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Bid McPhee

Second Base
  • Series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
  • City: Cincinnati
  • Team: Reds (NL)
  • League: National League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

John A. McPhee (1859-1943). McPhee played 18 seasons – all for the Cincinnati Red Stockings/Reds – & was the last 2nd baseman to play without a glove, playing bare-handed for the 1st 14 years of his career. Known for his defense, McPhee matured in the box & compiled some good numbers: 2,258 Hs, 1,684 Rs, at least 568 SBs & a .355 OBP.

  • Only HOFer to spend significant time in AA
  • One of 3 HOFers to spend entire career with Cincinnati
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 2000

Auction History

Bill McClellan

Second Base
  • Series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
  • City: Brooklyn
  • Team: Grays (AA)
  • League: American Association

William Henry McClellan (1856-1929) was a switch-hitting infielder for 5 teams over 8 seasons from 1878-88. McClellan played in 794 games compiling a career BA of .242 and a fielding % of .877. His best offensive year was for Brooklyn in ’86, hitting 9 HRs and driving in 68.

  • Broke in with the Chicago White Stockings in 1878
  • Played for the Bridegrooms 1885-88, ending his career with the Cleveland Blues

Auction History

Napoleon Lajoie

Second Base
  • Series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
  • City: Philadelphia
  • Team: Phillies
  • League: National League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Napoleon Lajoie (1885-1959) joined the American League at its inception and became its first superstar en route to a Hall of Fame career as one of the best all time 2nd basemen. In that first year of the junior circuit, Lajoie set a record never exceeded in the AL with a .426 BA (also never exceeded in the modern era in the NL). Won the Triple Crown in 1901 and 4 more AL batting titles.

  • Only Cobb, Ruth, Wagner, Mathewson and Johnson preceded him In the first HOF balloting
  • Was such a hit with Cleveland fans, they voted to name the team the “Naps” in 1903
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1937

Auction History

Bud Fowler

Second Base
  • Series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
  • City: Findlay
  • Team: Sluggers
  • League: Independent

John W. Fowler (nee Jackson) (1858-1913) was the first black pro ballplayer. He got his start with the Lynn, MA Live Oaks, besting Tommy Bond’s NL champs in an exhibition game on April 24, 1878. He played for minor league clubs in New England and Canada until his life changed dramatically in 1887. For two decades the stain of Jim Crow had spread northward and arrived in Binghamton NY, whose white players decided they couldn’t any longer abide their black mates. The “Gentlemen’s Agreement” took hold, leaving few integrated leagues for Fowler. Undeterred, Bud found teams in the west. By 1892 Sporting Life asserted the Nebraska League was “the only league in the country which permits the employment of colored players.” Still undeterred, Fowler and Findlay, OH teammate Home Run Johnson determined to found their own franchise which became the Page Fence Giants of Adrian MI, pioneering barnstorming and showmanship.

  • “Those who know say there is no better second baseman in the country” said Sporting Life. Yet, Fowler died in poverty, excluded from the white game until Cooperstown, his hometown, named the street to Doubleday Field for him on the centenary of his passing
  • Fowler played a greater number of seasons and games in professional baseball than any African-American until 1956, when Jackie Robinson played his 11th professional and final (10th) season for the Brooklyn Dodgers

Auction History

Jack Farrell

Second Base
  • Series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
  • City: Providence
  • Team: Grays (NL)
  • League: National League

John A. “Moose” Farrell (1857-1914) played 2nd base for 5 teams over 11 seasons. Served as player/mgr for the ’81 Providence Grays, achieving a 24-27 record before turning over the reins to Tom York. Always a reliable fielder, Farrell led or neared the lead in many defensive categories throughout his career.

  • Averaged a modest .243 lifetime but hit .300+ twice (rookie season ’79 & ’83)
  • Finished his career with the Orioles of the American Association in ’88 & ‘89

Auction History