Happy Birthday, Katsy Keifer!

“Katsy Keifer, a pitcher with Battle Creek in the Southern Michigan league, is worrying some these days as to what the future has in store for him. After the Southern Michigan season closed he jumped to the Feds, or thought he did. He pitched one game for the Indianapolis outlaws – and then they let him go. Now he is inquiring if there is a chance for him to square himself and return to Battle Creek next season. They should bring Katsy Keifer into the big leagues. Any player with a name like that is worthy of one swing around the big league country, just to let the “humorists” dedicate a few verses and quips to the honorable name of Katsy Keifer.”

“Sport Snapshots”, Missoula Missoulian (MT), 15 February 1915, Page 6.

Keifer won that start for Indianapolis, but he never saw a game in the Federal League, National League, or American League after that. He did bounce around the minors for a while and apparently had an interesting personality and willingness to talk to sports writers of his day (1912 to about 1925)… And, he was a switch hitter and apparently a pretty hard thrower.

“Sherman Keifer, 35, Charleroi, World War veteran, was in a serious condition today suffering from poison liquor. Keifer was on his way to the U.S. Veteran’s Hospital at Aspenwall to be treated for Tuberculosis when he took a drink from a man he met in a speakeasy here (Pittsburgh), he told police. He was removed to the Allegheny Hospital. Police are holding Valentine Beck and John Clark, who were identified by Keifer, pending the outcome of the poison.”

“Veteran Gets Poison Booze”, Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, 04 March 1926, Page 1.

The future Private Sherman Karl Keifer was born to coal miner David Keifer and Mary (Brookbank) Keifer on 03 September 1891 in Charleroi, PA and was the fifth of six sons. He married (and later divorced) Rae Wilson in 1914. Katsy succumbed to Tuberculosis on 19 February 1927 in a sanitarium in Outwood, Kentucky.

(Death Certificate filed in KY, Baseball-Reference.com)


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