- Card series: Beginnings: 1880's
- City: Washington, D.C.
- Team: Nationals
- League: National League
James B. Donnelly (1865-1915) had eleven seasons in the majors, playing third base for nine teams. While he toiled in relative obscurity for most of his career, Donnelly had the thrill, in its waning days, of being part of a remarkable championship season with the Orioles in 1896. In that storied year, the club walked away with its third straight NL pennant, besting second-place Cleveland to win the Temple Cup in the post-season. Donnelly had, by far, his greatest offensive production in ‘96, hitting .328 – over a hundred points above his lifetime average. That effort would have been a headliner for any other team, but in Baltimore Donnelly was only the sixth-best on the squad. Jim was overshadowed by pretty good men: Wilbert Robinson .347, Jack Doyle .339, Hughie Jennings .401, Willie Keeler .386, and Joe Kelley .364. Talk about Murderers Row! The Ned Hanlon/John McGraw powerhouse was soon to disband as the NL went from twelve to eight teams to accommodate the new American League a few years later.
- Donnelly had begun “out west” in Terre Haute in 1884 and played for Indianapolis, Detroit and Omaha in his early days, but stayed close to his New Haven roots in New England from 1899-1902
Jim’s uniform color on this card was changed in March, 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.