Beginnings: 1880’s: Errors & Outtakes


Why do many of the cards on this page feature a different style than other cards in the 1880's series?

Most of the cards on this page represent very early examples of my work.

When I started designing the 1880’s series, I thought folks would prefer artwork that was as faithful to the Old Judge and Buchner Gold Coin cards as possible. For example, I painstakingly matched the players’ Old Judge images with their Buchner Gold Coin backgrounds (i.e., Buck Ewing’s Old Judge image is superimposed onto Buck Ewing’s Buchner Gold Coin background), thinking this would be really cool and important to people (“Hey! I can get both Ewings on one card!”). And I actually did very little else to the finished product, as evidenced below – striving for authenticity.

While I had cleaned the Buchner backgrounds and borders up quite a bit, I left the original artwork virtually untouched. While I had colored the Old Judge images, I intentionally desaturated the colors and did little to improve the quality of the original images.

While I was striving for one interpretation of authenticity, I quickly discovered that most collectors prefer a different interpretation of authenticity – a sharp, crisp, clean, vibrant, and richly colored interpretation; and furthermore, that my attempts to match players between their Old Judge images and Buchner backgrounds wasn’t too important to people. The message was clear: pay less homage and invoke greater originality. So my work evolved . . .

. . . and some cards were left behind. For some, I found better images of the same players in different poses. For others, certain complexities about the images forced me to put the projects on hold.

Some of these cards will be revisited, re-designed, and re-released. Some will not. I will do my best to explain the status of each card in the details below.

Billy Barnie

Manager
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Baltimore
  • Team: Orioles
  • League: American Association

William Harrison Barnie (1853-1900) played catcher/OF for three National Association teams in the 1870s prior to beginning an extensive career as manager. Nicknamed “Bald Billy,” Barnie struck a distinguished pose for the Old Judge photographer during his days with the Orioles, the club he led for nine years. Billy left Baltimore following the 1891 season for a very brief turn with the Senators before managing Louisville and Brooklyn for two years each. Barnie’s frail health felled him a mere two years after his final campaign with the Bridegrooms, dying of pneumonia at age 47.

  • While Mike Scanlon was desperately trying to gain major-league status for his Washington Statesmen in 1885, he publicly engaged Barnie in war of words seeking a contest with the Orioles to prove his team’s mettle. When the match finally occurred, following a wearisome Baltimore road trip, the D.C. lads prevailed 3-2 on May 28. The following year, Scanlon brought his squad into the NL
  • Barnie was a lifelong partisan of the American Association, working hard to reconstitute it. He was mourned as a beloved man who would have had a big impact as the AL was forming

Auction History

Jake Beckley

First Base
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Pittsburgh
  • Team: Alleghenys
  • League: National League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Jacob Peter Beckley (1867-1918) was a durable first-baseman over a 20-year career. Though he never played for a pennant winner, Beckley hit .309 lifetime and held the games-played-at-first record until Eddie Murray surpassed him in 1994. Hit .300+ in 13 seasons (three different Pittsburgh clubs, Giants, Reds and Cards). Upon his retirement, Beckley’s 2,930 career hits placed him second only to Cap Anson.

  • Not above subterfuge, worked a hidden-ball trick on Honus Wagner using two balls
  • Known for cheating on the base paths, was called out by the ump for “getting there too fast!” after racing from 2nd directly home while Blue wasn’t looking
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1971

Auction History

Charlie Bennett

Catcher
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Detroit
  • Team: Wolverines
  • League: National League

Permanent Outtake: Alternate batting pose.

After finding an alternate pose with better detail, I retired this version and made a new one. You can find the new card here.

Auction History

John Clarkson

Pitcher
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Boston
  • Team: Beaneaters
  • League: National League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Permanent Outtake: Alternate throwing pose.

I made this card, the second one in the 1880s series for Clarkson, in a moment of doubt & fear. I had originally intended to produce only one pose per player for this set, but in the early days of the business there were ebbs in the demand for my work and I retreated to the idea that more Hall of Famers would increase demand. I also created a second Deacon White card for the same reason. I have since regretted that decision and now feel confident enough in your support to return to my original principles for this series. While I have removed this pose from this series, I hope to create a smaller series that covers the 1890s some day and I can envision this pose making a permanent appearance in that set.

Auction History

Roger Connor

First Base
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: New York
  • Team: Giants
  • League: National League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Permanent Outtake: Alternate fielding pose.

After finding an alternate pose with better detail, I retired this version and made a new one. You can find the new card here.

Auction History

Pop Corkhill

Outfield
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Cincinnati
  • Team: Red Stockings (AA)
  • League: American Association

Undecided: I love this image of Pop, but the quality is not great. I am still not sure if I should wrestle with it again or retire the card permanently.

Auction History

Hugh Duffy

Outfield
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Chicago
  • Team: White Stockings
  • League: National League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Hugh Duffy (1866-1954) is as much a baseball institution as the Hall of Fame that enshrines him. For 68 years he devoted himself to the game he loved and excelled at as few ever have. In 1894 he set the all-time mark with a .440 average while winning the triple crown. He made HOF pitchers look like batting practice coaches: .586 against John Clarkson, .650 vs Cy Young. Amos Rusie was the exception, holding Duffy to a mere .333. So diminutive Cap Anson nearly dismissed him (“We already have a bat boy”), Hugh hustled his way to becoming the only player to hit .300 in four leagues and let the power follow his form (“hit ‘em up the middle”) winning two HR titles. Duffy went on to coach, manage, scout and mentor for a half-century after hanging up his spikes. He was still hitting fungoes eight years after his induction into Cooperstown and delighted in pupil Ted Williams’ success as he sought in vain to eclipse Duffy’s record in 1941.

  • Playing career spanned 19 years, primarily in Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia
  • Played center field for the Beaneaters next to his “Heavenly Twin,” Tommy McCarthy in right, leading Boston to a pair of pennants
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1945
  • Although the Old Judge series features five known poses of Hugh Duffy, I could not find one of suitable quality for this project. This image is taken from a cabinet photo produced by the Elmer Chickering Studio in Boston.
  • Update, 4/26/2017: I found a suitable image for Duffy from the original Old Judge series. This card has been replaced and retired and is now considered an outtake.

 

Auction History

Ewing & Mascot

  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: New York
  • Team: Giants
  • League: National League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Buck Ewing & Willie Breslin

Auction History

Farrell & Hines

  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Washington, D.C.
  • Team: Nationals
  • League: National League

Jack Farrell & Paul Hines

 

Auction History

Billy Hamilton

Outfield
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Kansas City
  • Team: Cowboys
  • League: American Association
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Permanent Outtake: Alternate batting pose.

After finding an alternate pose with better detail, I retired this version and made a new one. You can find the new card here.

Auction History

Ned Hanlon

Outfield
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Detroit
  • Team: Wolverines
  • League: National League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Permanent Outtake: Alternate batting pose.

After finding an alternate pose with better detail, I retired this version and made a new one. You can find the new card here.

Auction History

Connie Mack

Catcher
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Washington, D.C.
  • Team: Nationals
  • League: National League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Permanent Outtake: Alternate batting pose.

After finding an alternate pose with better detail, I retired this version and made a new one. You can find the new card here.

Auction History

Bobby Mathews

Pitcher
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Philadelphia
  • Team: Athletics (AA)
  • League: American Association

Robert T. Mathews (1851-1898) won the 1st Nat’l Assoc game on May 4, 1871. Over 20 years, Mathews became the only man to win 50+ games in each of the 3 early major leagues: NAPBB, the NL, and the AA. His resume includes an NL and an AA title with the Providence Grays and Phil. Athletics respectively. Stands 25th among winningest pitchers in MLB history.

  • Won 297 games, more than any other pitcher NOT inducted into the Hall of Fame
  • One of the first to use the spitball and execute the curve

Auction History

Kid Nichols

Pitcher
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Omaha
  • Team: Omahogs
  • League: Western Association

Charles Augustus Nichols (1869-1953). A right-handed, switch-hitting pitcher, Nichols played 15 major league seasons for 3 different clubs. Nichols had 11 seasons with 20 Wins or more, 10 consecutively, 7 of which exceeded 30. He quit MLB for 2 years to own & pitch for a minor league team, with whom he won another 48 games.

  • Youngest to 300 Wins (30 years)
  • 5x NL pennant winner
  • His 361 Wins ranks 7th all-time
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1949
  • Although the Old Judge series features five known poses of Kid Nichols, I could not find one of suitable quality for this project. This image is taken from a cabinet photo produced by the Elmer Chickering Studio in Boston.
  • Update: This card was retired in August of 2017 as I was finally able to find a suitable original Old Judge image of Kid Nichols. I have replaced this card with a new one that you can find here

Auction History

Radbourn & Nash

  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Boston
  • Team: Beaneaters
  • League: National League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Old Hoss Radbourn & Billy Nash

 

Auction History

Wilbert Robinson

Catcher
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Philadelphia
  • Team: Athletics (AA)
  • League: American Association
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Uncle Robbie (1863-1934). A durable catcher for 17 seasons with 3 teams, Robinson is credited as the 1st to play directly behind the plate at all times. Uncle Robbie once caught 5 games in two days. He also had 7 hits & 11 RBI in a single game. After his playing days were over, Robinson went on to manage for 18 seasons.

  • Won 3 NL pennants as player
  • Won 2 NL pennants as manager
  • Won 5 NL pennants as pitching coach
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1945
  • Although the Old Judge series features five known poses of Wilbert Robinson, I could not find one of suitable quality for this project. This image is taken from the Kalamazoo Bats (N690-1) series from 1887.

Auction History

Ezra Sutton

Third Base
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Boston
  • Team: Beaneaters
  • League: National League

Undecided: I love this image of Mr. Sutton, but the quality is not great. I am still not sure if I should wrestle with it again or retire the card permanently.

Auction History

Sam Thompson

Outfield
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Detroit
  • Team: Wolverines
  • League: National League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

After finding an alternate pose with better detail, I retired this version and made a new one. You can find the new card here.

Auction History

Deacon White

Third Base
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Detroit
  • Team: Wolverines
  • League: National League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Permanent Outtake: Alternate fielding pose.

I made this card, the second one in the 1880s series for White, in a moment of doubt & fear. I had originally intended to produce only one pose per player for this set, but in the early days of the business there were ebbs in the demand for my work and I retreated to the idea that more Hall of Famers would increase demand. I also created a second John Clarkson card for the same reason. I have since regretted that decision and now feel confident enough in your support to return to my original principles for this series. While I have removed this pose from this series, I hope to create a smaller series that covers the 1890s some day and I can envision this pose making a permanent appearance in that set.

Auction History