The catcher of Frank Chance
's great Cub teams of 1906-10, Kling was the NL's premier
defensive catcher and a capable hitter. Batterymate Ed Reulbach
called him "one of
the greatest catchers who ever wore a mask." In the years 1902-08, Kling led the
league in fielding four times, putouts six, assists twice, and double plays once.
On June(e-h)h)h)21, 1907, he threw out all four Cardinal runners who attempted to
steal second base. In the WS that fall, Kling nabbed seven Tigers in 14 tries, with
unable to steal a single base. In the winter of 1908-09, Kling won the world
pocket billiard championship and decided to forsake the baseball diamond for the
pool table. Defeated in his attempt to retain the title, he rejoined the Cubs in
1910 but was a part-timer thereafter. His brother Bill pitched briefly in the NL
during the 1890s.