, explaining, "Those aren't just ordinary base hits Ken cuts off with those backhanded stops, they're sizzlers down the foul line which would be good for certainly two and maybe three bases if they got by. He had no superior at protecting the foul line. "

Ken Keltner
Ken Keltner | 1947 Van Patrick Postcard | Baseball Almanac Collection

A teammate, Paul Schramka , agreed with Joltin' Joe's assessment and attempted to rally support for Keltner's election into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Noted historian Bill James (who we believe should be in the Hall of Fame under a new classification) examined the stats and wrote:

"Keltner, a brilliant defensive third baseman with a tremendous arm, was famous for an odd habit of looking carefully at the baseball in his hand before he threw it to first. They used to say he counted the stitches before he threw to first. He drove two Hall of Famers off the Indians ' third base job - Lou Boudreau and Bob Lemon . Both came to the Indians as third baseman, but switched to shortstop and the mound when they were unable to dislodge Keltner from his job." - Bill James in The New Bill James Historical Abstract (Bill James Publishing, 05/08,2010, #35 Best Third Baseman in Baseball History , Page 362)

James did not believe Keltner was a Hall of Fame third baseman, but he did create a legendary list of questions he believed should be asked to determine if any player is hall of fame worthy! That list appears below:

The Ken Keltner List

1. Was he ever regarded as the best player in baseball? Did anybody, while he was active, ever suggest that he was the best player in baseball?

2. Was he the best player on his team?

3. Was he the best player in baseball at his position? Was he the best player in the league at his position?

4. Did he have an impact on a number of pennant races?

5. Was he a good enough player that he could continue to play regularly after passing his prime?

6. Is he the very best player in baseball history who is not in the Hall of Fame?

7. Are most players who have comparable career statistics in the Hall of Fame?

8. Do the player's numbers meet Hall of Fame standards?

9. Is there any evidence to suggest that the player was significantly better or worse than is suggested by his statistics?

10. Is he the best player at his position who is eligible for the Hall of Fame but not in?

11. How many MVP-type seasons did he have? Did he ever win an MVP award? If not, how many times was he close?

12. How many All-Star-type seasons did he have? How many All-Star games did he play in? Did most of the other players who played in this many go to the Hall of Fame?

13. If this man were the best player on his team, would it be likely that the team could win the pennant?

14. What impact did the player have on baseball history? Was he responsible for any rule changes? Did he introduce any new equipment? Did he change the game in any way?

15. Did the player uphold the standards of sportsmanship and character that the Hall of Fame, in its written guidelines, instructs us to consider?

What if? Ken Keltner, during his ten full American League seasons, played the most games at third base four times (9 times in the top 10), led the league in assists four times (9 times in the top 10), led the league in double plays five times (9 times in the top 10), and had the best fielding average in the league three times (10 times in the top 10)!

Last-Modified: April 11, 2020 5:35 AM EST

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