A keen evaluator of talent, Frank Selee was one of the most successful managers of the 1800s. Selee piloted the Boston Beaneaters to five National League pennants from 1891-1898. His final pennant winner was baseball’s first 100-win team.
That 1898 club boasted five Hall of Fame players, Jimmy Collins, Hugh Duffy, Sliding Billy Hamilton, and pitchers Vic Willis and Kid Nichols.
In a dozen seasons overall in Boston, Selee pushed the Beaneaters to a 1,004-649 record, good for a .607 winning percentage.
In addition to the Beaneaters, Selee guided the National League’s Chicago franchise for four seasons. His time in the Windy City was less successful. Selee’s teams posted a 280-213 record and .568 winning percentage.
He retired from the game in 1905. Many credit Selee for laying the foundation of the great Cubs teams that averaged more than 100 wins from 1906-1912.
The Hall of Fame formed the Honor Rolls of Baseball in 1946 as a second-tier of recognition for managers, executives and umpires. Selee was among those honored.
The five-time pennant-winning manager was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1999.
With a managerial debut year of 1890 and death year of 1909, Selee’s signature remains elusive for even the most advanced autograph collectors.