- Series: Jim Dandie Feds
- City: St. Louis
- Team: Terriers
- League: Federal League
- Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame
Edward Stewart Plank (1875-1926) hurled more shutouts and complete games than any other lefthander in his 17-season career. He ranks behind only Warren Spahn and Steve Carlton among southpaws in wins. Signed by Connie Mack straight out of college, Plank never played a day in the minors. Playing in 4 Series for Philadelphia, Plank had an ERA of 1.32 but got no run support, going 2-5 but finishing all six of his starts.
- His 326 wins ranks 13th on the all time list. He had eight 20-win seasons
- At the end of his career, played for St. Louis in the Federal League’s final year in 1915 and then with the Browns for two more
- Elected to Hall of Fame: 1946
- Series: Beginnings: 1880's
- City: Minneapolis
- Team: Millers
- League: Western Association
Charles James Parsons (1863-1936) was a pitcher who got three try-outs with major league teams during a minor league career that spanned the latter half of the 1880s. He broke in with the Newark Domestics of the Eastern League in 1884 where, at twenty years old, he started two games, yielded just 3 earned runs in 15 innings and pitched to an 0-1 record. Charlie made an impression the following season for the Birmingham club of the Southern League, leading the team with a 10-13 record and an outstanding 1.48 ERA. On May 29, Parsons hurled the first no-hitter for those Barons, earning him a spot on the NL's Boston Beaneaters’ roster to begin the 1886 season. Assigned to pitch back-to-back games, Parsons lost both and was summarily sold to Rochester of the international Association, where he had an excellent year at 15-10 with a team-leading 1.12 ERA. Charlie’s sustained success in the minors earned him another spot in a major league rotation in 1887, this time with the New York Metropolitans of the American Association. In four starts, Parsons went 1-1 but gave up 17 earned runs (36 total runs for the error-prone Mets). By 1888, Charlie was suiting up for the Minneapolis Millers. Other than being immortalized in five known poses by a Goodwin photographer in his Millers uniform, Charlie started just one game in Minneapolis, surrendering two runs and finishing the game in a losing effort. In 1890 Parsons got one more shot in the majors with the Cleveland Spiders. Again, they only used him for two games and he lost his only decision.
- The Sporting News reported in its June 16, 1890 edition that Parsons had been signed by Jackson of the Tri-State League, but there is no evidence that he ever played professional baseball again
- Parsons was 25-24 with a 1.31 ERA in 51 minor league games, but just 1-4 with a 4.58 ERA in 8 major league games
- Charlie may have been a better hitter than pitcher. Although it’s a small sample, Charlie hit .333 (9 for 27) in his 8 ML games, knocking in two and stealing a bag for good measure
- Series: Mort's Reserve
- City: New York
Andrew Peck (1836-1918) and his partner Walter Irving Snyder founded the first true sporting goods store in 1866 at 124-128 Nassau Street in New York City. The pair wanted to promote their business and thought trade cards might help. In 1869, this was a common technique for many retailers, but Peck and Snyder wanted something distinctive. They came up with the idea of using the image of Harry Wright’s nationally renowned new professional baseball squad, the Cincinnati Red Stockings, as their motif. A few versions were printed, the most prized of which today features the players in uniform and their names below the photo. No one could have known that this modest marketing scheme would pave the way for one of the great products and hobbies in American history, as Peck and Snyder unwittingly established a framework for the mass-produced baseball picture card. Following the Red Stockings release, the company issued cards featuring the hometown Mutuals and rival Chicago White Stockings in 1870. Other manufacturers soon followed suit and baseball cards became an advertising mainstay.
- Peck posted inning-by-inning telegraph reports of the big game between the NY Mutuals and Wright’s club in 1870 to a fevered crowd of NY “cranks.” Final tally: Cincinnati 15, NY 12.
- Peck started his business with ten cents to his name and died a rich man
- Perhaps not rich enough to buy his own trade cards today though: a Peck & Snyder 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings card recently sold for $75,000
- Series: 1880s: Loving Paupers
- City: St. Paul
- Team: Apostles
- League: Western Association
John Thomas Pickett (1866-1922) was a utility infielder/outfielder who earned three brief chances in the major leagues. First, after tearing up the Western Association for St. Paul in 1888-89, John was given a try by the American Association’s Kansas City Cowboys late in the ‘89 season. He got to play quite a bit for a late-comer that year, getting into 53 games at three positions. He managed only a .224 average. Fortunately for Pickett, 1890 was a volatile year in the majors as the Players’ League siphoned off as much talent as they could lure to their rogue enterprise and John got a chance with the Philadelphia Athletics where he did much better, hitting .280 in 100 games. The diluted talent allowed many of the Players’ players to excel that single year of the league’s existence, similar to what had happened in 1884 as the Union Association played spoiler to baseball’s establishment. Two years later Pickett got his last chance in the big leagues with the cellar-dwelling Orioles. Tommy Lasorda has famously postulated that the best teams lose a third of their games and the worst win a third of theirs. Baltimore defied Tommy’s sage observation by winning 19 and losing 54 en route to a last place finish in the AA in ‘92. He hit .213 for the struggling Birds - totally unlike his usual solid hitting in the minors. John had begun in pro ball with Stillwater of the Northwestern League in 1884 and played later for Milwaukee and Minneapolis in the same circuit. He was still hitting near .300 in his final Western Association appearances with Kansas City and Minneapolis in 1897 as he wrapped up his time in the minors.
- One sweet note that Pickett could take with him was that when the Orioles let him go, he was replaced at second base by a young firebrand named John McGraw
Old Judge Pose: 369-2