RAYMOND (RED) MCKEE
Raymond “Red” McKee was born July 20, 1890 in Shawnee, Ohio. His family moved to Saginaw when he was eight-years-old so his father could mine coal. McKee and his brother joined their father in the mines. As an 18-year-old he backstopped Schemm Brewery to a Saginaw City League title in 1908. In 1909 McKee played for nine different teams in one year – including a stint with Saginaw in the Southern Michigan League where he batted .221 in 213 at-bats and had 41 stolen bases. He then signed with the Battle Creek Cereals of the Southern Michigan League. Playing for the Battle Creek Crickets in 1910, he played 89 games and batted 321 times for a .312 average, fifth best in the league. He also had eight straight hits and belted a 550-foot home run. McKee was then drafted by the Indianapolis Indians of the American Association and was sent to Springfield, Ohio, in the Ohio State League where he led the pennant winners with a .321 average, 10th best in the league. One year later he was the league’s best defensive catcher while hitting .283. He was Saginaw’s first-ever Major Leaguer when he was a catcher for the Detroit Tigers from 1913-16. As a Tiger rookie he played in 68 games and had a .283 batting average and .946 fielding average and owner Frank Navin held a “Red McKee” day in his honor. For the next three years he played for the Tigers, ending his four-year Detroit career with a .254 batting average and played with and against 18 Hall of Fame players. In 1916 McKee hit .323 at Toronto and then played for the San Francisco Seals from 1917-19 helping lead that team to the Pacific Cost title in 1917. In 1920-21 he was the player-manager for the Saginaw Aces of the Michigan-Ontario League. McKee tied for a league batting title in 1920 when he hit .387 and had an impressive 48-game hitting streak, while sporting a .319 mark in ’21. After hitting .339 with San Antonio and .301 with Syracuse over the next two years, McKee hit .273 with six home runs in 1925 leading Baltimore to the International League pennant. He batted .283 with nine homers in ’26 and finished his career one year later with Memphis. He later barnstormed with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig and has a Detroit Tiger commemorative brick in his honor at the entrance way of Comerica Park. He died August 5, 1972 at the age of 82 and is buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery.