• A
  • B
  • C
  • D
  • E
  • F
  • G
  • H
  • I
  • J
  • K
  • L
  • M
  • N
  • O
  • P
  • Q
  • R
  • S
  • T
  • U
  • V
  • W
  • X
  • Y
  • Z

Mike Slattery

  • Series: 1888 Champion New York Giants
  • City: New York
  • Team: Giants
  • League: National League

Michael J. Slattery (1866-1904) was an outfielder for five teams over five seasons, including the 1888 Champion NY Giants. He debuted for the Union Association’s Boston entry (the Reds) in 1884 during that league’s only season. Slattery returned to MLB in 1888 with the NL’s Giants for two years before jumping to the NY Player’s League team in 1890. He closed his career with the Cincinnati Reds and Washington Statesmen in ’91.

  • Averaged .251 at the plate over his ML tenure
  • Best year was in the PL, with a .307 BA, 126 hits, 5 HRs and 18 steals

Germany Schaefer

Second Base
  • Series: Diamond Heads '15
  • City: Washington, D.C.
  • Team: Senators
  • League: American League

Herman A. Schaefer (1876-1919) was the Clown Prince of baseball for nearly two decades in the early years of the last century. “Germany” (or “Liberty” as he thought a better nickname after WWI began) was beloved for his antics on the field. In its obituary, the New York Times said he was “one of the most popular figures on the diamond.” Born into the tough German immigrant district of south Chicago, the stocky Schaefer came up through semi-pro ball and soon made it to the Cubs in late 1901. A slump the following year sent him to the PCL and other minor league teams before the Tigers brought him back to the bigs in '05. Legends surrounded the colorful Schaefer and it is hard to tell fact from fiction. He was said to have called shots long before the Babe, make dramatic self-narrated trips around the bases and harangue mercilessly some of the greats of his day. One of his most storied feats involved his famed steal of first, accomplished from second base in order to tempt a run-scoring errant throw. After his death, baseball officially outlawed such depredations. John McGraw hired Schaefer as a scout in 1919 but the bantam joker succumbed to a TB-induced hemorrhage on a train trip to check on NY talent.

  • Germany played for six MLB teams including the Federal League's Newark Peppers. He closed his career with Cleveland months before his untimely death
  • His lifetime .257 average belied his ability to deliver clutch hits, seemingly at will, when the moment was right
  • A Detroit sportswriter effused: “Germany Schaefer was the soul of baseball itself, with all its sorrows and joys, the born troubadour of the game.”

Auction History

Charlie Sprague

  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Chicago
  • Team: White Stockings
  • League: National League

Charles Wellington Sprague (1864-1912) pitched for nine teams from 1887 through 1891, three of which were in the major leagues: the National League’s Chicago White Stockings and Cleveland Spiders, and the Toledo Maumees of the American Association. His other experience was primarily in the Western Association with Jamestown of the New York-Pennsylvania League being his final stop. With the big clubs, Sprague had a respectable 10-7 record during three seasons with a 4.51 ERA. The lefty played a little outfield when not on the mound. For Toledo, Charlie was the fourth starter with Egyptian Healy being the ace. The team finished fourth in 1890, the year so many stars bolted to their start-up “Players’ National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs” (aka the Players’ League or “Brotherhood.”)

  • The Goodwin guide editors note that Charlie’s Old Judge images are unusual in depicting him in two different team uniforms in the same season: Chicago’s White Stockings and Maroons in 1888

Auction History

Frank Scheibeck

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

Frank S. Scheibeck (1865-1956) enjoyed a two-decade career that began with the Duluth Freezers and ended with his hometown Tigers at age 41 in 1906. Frank had some distinguished moments over this long haul. With the Toledo Maumees of the AA in 1890, he was the league leader for shortstops in several defensive categories while hitting .282. His performance could careen up and down, however, leading to many assignments in the minors. Undoubtedly, Frank regaled his grandkids with the tale of his role in one of the greatest ninth-inning comebacks ever: a bases-loaded double that sparked his Cleveland Blues against the Washington Senators, overcoming a 13-5 deficit on May 31, 1901.

  • Remarkably, on April 25, 1901 in their first American League game, Detroit overcame a ten-run disadvantage, also in the bottom of the ninth versus the Brewers
  • Played for seven major-league teams from 1887-1906
  • Played for three different professional baseball teams in Detroit across three different leagues: Detroit Wolverines, NL, 1888; Detroit Tigers, WL, 1895-96; Detroit Tigers, AL, 1906.

Auction History

Orator Shafer

  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Des Moines
  • Team: Prohibitionists
  • League: Western Association

George W. Shafer (1851-1922) still ranks tenth all-time in outfield assists. The right fielder extraordinaire also continues to hold the single-season record with 50 runners cut down in 1879. Known for jawing at himself out in right if he didn’t have an umpire nearby to harangue, “Orator” was far from all talk. He had great seasons at bat and perennially ranked among the best outfielders of his day. Shafer began with the Hartford Dark Blues of the NA in 1874. Like many in the early decades of baseball, he moved around a lot. By the time he returned for a second stint with the Athletics in 1890, he had played for ten teams in 14 years. He had a great year at bat for the Indianapolis Blues in ‘78 where his .338 average was sixth in the NL. Four times he led the league in outfield assists. Orator was a key member of Cap Anson’s White Stockings, batting .304 the year he set the assist record. From 1887-89 the volatile Shafer made his living with minor league squads where he hit well and also drew a suspension for decking an umpire.

  • Shafer’s final ML season was back in Philly where he was joined by younger brother (Zachary) Taylor at 2nd base
  • Orator had an even 1,000 hits, good for a lifetime .282 average
  • Shafer’s uniform color on this card was changed in May, 2017 from black to blue to reflect recent reliable research by Craig Brown & friends at Threads of Our Game. Two cards had been previously released featuring a black uniform.

Auction History