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Harry Gleason

Sport: Baseball

Born: March 28, 1875

Died: October 21, 1961

Town: Camden

Harry Gilbert Gleason was born March 28, 1875 in Camden. His older brother by nine years, William (better known as “Kid” Gleason), was an infielder with the Phillies across the river when Harry began to distinguish himself as a hard-nosed hustling infielder for Camden High School. Harry stood just a few inches over five feet tall. He was good in the field and on the base paths, but was often overwhelmed at the plate. Still, after several years in the minors, he got the call from the new American League team in Boston at the end of the 1901 season.

Harry was a pugnacious and cagey payer even by the standards of the time, which made him a fan favorite with Boston and later in St. Louis, with the Browns. In 1903, he was beaned by Rube Waddell, who helped carry him off the field. He recovered well enough to win a starting job at third base with St. Louis in 1904, but he batted just .217 and spent the next several years playing in the “outlaw” Tri-State League and then in the minors. Harry was considered a “plus” player at this level and he knew it; every year he engaged in rancorous contract negotiations.

Harry retired at age 36 following the 1911 campaign. A shoemaker in the off-season, he took a full-time job with Union Shoe in Philadelphia. He moved into law enforcement in Camden in 1924 and served as undersheriff until retiring in 1949. He lived until a burst appendix killed him at the age of 86


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