Bob Allen

Shortstop
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Pittsburgh
  • Team: Alleghenys
  • League: National League

Robert Gilman Allen (1867-1943) played for the Phillies from 1890-94, was out of the majors until he caught on with the Beaneaters for the 1897 season and closed his career with Cincinnati for 5 games in 1900 while also managing. His mediocre lifetime BA of .241 belied his value as he had a .334 OBP over his 607 ML games.

  • Over his career, Allen worked 297 walks versus 221 strikeouts
  • In 1893 he slugged 8 HRs, exceeded by only 10 NL players

Auction History

Cartophilia

  • Old Judge Pose: 5-1
  • Buchner Canvas: Sam Barkley

Myron Allen

Outfield
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Kansas City
  • Team: Cowboys
  • League: American Association

Myron Smith Allen (1854-1924) was an outfielder for the NY Gothams, Boston Beaneaters, Cleveland Blues and Kansas City Cowboys in the 1880s. In fact virtually his whole tenure in MLB was with the American Association as his stints with the NL NY and Boston clubs were precisely one game each.

  • Allen’s ’87 season with the Blues was by far his most productive with a .276 BA in 463 ABs
  • He drove in one run in the NL and 87 in the AA
  • Allen also pitched 4 games for 3 teams, going 1-3

Auction History

Varney Anderson

Pitcher
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: St. Paul
  • Team: Apostles
  • League: Western Association

Warner Samuel Anderson (1866-1941) was a right-handed pitcher who played part of 4 seasons with the Indianapolis Hoosiers & Washington Senators. Primarily a minor leaguer, Varney began his professional career with the Milwaukee Cream Cities of the Northwestern League in 1887 and his debut was promising: starting 40 games & going 24-15 with a 2.94 ERA. By ’89 the Hoosiers gave him a try but the 23-year-old got into only two games. Five years later, he got another opportunity with the Senators where he pitched substantially in only the 1895 season, hurling 204 innings with a 9-16 record. His other significant year was 1897 with the Rockford Forest Citys of the WA, where he won 17 & lost 9. When he played, he hit. His two strong seasons with Milwaukee & Rockford he hit .295 and .324 respectively, and in ’95 batted .289 against ML competition. For unknown reasons, he was only a spot-starter for most of his career.

  • Varney pitched for one final club – Rock Island in 1898 – starting and winning his only game. He also went 1 for 3 at the plate

Auction History

Cartophilia

  • Old Judge Pose: 7-5
  • Buchner Canvas: Nick Nicholl

Ed Andrews

Outfield
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Philadelphia
  • Team: Quakers
  • League: National League

George Edward Andrews (1859-1934) was an outfielder for the Philadelphia Quakers from 1884-89 before becoming caught up in the turbulence of the early ‘90s when leagues and teams were forming and folding with abandon. He played the last year of the Indianapolis Hoosiers’ franchise in 1889, then for the Players’ League (John Montgomery) Ward’s Wonders of Brooklyn in 1890 and (Mike “King”) Kelly’s Killers in Cincinnati in 1891, his last season in the majors. Andrews’ lifetime batting average was .257 with more hits (830) than games played (774).

  • The speedy Andrews stole 35+ bases three times, including a NL-leading 56 in 1886
  • The Ohio native was a rare college graduate in the early days of baseball, an alumnus of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland

Auction History

Wally Andrews

First Base
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Omaha
  • Team: Omahogs
  • League: Western Association

William Walter Andrews (1859-1940) played for the Louisville franchise of the American Association which lasted ten years under two identities, both of which employed Andrews. Wally debuted with the Eclipse in May of 1884 as a right-handed first baseman and utility player. He got into 14 games that season and hit a meager .204. He played in the minors for awhile and had a bang-up year for the Memphis Browns in 1887 where he hit .422 and 28 HRs. Not surprisingly, Louisville gave him another look. By 1888, the team was the Colonels and Andrews, now age 29, got into 26 games where he fared a bit poorer than his first stint, managing a .194 average in 93 at-bats. He did yeoman service defensively, however, making only a single error in 294 chances for a .997 fldg %.

  • Born on the eve of the Civil War in Philadelphia, Andrews died in Indianapolis just as World War II raged in Europe, on January 20, 1940

Auction History

Cap Anson

First Base
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Chicago
  • Team: White Stockings
  • League: National League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Adrian Constantine Anson (1852-1922) was Mr. Longevity, a big, brawling cyclone of controversy & batsmanship unrivaled in the early days of pro ball. He set hitting standards that only the greatest future players would approach or break. He also, by dint of his ferocious personality, may have been the single greatest force for segregation in baseball until Branch Rickey began to reverse that sad estate.

  • Played a record 27 consecutive years in the NL
  • First batter to 3000 hits, using his powerful arms to create line drives with a short swing
  • Managed the Chicago NL team to five pennants and still holds the Cub franchise records for hits, doubles, runs scored and runs batted in
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1939

Auction History

Kid Baldwin

Catcher
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Cincinnati
  • Team: Red Stockings (AA)
  • League: American Association

Clarence G. Baldwin (1864-1897)

“Clarence Baldwin, known in the baseball world as ‘Kid’ Baldwin, once a famous catcher, has been taken to the Cincinnati Hospital as a charity patient, a hopeless wreck from dissipation. He cannot live long.”  New York Times, June 3, 1897.

Baldwin died five weeks later, on July 10, 1897. It was a sad coda to the short, tumultuous life of an infamously strong-armed and strong-willed player.

  • Kid's best offensive year was 1887, but stats never captured his prowess behind the plate
  • Many in and out of the game tried to help Baldwin’s sobriety, but he evaded all aid

Auction History

Lady Baldwin

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

Charles B. Baldwin (1859-1937) got his first taste of "big league” ball with the Cream Citys (Milwaukee Brewers) when that Northeastern League franchise briefly joined the Union Association in 1884. For five more years with the Detroit Wolverines, Brooklyn Bridegrooms and Buffalo Bisons of the renegade Players’ League, Lady’s left arm would win 73 games with a 2.85 ERA and 582 Ks. His stellar season of 1886 saw him lead the NL with a 42-13 record including 55 complete games and a league-best 323 strikeouts. His 42 wins still place him 2nd all-time among southpaws. Baldwin followed that annus mirabilis with an injury plagued season in 1887, but still managed to pitch five complete games (winning four) to lead Detroit over the St. Louis Browns in the inaugural Dauvray Cup series.

  • Baldwin’s nickname derived from his abstemious ways and a refined manner uncharacteristic of 1880s baseball
  • It is said that Baldwin was the first lefty to master the curve
  • Matt Kilroy is the only left-hander to win more in a single season with 46 in 1887
  • Of Baldwin, Hall of Famer Ned Hanlon said, "I will not hesitate in saying that 'Lady' Baldwin was the best left-handed pitcher of his day and one of the best that ever stood in the box. He had wonderful command, speed and curves, and knew how to work the batters." - Sporting Life, September 11, 1897
  • Although the Old Judge series features five known poses of Lady Baldwin, I could not find one of suitable quality for this project. This photo was taken during the Tomlinson Studio photoshoot of 1886 in Detroit and is not known to exist in the Old Judge series.

Auction History

Mark Baldwin

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

Marcus Elmore Baldwin (1863-1929) had a career that mirrored the stormy times in which he pitched. In his seven years with five clubs, Baldwin managed to get on the good and bad sides of some of the most notable figures in early baseball. He warred with Chris von der Ahe, including time in the slammer and charges of kidnapping. He practically put the “pirate” in the Pittsburgh Pirates by poaching inter-league players. He was the mound mainstay for Al Spalding’s world tour, only to return to lawsuits and acrimony as Spalding accused him of rowdiness beyond the bounds of a dissolute era. His debut was aborted as Cap Anson tried to insert him into the series with the Browns only to be expelled by the officials. Such was the checkered path that proved preparation for a long medical career in Pittsburgh.

  • Baldwin was regarded as the flamethrower of his era. Catcher Jack O’Connor, who also caught Cy Young, said Baldwin was “the fastest pitcher I ever caught.”
  • His fastball was all the more intimidating given Baldwin’s wildness, often walking as many as he fanned.

Auction History

John Barnes

Manager
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: St. Paul
  • Team: Apostles
  • League: Western Association

John Sloane Barnes (1855-1929) was a dapper dude, confidently embracing the challenges of pioneering the new national pastime in the 1880s and 90s. After toiling in the Upper Midwest with three St. Paul franchises, Barnes came into his own out in the Pacific Northwest, earning the title “Father” of that tradition. He founded the Pacific Northwest League in 1890 with Spokane, then helped get the Western League started. As that was the precursor to the new American League, Barnes left an indelible imprint on the modern game. Devoted not only to looking good, he traveled to Asia promoting physical fitness, returning in 1909 to helm the Butte Miners in the Inter-Mountain League.

  • In 1890, John quickly helped arrange financing to commission teams in Seattle, Portland and Tacoma in addition to his Bunchgrassers, the champs that year

Auction History

Billy Barnie

Manager
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Baltimore
  • Team: Orioles
  • League: American Association

William Harrison Barnie (1853-1900) played catcher/OF for three National Association teams in the 1870s prior to beginning an extensive career as manager. Nicknamed “Bald Billy,” Barnie struck a distinguished pose for the Old Judge photographer during his days with the Orioles, the club he led for nine years. Billy left Baltimore following the 1891 season for a very brief turn with the Senators before managing Louisville and Brooklyn for two years each. Barnie’s frail health felled him a mere two years after his final campaign with the Bridegrooms, dying of pneumonia at age 47.

  • While Mike Scanlon was desperately trying to gain major-league status for his Washington Statesmen in 1885, he publicly engaged Barnie in war of words seeking a contest with the Orioles to prove his team’s mettle. When the match finally occurred, following a wearisome Baltimore road trip, the D.C. lads prevailed 3-2 on May 28. The following year, Scanlon brought his squad into the NL
  • Barnie was a lifelong partisan of the American Association, working hard to reconstitute it. He was mourned as a beloved man who would have had a big impact as the AL was forming

Auction History

Charley Bassett

Second Base
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Indianapolis
  • Team: Hoosiers (NL)
  • League: National League

Charles Edwin Bassett (1863-1942) was a well-traveled infielder with the Providence Grays, Kansas City Cowboys, Indianapolis Hoosiers, the New York Giants and Louisville Colonels for nine major league seasons from 1884-92. Bassett had three fine years with the Hoosiers, getting nearly a hit a game. His most productive season was 1891 with the Giants, batting .260 in 524 at-bats. In his 917 games he drove in 402 runs and stole 116 bases.

  • Hall of Stats ranks Bassett 189th among all second-basemen
  • Bassett attended Brown University in his native Rhode Island

Auction History

Charlie Bastian

Second Base
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Philadelphia
  • Team: Quakers
  • League: National League

Charles J. Bastian (1860-1932) was the model “good field, no hit” infielder, squeezing 4 different leagues and 6 teams into his 8 year career. He started in MLB with the Wilmington Quicksteps of the evanescent Union Assoc’s only year, 1884, and finished with a game in the Players’ League in 1891.

  • Lifetime BA of .189 defeated his finesse in the field
  • Led all NL second-basemen in fielding % in 1886
  • His main club was the Quakers, who were the Phillies when Bastian returned for one game in ‘91

Auction History

Jake Beckley

First Base
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: St. Louis
  • Team: Whites (WA)
  • League: Western Association
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Jacob Peter Beckley (1867-1918) was a durable first-baseman over a 20-year career. Though he never played for a pennant winner, Beckley hit .309 lifetime and held the games-played-at-first record until Eddie Murray surpassed him in 1994. Hit .300+ in 13 seasons (three different Pittsburgh clubs, Giants, Reds and Cards). Upon his retirement, Beckley’s 2,930 career hits placed him second only to Cap Anson.

  • Not above subterfuge, worked a hidden-ball trick on Honus Wagner using two balls
  • Known for cheating on the base paths, was called out by the ump for “getting there too fast!” after racing from 2nd directly home while Blue wasn’t looking
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1971

Auction History

Charlie Bennett

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

Charles Wesley Bennett (1854-1927) was one of the premier catchers of the 19th century. He played 15 years from 1878 to 1893, briefly for the Milwaukee Grays and Worcester Ruby Legs before joining the Detroit Wolverines. Charlie played all seven years of that club’s history in the NL before concluding his tenure with the Boston Beaneaters his final five seasons. Starring for four pennant-winners, Bennett set defensive records in fielding percentage (seven times), putouts, double plays and games behind the plate and was an excellent hitter. His career ended tragically in 1894 when he lost both legs in a Kansas train accident. The beloved backstop was honored by his Motor City admirers when the Tigers’ new stadium was named Bennett Park in 1896.

  • Credited with developing the first chest-protector – a cork-lined vest worn under his uniform
  • Played in two pre-World Series title matches: Detroit in ’87 and Boston in ‘92
  • This image is not known to exist in the Old Judge series. The photo was taken during the Tomlinson Studio photoshoot of 1886 in Detroit. However, the one known OJ Bennett image was taken during the same photoshoot.

Auction History

Lou Bierbauer

Second Base
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Philadelphia
  • Team: Athletics (AA)
  • League: American Association

Louis W. Bierbauer (1865-1926) was the treasure, buried then in the snows of Lake Erie, who gave his beloved Pittsburgh team its new name. Ned Hanlon was the privateer who braved the icy waters of Presque Isle in winter to sign the second-baseman away from the Athletics. This “piratical” act became so celebrated it gave the Alleghenys their permanent identity. Louie had done very well by the Athletics’s for his first four years in MLB. His year in the Players’ League with Ward’s Wonders was equally effective, causing the canny Hanlon to seize on Philadelphia’s lapse (they had not “reserved” Bierbauer). Lou rewarded his new club with six fine years at second base. Over his 13-year career, Lou would hit .267 with a .656 OPS. His performance stumbled a bit after joining the Pirates, but Bierbauer remained a strong hitter and defender through the 1896 season.

  • Per Sporting Life in ’89: “Bierbauer is undoubtedly the king-pin second-baseman of the [American] Association”
  • Ended his major league tenure in 1898 but continued in the minors. Lou managed the Canadian League’s St. Thomas Saints in 1915, his final year in pro ball

Auction History

Walter Bogart

First Base
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Indianapolis
  • Team: Hoosiers (NL)
  • League: National League

Walter Bogart (Bogert?) is depicted on Old Judge cards identified as the first-baseman for the Indianapolis Hoosiers. There are four poses that suggest an infielder. The commentary in The Photographic Baseball Cards of Goodwin & Company (1886-1890) edited by Miller, Gonsowski and Masson indicate Bogart was invited to compete for the Hoosiers’ first-base job in 1888. They cite a Sporting News reference calling Bogart “an experiment in the league, at best.” Bogart did not make the roster. Dude Esterbrook and Jumbo Schoeneck were the team’s first-sackers that year. No other information about this aspiring big-leaguer is available.

Auction History

Tommy Bond

Pitcher
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Boston
  • Team: Red Stockings (NL)
  • League: National League

Thomas Henry Bond (1856-1941) entered pro ball as the 1st Irishman to do so, and survived to become the last living member of the NL’s first season. In between, he was a force of nature on the mound, leading the NL in wins twice, winning 40+ from 1877-1879 for the Boston Red Caps.

  • Hurled 386 complete games in 406 starts with 42 shutouts and ERA of 2.31
  • In 1877 won the “triple crown” with 40 wins, 2.11 ERA and 280 SOs
  • Compiled a career 234-169 record with a 2.14 ERA, 10th in MLB history
  • Bond appeared only once on the Hall of Fame ballot, in 1936, and received only 1% of the votes by the Veteran’s Committee
  • Tommy Bond did not appear in the Old Judge series as he had retired in 1886. This image is taken from a studio cabinet of unknown origin.

Auction History

Abner Boyce

Catcher
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Washington, D.C.
  • Team: Nationals
  • League: National League

Abner A. Boyce was posed by the Old Judge photographer prior to the 1888 season in a Washington Nationals uniform. The right-handed would-be major leaguer never fulfilled that ambition. According to the Goodwin card editors Boyce made the pre-season roster as a catcher for D.C. but fizzled out in exhibition games. They cite aWashington Post comment that Boyce was “quite nervous,” evidenced by eight passed balls in one game against Amherst College. The Post reporter noted: “It has been decided not to sign Boyce.” Apparently that was at least partly due to a high salary demand of $1800. By comparison, starting catcher Connie Mack received $2500 that year from the same club.

  • Boyce hailed from Poughkeepsie, NY

Auction History

Charles Boyd

First Base
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Chicago
  • Team: Maroons
  • League: Western Association

Charles Boyd is another of the Old Judge mystery men. He appears in the 1888 card series in three poses in the uniform of the Chicago Maroons of the Western Association. He is right-handed and identified as a first-baseman. Miller, Gonsowski and Masson, in their Old Judge compendium, relate a reference from the Feb 18, 1888 Sporting News reporting the signing of Charles, of Sheffield IL, by the Maroons. A March 31 article predicted this fleet-footed (“he can beat Billy Sunday”) slugger would join the club by April 15. We find no record of Boyd making the Maroons or any other minor league team. There is a cryptic reference to a “Boyd” on the roster of the Danville, IL Browns in 1888 but there is nothing else to identify that player.

  • The Old Baseball Cards website lists the Boyd card as depicting “Jake” Boyd while the Goodwin editors have him as “Charles” with the Sporting News items as support
  • As ever with these “ghosts” from the early decades of the game, Ars Longa welcomes any leads on identifying Mr. Boyd

Auction History

Henry Boyle

Pitcher
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Indianapolis
  • Team: Hoosiers (NL)
  • League: National League

Henry J. Boyle (1860-1932) was known to his adoring fans as “Handsome Henry” during his ML career with the St. Louis Maroons & Indianapolis Hoosiers from 1884-89. His managers may have focused more on his mediocre performance than his comely appearance. The sturdy right-hander compiled an 89-111 record on the mound over his six seasons with a respectable lifetime 3.06 ERA. In an 1886 New York World article titled “How Men Pitch Base-Ball” it was noted that Boyle “depends chiefly upon the effectiveness of the ‘up-in-shoot’ and the terrific speed with which he drives in the straight pitch.” In an 1884 contest with the Washington club, Boyle was the center of controversy as the game was forfeited to the Maroons after losing the argument that Boyle’s foul ball was now too lopsided to be used.

  • Boyle’s last season in St. Louis was the team’s finale as well. He was the NL ERA champ that year for the hapless Maroons with a sterling 1.76 ERA and a dismal 9-15 record

Auction History

Jack Boyle

Catcher
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: St. Louis
  • Team: Browns (AA)
  • League: American Association

John Anthony Boyle (1866-1913) debuted with the Red Stockings in 1886 for one game before being traded to Comiskey’s Browns. Jack became their regular catcher when Doc Bushong got hurt. Comiskey then took Boyle with him to the Players’ League Chicago Pirates for the 1890 season and then back to St. Louis when that venture collapsed. Sold to NY in ‘92, Jack became the “giant” of the team at 6’4”. The Giants used Jack and others to reclaim HOF’er Roger Connor from the Phillies the following year. Boyle finished his ML tenure with the Phils where he had his best years at bat. As he gained experience behind the plate, Jack’s defense measured up to his strong offense.

  • Boyle compiled a career .253 average and fielded .929 overall, mostly as a durable catcher
  • Per SABR, “Honest Jack’s” trade to the Browns was the very first in the major leagues

Auction History

George Bradley

Third Base
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Sioux City
  • Team: Corn Huskers
  • League: Western Association

George Washington Bradley (1852-1931) groomed for the major leagues with the vaunted Easton, PA club, known as the top amateur squad of the day. He signed with the NA’s St. Louis Brown Stockings in 1875 with a number of teammates. “Grin” (for what may have been his mesmerizing smirk that befuddled batters) hurled a shut-out in his second start against the White Stockings, a feat that came to be known as “Chicagoing” for years after. That promising beginning was completely overshadowed the following year as Bradley led St. Louis to a second-place finish in the new National League. George pitched all but four innings of the ‘76 season and his record and the team’s were identical: 45-19. He led the league in ERA at 1.23. He threw 16 shut-outs. He scored the first NL no-hitter. No one has since exceeded the shut-out record (only Grover Cleveland Alexander tied it). After that remarkable year Grin became a vagabond. He logged 16 cities over the next dozen years. He never came close to such heights on the mound and played infield as much as he pitched. He was a superb-fielding third baseman.

  • A former manager, Frank Bancroft, cast a shadow over Bradley’s career-year. Grin was said to have found a way to access the game ball and smash it with a vise, yielding a malleable sphere to befuddle batters even more than the evil smile

Auction History

Willie Breslin

Mascot
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: New York
  • Team: Giants
  • League: National League

Master William Breslin was one in a line of NY Giants’ mascots in the 1880s, primarily due to HOF catcher Buck Ewing’s love of “hoodoos.” Superstition is still alive and well in baseball and goes back to its roots. In the old days it wasn’t rally monkeys, tomahawks or Phanatics–it was young boys recruited from the mean streets by ball players desperate for an edge. Lads such as “masters” Bretsie and Preston prowled the NY dugout in 1886, preceded by an unknown “colored boy” that year. Any charm could do, though. Ewing seized variously on a yellow mutt, a ring-tailed monkey named “Mose,” and a toy barking dog. But no mascot seems to have gained the popularity and fame of Willie Breslin.

One of Buck’s proteges was Fred Boldt, a Chicago waif the team picked up on the road. Back in NY, young Fred ran up an account at a diner near the Polo Grounds and absconded with Cannonball Titcomb’s shoes.

  • The Breslin Old Judge cards have become highly prized
  • Sadly, biographical data for Willie and his cohorts is lacking. We trust he turned out better than young Boldt

Auction History

Dan Brouthers

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

Dennis Joseph Brouthers (1858-1932) was one of the truly great hitters of the 19th century. Dan (pronounced BROOTHERS) played for ten teams over 19 seasons. He led the NL in OBP five times; SLG% seven times; H & 2B three times; Rs, HRs, & RBI twice. The 19-year old Brouthers vowed to quit the game when Johnny Quigley, a catcher for Harlem in 1877, died a month after a horrific home plate collision with Big Dan. He relented after the shock subsided & went on to the most prolific career of his era.

  • One of only 29 to play in four decades
  • .342 BA is 9th all-time; .423 OBP is 15th
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1945

Auction History