This is one in a series of profiles of members of Baseball’s Hall of Fame who have an affiliation with the Dodger franchise. Each Cooperstown Capsule will include the Hall of Famer’s connection with the Dodger organization, his year of induction, links to his statistics and Hall of Fame webpage, and more.
Shirley Hazen “KiKi” Cuyler
Hall of Fame credentials, year of induction:
Ten times Cuyler hit over .300, topping the .350 mark four times. Blessed with blazing speed, the graceful outfielder led the N.L. in stolen bases four times. He played on four National League pennant-winning teams and one World Series champion. Cuyler was voted into the Hall of Fame in 1968 by the Veterans Committee
Connection to the Dodger franchise:
Cuyler’s last season in the big leagues was played in Brooklyn where he hit .273, 48 points below his career average.
Best remembered for…
…his nickname. Kiki appears as if it would be pronounced “Key-Key”, when in fact it was pronounced “Kye-Kye”. It no doubt emanates from his last name, Cuyler. One story claims he got the moniker because his outfield mates would yell, “Kye-Kye” when they called for him to catch a fly ball. A more colorful story is attributed to the way he would respond when asked his last name. They say he would stutter, saying “Cuy Cuy Cuyler”.
Did you know?
Cuyler remains one of the few – and perhaps only – Hall of Fame players to be benched for a prolonged period during his prime. One year after leading the N.L. in runs scored and stolen bases, the fleet-footed outfielder was benched for the second half of the 1927 season by first-year manager Donie Bush.
Though the Pirates reached the World Series, Cuyler did not play. By November, he was traded to the Cubs. He led the league in stolen bases the next three years and hit .325 over his eight seasons in Chicago.
On August 28th, 1925, Cuyler hit two inside-the-park home runs in Philadelphia.
Also happening at the time…
Cuyler played Major League Baseball from 1921-1938. In the early part of his career, Russia officially became the USSR. By his ninth year, the American stock market crashed, sending the Great Depression into full swing. His final season saw Adolph Hitler take direct control of the German military, setting the stage for World War II.
Link to KiKi Cuyler’s page on the Baseball Hall of Fame Website
Link to KiKi Cuyler’s career statistics via Baseball-reference.com
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