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Charles Keith Excerpts

The following are contemporary newspaper excerpts concerning Charles Keith.

1906 Excerpts

"Keith, the University of [Arkansas] pitcher who has been trying out with Little Rock, signed a contract last week and is now a full-fledged member of the team."1

"Keith, the college pitcher, whom Manager Zimmer found up at the University of Arkansas not long ago, has turned out the goods."2

1907 Excerpts


"Charles Keith is the best athlete and most popular student in Arkansas University."3

"Little Rock, March 2. –(Speacial) --Charles Keith, the university of Arkansas lad who was more or less effective in the professional ranks, may be a member of the [Little Rock] team, but his return is problematical. Keith has the higher education bee in his bonnet. In a competitive examination, held in Little Rock recently, to determine the awarding of the Cecil Rhodes Oxford scholarship for Arkansas, he and a student from another college ran a dead heat. The committee will meet in this city tomorrow and will determine which of the two is to be the beneficiary, and in the event Keith wins out it is not considered likely that he will be seen in Southern League ranks this season."4

"Little Rock. March 10 –(Special)—Southern League fans will probably not enjoy the privilege of seeing Charley Keith, the University of Arkansas student in action this year. Keith was a member of the Travelers last season, but it is likely that in the future his talents will be devoted to cricket instead of baseball. Keith, who is now a sophomore at the ‘varsity, and incidentally its crack athlete, has been chosen as the winner of the Rhodes scholarship and will represent Arkansas at the University of Oxford, England. “Chosen as the winner” sounds awkward, but it is correct, and one had to be chosen. Keith defeated a member of the senior class of Ouachita college and his selection came after the committee of college presidents was about ready to give its job up in despair and decide that it was impossible to separate the two contestants. Keith and his rival passed the liberal arts courses in January and the result was declared a dead heat. Three or four days ago the committee met in this city and contestants were examined on their scholarly attainments in high school and college, interest in and ability to lead student bodies, athletics and moral traits. The two candidates also examined each other in the presence of the committee. Finally the committee went into executive session, and after deliberating about three hours Keith was declared the winner. Keith, who has not yet made up his mind whether he will play with the Travelers this season, will leave for England early in September, and will enter Oxford the first of October. He is 6 feet and 5 inches in height, and is every inch an athlete. He has lived practically all his life in Clark county, this state, and did not have many advantages of early educational training."5

"Pitcher Charles Keith, who recently won a Rhodes scholarship for Oxford at the University of Arkansas has signed a contract to pitch with the Little Rock, Southern League, Club"6

"Manager Finn, of the Little Rock Club, has signed "Big" Keith to pitch for the Colts, and the twirler will report at the close of school, June 10. Keith was with the club last year and made a good"7

"Pittsburg, July 28.- Editor "Sporting Life." Am delighted to mention that one of the old readers of the Sporting Life has again taken his pen in hand and doled out information of interest to baseball --Doctor Milton Vaughan, of Little Rock, Ark., who will be remembered as picking some clever men in the Southern League’s last race. Dr. Vaughan has seen them all in the South and West for years past. An idea of the value of his dope can "be seen when it is known that Col. Dreyfuss eagerly grabbed and read with interest the comments of the Southron. "That boy is a Rhodes scholar and won't play professional ball," said Col. B., as his eye caught sight of the first paragraph of the doctors missive, telling of the fine display of Little Rock's slab artist who accomplished the feat of shutting out Shreveport twice in one afternoon. Col. B. gave an impression that he was well posted on Keith. He read carefully a statement that the collegian's last four games had been shut-outs, and that in five battles not one man worked him for a walk. "Keith," says Dr. Vaughan, "is a wonder for a left-hander big, strong, steady, 6 ft. 1 1/2 in., and weighs about 180 pounds. He was with us last year, but had behind him as poor a team as I have ever seen in a Class A league. He was wild in 1906, but went home declaring that he was going to practice control. He has it all right now. Bobby Wood, his catcher, says he has trouble getting him to waste a pitch. Keith can also wield the bat and often breaks into the hit column."8

"Little Rock, Ark., Aug, 3. -(Special) –Manager Finn of the Little Rock team announced that Charles Keith, the left handed pitcher, had been sold to the St. Louis Americans. Keith will, however, remain with the little Rock team until the close of the season. The price was not made public, but as Little Rock last week refused an offer of $2,000 from Comiskey, it is known to be in advance of this. Keith has been a student at the University of Arkansas for the last two years, last season being his first appearance as a professional. He recently won one of the Rhodes scholarships from Arkansas. He will for to England in the fall, but has given the St. Louis management his word that he will return and report about the middle of June. Keith is 22 years old, is 6 feet 6 inches tall. He has terrific speed, excellent control, and a fair assortment of curves."9

"The St. Louis American Club has purchased pitcher Charles Keith, the famous Rhodes scholar, from the Little Rock Club for September delivery."10

"Pitcher Charley Keith, of Little Rock, the University of Arkansas tall boy, has gone Clark county in his native state, to spend a few days prior to starting for England. He sails from Philadelphia September 28, and will enter Oxford with his Rhode's scholarship credentials shortly afterwards."11

"Sterling Stuff In This Youth. Keith, the Little Bock southpaw, whose sensational stunts have made him a Southern League star of the first magnitude, has a Rhodes scholarship and will not report until after June 1. He counts on making his southpaw help to educate and support him until he perfects himself in a profession. He will pursue his studies at Oxford this winter and come back next summer confident of earning a berth as one of the Browns' regular pitchers, —St. Louis "Sporting News."12

"Pitcher Charles A. Keith, who sailed from Philadelphia for England on September 28, goes to Oxford University for the winter, as being a holder of a Cecil Rhodes scholarship. Thirty-seven other scholarship holders accompanied him. He will decide next spring whether he will continue to be a professional base ball player or remain a student at Oxford. Keith, who is a young giant, was this season the mainstay in the pitchers' box of the Little Rock team of the Southern League. Manager McAleer, of the St. Louis Browns, purchased Keith's release for $2500. Recently he sent Keith a contract for 1908 calling for $300 per month salary. Keith's answer to McAleer's proposition was that he considered his services worth considerably more than $300 per month for the playing season of six months. He refused to sign the contract and notified McAleer that if he signed at all next spring would be early enough to give the matter serious consideration. He may remain in England and give up professional base ball."13

"Charley Keith, the clever southpaw of the Little Rock Club, of the Southern League, who was sold to the St. Louis Americans this fall, has the unique distinction of being the first ball player who will get his transportation from the old country. Keith recently won the Rhoades scholarship for the state of Arkansas, and has gone across to begin his four-year course of studies at Oxford University. Mike Finn, the former Toledo manager, under whom Keith worked at Little Rock, was in Toledo last week and in addition to telling this story about Keith, declared that the southpaw had the greatest control he ever saw. "He went 10 games this summer without giving a pass." said Mike, "and he could put the ball over any time he wanted to. His control was so good that he could waste a ball, but in spite of the fact that the batters knew the pill was coming over, they couldn’t do anything with it." A good thing. Keith gets $3000 a year from the Rhoades scholarship to continue his studies abroad and $100 a month during Vacation time with which to travel. On the top of this he gets all his expenses to this country from the St. Louis Club and $450 a month for the season."14

1908 Excerpts

"Pitcher Keith, one of President Hedges’ 1907 purchases, is back in this country. He has had little practice, but does not anticipate much trouble in getting in working order. The possessor of a Rhoades scholarship at Oxford agreed to report in June, but waited until the race was half over before he left England. “We conceded to lite contract demands,” says [St. Louis manager Jimmy] McAleer, “and stand ready to pay him a major league salary for first class work, but we will not undertake the expense of conditioning him at this late period. His salary will start when he shows up in shape to work"15

"The big southpaw pitcher, Charles A. Keith, whom St. Louis bought from Little Rock, arrived from Europe on the 9th Instant, and at once joined the Browns Philadelphia. He held a Rhodes scholarship and passed the winter at Oxford University."16

"Charles A. Keith, a Rhodes scholar at Oxford, arrived on July 9 and joined the Browns, and should get a trial in one of the Boston games."17

"Keith, the Rhodes Scholarship pitcher, joined the Browns in such poor condition that he would not be fit for work for a month. When Manager McAleer casually remonstrated with Keith about failing to live up to specifications, be grew indignant and vanished."18

"Keith, the Southern southpaw, who is home from Oxford during the vacation, is shaping up at Sportsman’s Park and will soon be given a trial by Manager McAleer. As he does not intend to follow base ball, he is not an inviting proposition, but he will be given every opportunity to make good and is he succeeds, will be given lots of work." 19

"Keith, released by the Browns without a trial, shut out the New Orleans team of the Southern League recently, and some of the local writers on base ball assert that McAleer made a mistake in letting the southpaw get away from him. No manager’s judgment is infallible, but if McAleer made a mistake in this instance, all the Browns; catchers who worked out the tall twirler and all the smart men of the team are as badly off in their estimate off in their estimate of Keith as the leader. President Hedges paid $2,500 in real money for Keith, who promised to report in June and showed up a month later without practice or preparation. He is going back to Oxford and will not be available until June or later in 1909 and in any other year that he remains at the English university. He did not show as much as Criss in practice and McAleer has not dared use him in a championship game of late, although he is confident that “Dode” [Criss] will in time be a winning pitcher. Keith declared while with the Browns that he did not give a d—n whether he played ball and displayed indifference in so many ways that his manager concluded that the wisest course was to charge the $2,500 given to Little Rock for his release to profit and loss and let the lengthy one go. He showed up well on his return to Little Rock and may be a star in the fast company, but McAleer and many other major league managers do not want a man of his type on his team." 20

"The St. Louis American Club has given pitcher Chas. Keith, formerly of the Little Rock Southern League Club, his unconditional release. Keith, who is a Rhodes scholar, reported to Manager McAleer last month and has failed to show anything since."21

"Little Rock, Ark., Sept. 7. Pitcher Charles Keith, recently signed by. Little Rock, has decided to leave the club and to abandon base ball for the balance of season. After letting New Orleans down with one hit and no runs in his opening game, he lost his electiveness, and on Thursday last told Manager Finn that he would not be in condition to pitch any more this season. He will return to Oxford College, in England, this fall, and if his arm is improved next spring he will rejoin the Travelers next June."22

1909 Excerpts

"Southpaw Charley Keith, the Rhodes scholar, has just returned from Oxford university, England, and has joined the Little Rock (Southern League) team."23

1910 Excerpts

"Charles A. Keith, a university student, has been appointed temporary coach of the [University of Texas] baseball squad, which will settle down to its real spring practice tomorrow. The probability is that Keith will be retained as permanent coach as soon as the athletic council meets. Keith has had a wide experience in the baseball world. He played with the University of Arkansas for two years beginning in 1905. During the first year he pitching nine games, losing but one of the series and this was lost to a league team. During his second year he won seven out of nine games, losing one of these to the University of Missouri. In 1906 he was called to the Little Rock Southern League, where he has been during a part of every season with a single exception since. The instance referred to was the the year 1908, and he was ten with the St. Louis Browns. In 1907 Keith entered Oxford university as a Rhodes scholar from Arkansas and spent two years prior to this in that institution, coming here last fall. While in Oxford he played ball both at the university and in the city of London. During vacation he returned to this country to assume his duties on the diamond. Comparatively little is known about him here, but the reputation he has made elsewhere is a strong recommendation. He has already appearance on the field a few afternoons and his appearance has had an inspiring effect on the prospective candidates there."24

"Charley Keith, the Rhodes scholar and former Little Bock pitcher, has signed to coach the University of Texas nine this spring."25

"Pitcher Keith, last year with Little Rock, has not reported yet, because of a disabled wing."26

"Keith . . . has been given a leave of absence [by Chattanooga] until May 1 . . ."27

"Austin, Tex,m April 16. --Charles A. Keith, a Cecil Rhodes scholarship man from the University of Arkansas, is this year coaching the University of Texas baseball team. Keith has put in two at Oxford and came to spend a year at the University of Texas before he returns to Oxford to complete his work. Keith is a baseball player as well as a student. In 1906 and 1907 he played with the University of Arkansas. That summer he went to Little Rock in the Southern League, as he had made a record as a college southpaw. Toward the end of the 1907 season the St. Louis Browns nabbed him and paid the Little Rock management $2,500 for him. In 1908 he reported to the Browns at a salary of $400 a month, a pretty good salary for a youngster, but was released after the workout season, as his arm was not right. He came back to Little Rock, but could not remain there because of a rheumatic arm. he belongs to Chattanooga in the Southern League, and if his arm gets back into shape he may go there when school turns out. Keith has been very successful as a coach at the University of Texas. The students respect him highly, he controls them well and is developing a strong team. He has a wide experience as a pitcher and for this reason the young pitchers are doing exceedingly well."28

1912 Excerpts


"Southpaw pitcher Charley Keith has signed with Chattanooga for 1912. When the present Chattanooga magnates purchased the franchise Keith came with it, but refused to report, going instead to England, where he took the course to be derived from a Rhodes scholarship. Upon his return he began teaching in the Little Rock High School, but evidently now prefers base ball to the classics."29

"Little Rock fans were surprised to hear that the Chattanooga management had signed Charles Keith of this city for a tryout. Keith pitched good ball in the Southern League several years ago, and was given a tryout by the St. Louis Browns, but his arm gave out on him and he dropped down to the Southern League, and later quit base ball altogether. It was while attending college in Oxford, England, that his arm went bad, and he blames in on that climate. Keith is at present history instructor in the high school of this city, and is slated to coach the high school base ball team this spring. He is a big fellow, over 6 feet tall, and had a world of steam before his arm went back on him. However, now he says that he has as much speed as ever, and a chance is all that he needs."30

1944 Excerpts

"We of the Progress staff feel that our college has many interesting persons among its student body, administrative staff, and faculty members. Therefore we are instituting a column to be in each Progress featuring some outstanding persons on the campus. It seems fitting that the choice for our first column is Dr. Charles A. Keith, not only because he has been a member of the faculty for so many years, but also because he has become such a living part of Eastern. Charles Alexander Keith was born and spent his childhood on a farm in Arkansas. He attended grade school and high school in Hot Springs and Clark counties in Arkansas, and in 1905 entered the University of Arkansas where he remained until 1907. From 1907-1911 he attended Exeter College, Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar from the state of Arkansas, returning to the United States on leave of absence for one year during this time to attend the University' of Texas. When he came back to the United States in 1911, he had earned his A.B. and M. A. degrees. He again returned to school several years later, attending Indiana" University for additional graduate work in 1925 and 1926. Later he received the honorary degree of Doctor of Pedagogy from Ohio Northern University. His teaching career began in a rural school in Clark county, Arkansas. Then he taught a consolidated three-room school in the same country. In 1911 and 1912 he was instructor of history and civics at Little Rock High School, Little Rock, Arkansas. It was in 1912 that he took two- steps that have helped to make him what he is today. He married Mrs. Keith and accepted the position of Professor of History and Government at Eastern. The duties of Dean of Men were added in 1921. Mrs. Keith has helped him greatly in his work as Dean of Men, knowing many of the boys personally. Having two sons of their own has helped them much in their understanding of youth. Today both of their sons, Eugene and Theodore, are members of the nation's armed forces, one in the Army Air Corps and the other in Naval Aviation. Baseball has been one of the loves of his life ever since he was very young. He was first pitcher on his high school team and played amateur and semi-professional ball in every town and city near where he lived. He was on the University of Arkansas team for two years and helped earn his way through college by playing baseball. With the Southern League and the Saint Louis Browns he played league ball for parts of four seasons. He also played some football in both England and America. All of us here at Eastern have heard Dr. Keith speak at one time or another, but we probably do not all know that he "has spoken widely in the United States, first as a lecturer for the State Council of Defense in World War and later as Redpath lecturer on Americanization in 1920. Besides having a wide interest and knowledge of state, national, and international affairs, he has always taken an interest in his own community. He is past president of the local Rotary, an officer in the Presbyterian church, and a Mason (K. T.), being Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky. He is also probably one of the few living men today, maybe the only living man for whom it requires four and one half ounce cans of ether for administrating anesthesia! Dr. Keith has many hobbies --baseball, tennis (especially when he can have his son Eugene for a partner), bridge, quail hunting, bird dogs, and guns. He loves to go back to Arkansas to hunt, and has done so nine out of every ten seasons for the past 30 years. Those of us who hang around the Rec. Room also notice him playing pool quite often, and his luck in this is as it is in everything else he does, according to his own statement—if he hits a winning streak, nobody can atop him, but if he is losing he is at the very bottom. Strolling down the walk in front of the Administration Building, smoking his pipe on the steps of Roark, addressing us from the stage in Hiram Brock Auditorium, scorning the public address system, knowing all of his students by name, praising Arkansas to the skies, and giving us friendly, sound advice—all of these are little things in themselves, but they go together to make a man whom the students look up to for more reasons than his height."31

1960 Excerpts

"Former Dean Of Men Dies. Dr. Charles Alexander Keith, retired dean of men and former head of the history department at Eastern Kentucky State College, died on June 23 as the result of a stroke he suffered at his residence. For many years Dr. Keith had resided in Memorial Hall on the campus that he loved and had served so well. Dean Keith was an admired and respected figure both in Richmond and throughout the nation. He was an active Mason, former pro baseball pitcher, Rhodes Scholar and a prolific author. He wrote a number of textbooks on history and government and several books of verse and humor. His last book. FAST BALLS AND COLLEGE HALLS, was an autobiography. After his retirement from Eastern he served for a time as superintendent at the Masonic Home for Widows and Orphans in Frankfort. Dr. Keith's death removes from the campus scene a man of unique accomplishments, a man of intelligence, rare humor, and high ideals. His presence was a constant reminder of the opportunities available to those men and women who are willing to give their time and energy to the tasks of becoming useful productive members of society."32
1 Sporting Life, 7/21/1906
2 Sporting Life, 8/18/1906
3 Dallas Morning News, 2/22/1907
4 Atlanta Constitution, 3/2/1907
5 Atlanta Constitution, 3/11/1907
6 Sporting Life, 6/8/1907
7 Sporting Life, 6/15/1907
8 Sporting Life, 8/3/1907
9 Chicago Tribune, 8/4/1907
10 Sporting Life, 8/10/1907
11 Sporting Life, 9/21/1907
12 Sporting Life, 9/21/1907
13 Sporting Life, 10/19/1907
14 Sporting Life, 11/30/1907
15 The Sporting News, 7/16/1908
16 Sporting Life, 7/18/1908
17 Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 7/21/1908
18 Sporting Life, 7/25/1908
19 The Sporting News, 7/30/1908
20 The Sporting News, 8/27/1908
21 Sporting Life, 8/29/1908
22 Sporting Life, 9/12/1908
23 Sporting Life, 8/21/1909
24 Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 2/6/1910
25 Sporting Life, 3/5/1910
26 Sporting Life, 3/26/1910
27 Sporting Life, 4/2/1910
28 Dallas Morning News, 4/17/1910
29 Sporting Life, 3/9/1912
30 The Sporting News, 3/14/1912
31 Eastern Progress, 3/17/1944
32 Eastern Progress, 9/22/1960