Kennedy continued his journey through baseball’s bushes, hooking up with the Nashville Volunteers, a Class A team in the Southern Association.
It was perhaps during the 1901 season that Kennedy’s love for the south was perhaps established.
On the field, Kennedy did very well for the Volunteers, playing in 115 games and hitting a fine .323, going 151 for 468 at the plate.
That fine season earned Kennedy another go around with Nashville in 1902. He played in 95 games for the Volunteers, hitting .261, going 109 for 418 and rapping 17 doubles, six triples and a home run.
Little did Kennedy know, someone was noticing his fine all-around play.
Getting the call
In late April of that season, the Conneaut native was summoned by the Chicago Orphans, a member of the National League.
As in the major leagues.
On May 1, 1902, Orphans manager Frank Selee penciled Kennedy’s name into the lineup as an outfielder for a game against the visiting Cincinnati Reds at the West Side Grounds, the Orphans’ home stadium.
Kennedy made five plate appearances, taking the collar with an 0-for-5 effort, that included a strikeout. He handled all five of his chances in the outfield without incident in a game that ended in a scoreless tie, the first of four deadlocks the Orphans would play that season.
In 1903, the Orphans became known as the Chicago Cubs.
That was the extent of Kennedy’s time with the Orphans, who went on to finish 68-69, fifth in the eight-team National League, 46 games behind the pennant-winning Pittsburgh Pirates.
Despite their mediocre record, the Orphans were popular with their fans, finishing second in the league in attendance, ahead of even the first-place Pirates, drawing 263,700 fans to the West Side Grounds.
Perhaps the Orphans needed a fill-in for a day and summoned Kennedy, but whatever the reason, Kennedy became the ninth man born in Ashtabula County to appear in at least one major-league game, the second from Conneaut.
Kennedy returned to Nashville to finish out the 1902 season with the Volunteers.