May 15, 2011
Sometimes, I come across something so insane, so ridiculous, that I have to find a way to tie to Philadelphia, no matter how tentative the connection. This is one of those times. Mike Grady was born in Kennett Square, and started his career for the Phillies, so there’s your connection. But it was a couple of things he did while a member of the Giants that makes this story worth writing.
In 1899, Grady had a ground ball hit to him while playing third base. He bobbled it, committing error number one. He then scooped it up and threw it to first, sailing it over the first baseman’s head. Error #2. The right fielder chased it down, and noticed the runner taking off for third. He threw it to Grady. The ball bounced off his glove and headed to the outfield. The runner broke for home. Grady ran, grabbed the ball, and still had a shot at glory, if he could just nail the runner at the plate. He could not. The ball went sailing over the catchers glove, giving poor Mike Grady 4 errors in one play.
However, the Chester County native would go from goat to hero less than a year later. He was walking to the Polo Grounds with teammates Kid Gleason (who would later manage the Black Sox) and George Davis. They saw smoke and flames rising from an apartment building. Davis scurried up a fire escape and rescued a woman from the 3rd floor. Gleason and Grady ran up to the 4th floor, rescuing a Mrs. Tibbets and her 3 year old. Grady then ran back up to the 3rd floor and helped to rescue a Mrs. Pease. The three players then made their way to the ballpark, where they tied the Boston Beaneaters 10-10. In September of that year, Grady and Davis were both involved in what is believed to be the first triple steal in MLB history. Grady retired to Kennett Square, where he passed away in 1943 at age 73. He is in the Chester County Hall of Fame.