- Bill Carle
Beckley, Jake (04 August 1867–25 June 1918), baseball player, was born Jacob Peter Beckley in Hannibal, Missouri, the son of Bernhardt Beckley, a brick mason, and Rosine Nith. As a youth, Beckley played with the various semipro baseball teams in and around Hannibal. His batting prowess earned him the nickname “Eagle Eye.” His professional career began in 1886 with Leavenworth, Kansas, in the Western League. Bob Hart, a former Hannibal teammate who pitched for Leavenworth, knew the club needed some new players and suggested Beckley, who became the starting second baseman. Beckley had a fine year, hitting well above .300. In 1887 he switched to first base, a position he played for the next twenty years. Early that season his contract was sold to the Lincoln, Nebraska, team where he continued to dominate Western League pitchers, maintaining a season average above .400 at a time when walks were counted as hits....