Roger Philip Bresnahan (June 11, 1879 – December 4, 1944), nicknamed "The Duke of Tralee", was an American player and manager in Major League Baseball (MLB). As a player, Bresnahan competed in MLB for the Washington Senators (1897), Chicago Orphans (1900), Baltimore Orioles (1901–1902), New York Giants (1902–1908), St. Louis Cardinals (1909–1912) and Chicago Cubs (1913–1915). Bresnahan also managed the Cardinals (1909–1912) and Cubs (1915). He was a member of the 1905 World Series champions.
Bresnahan opened his MLB career as a pitcher. He also served as an outfielder, before becoming a regular catcher. For his MLB career, Bresnahan had a .279 batting average in 4,480 at bats and a 328–432 managerial win-loss record. Bresnahan popularized the use of protective equipment in baseball. He introduced shin guards to be worn by a catcher in 1907. He also developed the first batting helmet.
After retiring as a player, Bresnahan remained active in professional baseball. He owned the minor league Toledo Mud Hens and coached for the Giants and Detroit Tigers. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1945 by the Veterans Committee.
By Dean Hanley
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