Past Profile: Mickey Doolan

Past Profile: Mickey Doolan

Past Profile: Mickey Doolan
For the last four-plus decades, generations of Phillies fans have been treated to some dazzling shortstop play by a pair of natives of northern California, Larry Bowa and Jimmy Rollins.

When Bowa finished his Phillies career, he had played more games at shortstop than anyone in Phillies history, 1,730. On August 14, 2012, Bowa's 31-year record was broken by Rollins.

So, who held the record before Bowa?

None other than Michael (Mickey) Doolan, born May 7, 1880, in Ashland, Penn., a small town in the coal region. The right-handed hitter was defensive stalwart as the Phillies regular shortstop from 1905 through 1913, 1,298 games. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Bowa broke Doolan's 65-year-old record on August 22, 1978.

Doolan supplanted Rudy Hulswitt (1902-04). Rudy has the dubious distinction of committing the most errors by a Phillies shortstop, 81, in 1903 (865 chances).

Doolan was charged with a league-leading 66 errors (941 chances) in his second Phillies season That same season, he had 395 putouts, which still stands as a record among Phillies shortstops. Four years later (1910), Doolan had 500 assists. Bowa holds that club record, 560.

Six times, Doolan led NL shortstops in assists and five times in putouts. By comparison, Bowa topped the league in assists once and never in putouts. Rollins hasn't done either so far.

Doolan shares the NL shortstop record for games, most seasons leading league, six. Cal Ripken is the record holder, 12 times with Baltimore.

There is conflicting information as to how Doolan wound up with the Phillies in September 1904. Baseball-Reference.com stated he was selected in the rule 5 draft from Jersey City. An article by SABR said Jersey City traded him to the Phillies for Bill Keister and $2,500.

Anyway, he took over at shortstop in 1905 and was named captain in 1909 through his final Phillies season. He jumped to the Federal League in 1914, played three years there, part of 1916 back in the NL with the Cubs and ended a 13-year career with the New York Giants in 1918, .179 in 92 games as a second baseman. In 1917, he was a player-manager in the minors for Rochester.

His career average was .230 in 1,728 games. With the Phillies, .236 in 1,302 games.

Following his playing career, he coached with the Cubs (1926-29) and Cincinnati Reds (1930-32).

Dolan attended both Bucknell College and Villanova College, earning a degree in dentistry. With his baseball career behind him, he practiced dentistry until 1947. He died four years later in Orlando, FL, at the age of 71.

(Sources: Baseball-Reference.com; SABR by Paul Mitermeyer).