Even though it is widely known that Tim Keefe spent most of his adult life around the game and attended Boston Red Sox games regularly into the late-1920s, his autographs remain scarce to this day. One of the handful of authentic examples known can be found on a signed team sheet, but it is one of the few Keefe signatures that survived through the decades. Even though he passed away in 1933, which is still long before autograph collecting became more commonplace, one would imagine that some people would have pursued Keefe’s signature prior to his death. His stature in the game and accessibility later in life would have seemingly produced more autographs for collectors today, yet it was not to be.
Timothy Keefe died in 1933 at the age of 76.
Timothy John Keefe (January 1, 1857 - April 23, 1933) was less than stellar when he entered professional baseball in 1880, but his 0.86 ERA in twelve games certainly made opposing managers take notice. Keefe began his career with the Troy Trojans (1880-1882) before moving to the New York Metropolitans (1883-1884), then the New York Giants (1885-1889, 1891) retiring with the Philadelphia Phillies (1891-1893). During his 14 big league seasons, Tim Keefe hurled 2,533 strikeouts posting a record of 342-223 and a 2.62 earned run average. He was the first pitcher to have three seasons topping the 300-strikeout mark. Sir Tim led the National League in ERA three times and wins twice while throwing seven 20-win seasons, six 30-win seasons and two 40-win seasons. In 1888, Tim Keefe won the Triple Crown for pitching with 35 wins, 335 strikeouts and a 1.74 ERA. The Veterans Committee elected Timothy John Keefe to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981.