Michael “Kid” Madden
Died 1896 at age 29
Greetings from Portland. Sweater weather is here. Every day this month I’m telling a story that bridges the gap between this world, and the next. I’m resurrecting the memory of Portlanders who’ve crossed over to the other side by posting one video each day, relating the tale of one, interesting “permanent Portlander.”
Michael “Kid” Madden was a 124-pound, 19-year-old rookie when he won 21 games for the National League Boston Red Stockings in 1887. Armed with an array of breaking pitches, and a wide curve ball, the Portland native started 37 games that season, going the distance in all but one of them.
No relief pitchers in those days.
That year, in the National League, it took four strikes to get a batter out, making his 3.79 ERA even more impressive.
After his stellar rookie performance, he kicked around the big leagues for a few more years. He did well but never had a season like that again.
The Kid crossed the heavenly home plate on March 16,1896, dying of consumption at his home at 48 Brackett Street in Portland. He was six months shy of his 30th birthday. I guess he’s the “Kid” forever.
Today’s story is brought to you, in part, by Will Anderson and the Society for American Baseball Research.
I’m a bit baffled by the inscription on his modern headstone. He’s not a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame and he wasn’t in the first class inducted into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame.
Disclaimer: I’m not a historian. I owe everything I know to the dedicated research of those who have come before me. These character sketches are assembled from multiple (often antique) sources and sprinkled with my own conjecture. I’m happy to be set straight or to learn more.