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Varney Anderson

  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: St. Paul
  • Team: Apostles
  • League: Western Association

Warner Samuel Anderson (1866-1941) was a right-handed pitcher who played part of 4 seasons with the Indianapolis Hoosiers & Washington Senators. Primarily a minor leaguer, Varney began his professional career with the Milwaukee Cream Cities of the Northwestern League in 1887 and his debut was promising: starting 40 games & going 24-15 with a 2.94 ERA. By ’89 the Hoosiers gave him a try but the 23-year-old got into only two games. Five years later, he got another opportunity with the Senators where he pitched substantially in only the 1895 season, hurling 204 innings with a 9-16 record. His other significant year was 1897 with the Rockford Forest Citys of the WA, where he won 17 & lost 9. When he played, he hit. His two strong seasons with Milwaukee & Rockford he hit .295 and .324 respectively, and in ’95 batted .289 against ML competition. For unknown reasons, he was only a spot-starter for most of his career.

  • Varney pitched for one final club – Rock Island in 1898 – starting and winning his only game. He also went 1 for 3 at the plate

Auction History


  • Old Judge Pose: 7-5
  • Buchner Canvas: Nick Nicholl

Bob Allen

  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Pittsburgh
  • Team: Alleghenys
  • League: National League

Robert Gilman Allen (1867-1943) played for the Phillies from 1890-94, was out of the majors until he caught on with the Beaneaters for the 1897 season and closed his career with Cincinnati for 5 games in 1900 while also managing. His mediocre lifetime BA of .241 belied his value as he had a .334 OBP over his 607 ML games.

  • Over his career, Allen worked 297 walks versus 221 strikeouts
  • In 1893 he slugged 8 HRs, exceeded by only 10 NL players

Auction History


  • Old Judge Pose: 5-1
  • Buchner Canvas: Sam Barkley

Grover Cleveland Alexander

  • Series: Diamond Heads '15
  • City: Philadelphia
  • Team: Phillies
  • League: National League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Grover Cleveland Alexander (1887-1950) earned his plaque in the Hall of Fame on the strength of his strong right arm & an indomitable spirit. The battered WWI vet fought German mustard gas, epilepsy-inducing artillery, PTSD-induced alcoholism and opposing hitters, all with honor and distinction. It is impossible to know the record he would have achieved but for the interruption of war.

  • Led the NL in ERA 1915, ‘16, ‘17, ‘19, and ‘20. Led GIs into battle in ‘18
  • Said of his induction into the HOF: “the greatest treat and one of the biggest thrills” of his life
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1938

Auction History

Merito Acosta

  • Series: Diamond Heads '15
  • City: Washington, D.C.
  • Team: Senators
  • League: American League
  • Hall: Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame

Baldomero Pedro Acosta Fernandez (1896-1963) began playing winter ball in his native Cuba in 1913 and debuted the same year with the Washington Senators as one of the first of his countrymen to play in MLB. As a sixteen-year-old that spring, The Sporting Life had heralded the young Cuban as “a second Ty Cobb.” That lofty promise went unfilled in American ball, as Merito played part time in the outfield, only making 200+ plate appearances twice with Washington. He finished his major league career in 1918 with the Philadelphia Athletics where he logged his best year at bat, hitting .302. Acosta was part of two remarkable feats in his career: in 1915 he and Chick Gandil walked, were sacrificed along and Gandil scored on a sac fly to record a rare run without an official at-bat in the inning. In 1919 with Havana, the fleet-footed center fielder accomplished an unassisted triple-play, racing to second after the catch to tag the bag and the runner coming from first. Acosta found a new home with the Louisville Colonels of the minor league American Association from 1919-28.

  • In 1922/23 Acosta was named manager of a new Cuban franchise in Marianao and led them to the championship
  • Elected to Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame: 1955

Auction History

Cap Anson

First Base
  • Series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
  • City: Chicago
  • Team: White Stockings
  • League: National League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Adrian Constantine Anson (1852-1922) was Mr. Longevity, a big, brawling cyclone of controversy & batsmanship unrivaled in the early days of pro ball. He set hitting standards that only the greatest future players would approach or break. He also, by dint of his ferocious personality, may have been the single greatest force for segregation in baseball until Branch Rickey began to reverse that sad estate.

  • Played a record 27 consecutive years in the NL
  • First batter to 3000 hits, using his powerful arms to create line drives with a short swing
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1939

Auction History