- Card series: Beginnings: 1880's
- City: Chicago
- Team: White Stockings
- League: National League
Willie Hahm, also known as “Master Willies,” was a rarity among early baseball mascots. He was white. The youngster, said to have been barely able to talk when first brought to the dugout, was the diminutive talisman for the Chicago White Stockings in the mid-1880s. “The Chicagos have great confidence in him as a promoter of success and make a great fuss over him” said Louisville Colonels manager Jim Hart in one of the earliest interviews explicating the curious role of mascots in America’s game. After triumphing in the 1884 campaign, Hart said the Sox had paraded Hahm at the head of their procession in an open landau. The Chicago Tribune reported on a big match with the rival Wolverines on June 18, 1886. Al Spalding brought a trainload of boosters to Detroit in hopes of preventing the eclipse of Chicago’s record home winning streak. Downtown Motor City was treated to the spectacle of the White Stockings and 200 rabid fans marching from the depot to the Russell Hotel carrying broomsticks with Willie Hahm leading the throng. Later, per the Tribune, “The Chicagos were escorted to the ground by a band, and entered the field behind little Willie Hahm, who carried an immense broom on which were written the words Our Mascot.”
- Many of the early mascots were black kids dragooned by superstitious players such as NY’s Buck Ewing
- The first two releases of this card (2016) were errors: Hahm was misspelled as “Hahn”
- Hahm’s uniform color in this card was changed from black to blue in March, 2017 to reflect recent reliable research conducted by Craig Brown and friends at Threads of Our Game. Two cards had been previously released featuring a black uniform.