- Card series: Beginnings: 1880's
- City: Chicago
- Team: White Stockings
- League: National League
James Edward Ryan (1863-1923) was one of the stand-out players of the 19th century. When he retired in 1903 after 18 ML seasons Ryan ranked in the top 10 in most offensive stats. The first veteran’s committee of the Hall of Fame convened in 1936 and did not elect a single player from that era. Ryan got no votes despite ranking among the best of his day. Ryan was no shrinking violet. He was known as a battler who would punch a reporter or a conductor who wouldn’t find him a berth. In 1888 he led the NL in HRs, hits, doubles, total bases and slugging percentage.
- Career .306 hitter with 118 lifetime home runs when few were hit
- Despite his success, Ryan soured on the game. After his retirement he counseled against making a career in pro-ball, pointing to the few players who made it past age 35