Jay Faatz

First Base
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Cleveland
  • Team: Blues (AA)
  • League: American Association

Jayson S. Faatz (1859-1923) was a long, lean first-baseman with speed, spunk and the mouth of a drunken sailor. His brief tenure in the major leagues was marked by poor offensive output and notable regard by his bosses. Despite mediocre hitting stats and the temperament of a wounded wolverine, Jay was repeatedly chosen to lead his teammates on the field. He served as player-manager in the minors and majors and was a key ally of John Montgomery Ward in the creation of the Players' League. Faatz came out of the Canadian circuits to Pittsburgh's misbegotten American Association entry late in the 1884 season, getting into 29 games as the club finished 11th of 13. He last played in the PL after moving from Cleveland to Buffalo. A colorful sports reporter of the time, Ernest Jarrold, once described the inner machinations that produced the Players' League. He spoke of Faatz, with his 6'4” sub-200 lb frame as “one of the most striking figures” involved. He dubbed Faatz “the most expert poker player in the United States” with a passion for diamonds, which were always tucked on his person. He not only cut a dashing image but was a “level-headed, clear thinker, and the orator of the Brotherhood,” per Jarrold.

  • Faatz' career average was as lean as the player: .241. Yet one of his three lifetime home runs was noteworthy. His grounder bounced off third-sacker Deacon White's foot and rolled under the stands, yielding a three-run “blast” that never left the infield, per David Nemec of SABR
  • In one of those Old Judge idiosyncrasies, Goodwin's editors elected to identify Faatz as "Capt." on his three Old Judge entries while curiously omitting his defensive position. One might assume that this speaks to Faatz' reputation as more of a leader than a skilled ballplayer.

Auction History

Bill Farmer

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

William Charles Farmer (1864-1928) had a very brief major league career as a catcher for two teams in 1888. He played first for the Pittsburgh Alleghenys of the National League and got into two games with four at bats. He then moved across state to the Philadelphia Athletics of the American Association where he played in three games and got two hits in 12 plate appearances. He drove in one run. Such was the lot of this would-be big leaguer, a “career average” of .125. Bill did better when he moved west to the St. Paul Apostles in 1889. He was behind the plate for 28 of his 63 games and batted .272. He even showed some speed with 38 steals. He was on the team’s roster the following year but performance data is lacking. Similarly, for Farmer’s first minor league assignment in 1887 with the Shamokin Maroons in the Central Pennsylvania League, we know only that he was on the team.

  • High Heat Stats has compiled a list of all the Emerald Isle-born players who made it to MLB. Farmer, of Dublin, is one of only 44 on that roll
  • The Goodwin editors point out a somewhat mournful stat for Mr. Farmer: he was featured in more Old Judge card poses (5) than he had hits in his major league tenure (2)

Auction History

Sid Farrar

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

Sidney Douglas Farrar (1859-1935) played his entire ML career in Philadelphia for the Quakers (Phillies) and Athletics. Farrar averaged .246 over his eight years. He started at 1B every year. As a rookie in 1883, he endured the fledgling franchise’s inaugural season with a NL-worst record of 17-81. He moved to the ill-starred Players’ League in 1890 and retired after the league folded.

  • A devoted father, Farrar and his teammates scrimped to pay for his daughter Geraldine’s music education
  • Geraldine went on to a world-renowned opera career, touring with Toscanini and Caruso

Auction History

Duke Farrell

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

Charles Andrew Farrell (1866-1925) was a much-beloved and highly touted catcher for 18 years. He played three years for Boston (AL), all pennant-winning clubs. Returning to Boston after a ten year absence, the Royal Rooters gave him a diamond ring on opening day. When the club played next in D.C., the Senators fans gave him “the greatest ovation a visiting player ever received on a Washington ball field.” And there was much to love: 1563 games, 1564 hits, 912 RBI. And Duke set a record that still stands, throwing out 8 of 9 attempted steals on May 11, 1897. Farrell earned praise at every stop in his nine-team career, with multiple stints with several of the clubs.

  • Was reputed to have earned his nickname by consuming 380 clams
  • After helping the Sox to the first world title in 1903, per Tim Murnane, Boston writer: “…Farrell is the greatest catcher the game has produced”

Auction History

Jack Farrell

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

John A. Farrell (1857-1914). Known as Moose, Farrell played 2nd base for 5 teams over 11 seasons. Jack also served as player/manager for the 1881 Providence Grays and achieved a 24-27 record before quitting as the captain. A light hitter, Jack’s defense was excellent and he either led or finished near the lead in many defensive categories for second basemen throughout his career.

  • Led NL in assists with 365 in 1883
  • Led NL in assists for 2B twice: 1881 & 1883
  • Led NL in double plays for 2B in 1883
  • Led NL in FLDG% for 2B in 1883 with .924
  • Ranks 26th all-time in range factor at 2B
  • Farrell’s uniform color on this card was changed in April, 2017 from black to blue to reflect recent reliable research by Craig Brown & friends at Threads of Our Game. Six cards had been previously released featuring a black uniform.

Auction History

Charlie Ferguson

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

Charles J. Ferguson (1863-1888) was considered by future Hall of Famer Wilbert Robinson to be the 5th best player of all-time when Ferguson succumbed to typhoid fever at age 25. Primarily a pitcher for the Quakers over four seasons, the right-hander also handled the outfield and second-base. He won at least 21 games each year and was lights-out in 1886, winning 30 with a 1.98 ERA (2nd in the league). Playing more outfield the next year, Ferguson not only won 22 but drove in 85 with a .327 average. The youngster was stricken before the ’88 season and never recovered.

  • Hurled a no-hitter against the Providence Grays on Aug 29, 1885
  • In tribute to this young warrior, the Quakers and three other NL teams wore black crepe for the entire 1888 season
  • Decades later, W.B. Hanna dubbed him “the game’s best all around player”
  • Robinson ranked Ferguson 5th all time after Cobb, Keeler, Ruth and Wagner

Auction History

Wallace Fessenden

Umpire
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • League: National League

Wallace Clifton Fessenden (1860-1935) was born in New Hampshire as the clouds of civil war were gathering. At age 28 he umpired in the National League, logging 52 games in 1889 and returning for one game in 1890. At the end of that season, Fessenden left his referee garb on July 2 and stepped in as the interim manager of the American Association's Syracuse Stars three weeks later. The team went 4-7 during his time at the helm. His ace that season was Dan Casey, who although not the real model for Mighty Casey, had the honor of reenacting Thayer's opus at the inauguration of the Hall of Fame in 1939. The best hitter on the Stars was Cupid Childs who hit .345. Wally followed George Kasson Frazier who, with Fessenden, shared the distinction of managing the Stars that year as their only major league managerial experience. Frazier was the team owner and stepped aside as the season wound down toward the dissolution of the club at year's end. The Stars had been an International Association team in 1888 and '89 before their sole MLB season in the AA.

  • Fessenden had gained some minor league managerial experience with Lynn of the Massachusetts State Association in 1884 and with Salem of the New England League in 1888

Auction History

Jocko Fields

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

John Joseph Fields (1864-1950) was named, by Hight Heat Stats, the starting left fielder for the All Emerald Isle Nine. This is, perhaps, less a tribute to Jocko than a commentary on the endeavors of Irish immigrants of the 19th century, who may have had more mundane occupations as they settled into their adopted land. Nevertheless, the list puts Fields in good company with Tommy Bond, Tony Mullane and Jack Doyle among the squad. Jocko was mostly a part-timer in the majors, starting with Pittsburgh's Alleghenys in 1887 where he played two more seasons. The uproar of labor strife in 1890 led to the Players' League founding and Fields tried his luck with the Burghers. Despite being led by Jake Beckley's formidable bat, the rest of the team didn't give much support and they languished in sixth place. Fields did have a decent year, hitting .281, well below his previous season's output when he hit .311. The PL did offer youngsters like Jocko more playing time, however, and he saw more action in '90 than any other campaign. He got into 126 games and drove in 86, nearly half of his six-year career total. He returned to the Pirates in '91 and was shipped to Philadelphia for a handful of games at the end of that season. A final try with the Giants in '92 lasted only 21 games and proved his swan song. Jocko's pro career had begun with the Jersey City Skeeters in 1885 followed by three NY teams in '86 before the Alleghenys called. He stayed in the game through the 1896 season for such teams as the Macon Hornets, Charleston Seagulls and Evansville Black Birds. He split his final tour between the Atlanta Crackers and Norfolk Braves. If nothing else, baseball provided a way for a young immigrant lad to really see the country.

  • Fields' last few years in the minors saw him hit as well as he ever had. He averaged .351 for Charleston, and a combined .326 for those last two clubs in '96

Auction History

Silver Flint

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

Frank Sylvester Flint (1855-1892) broke into MLB as a 19-year-old catcher for the St Louis Red Stockings of the NAPBBP in 1875. He spent the ’78 season with the Indianapolis Blues during their only year in the NL and then caught on with the Chicago White Stockings for 11 years. Twice Flint led the league in fielding % and was near the top in four other seasons. He routinely ranked among the leading catchers in games played, put-outs, assists and range. A heavy drinker, “Silver” died just a few years following his retirement at age 36.

  • Flint led the NL in games caught four times
  • Partly due to his longevity, this hard-working backstop is still third all-time in errors with 456

Auction History

Jocko Flynn

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

John A. Flynn (1864-1907) played one major league season, in 1886 at the age of 22 for the Chicago White Stockings. He had a great year, with a 23-6 record and a 2.24 ERA. Flynn’s performance helped Chicago to its second straight NL pennant, but the team lost the series to the St Louis Browns with Flynn out of action with a sore arm and fondness for liquor.

  • Holds record for most wins by a pitcher who only played one season (23)
  • Al Spalding had tried to police his players’ “intemperate” habits all season and the NL even hired Pinkertons in every league city. Sadly, Flynn’s arm gave in as he gave way to alcoholism after one brilliant year.
  • An attempted comeback with Omaha ended quickly; he was out of the game by age 25
  • Flynn died at 42, eulogized by his hometown paper as “a wholesouled, generous fellow” with a “host of friends and admirers.”
  • Although the Old Judge series features two known poses of Jocko Flynn, I could not find one of suitable quality for this project. This image is taken from an Old Judge proof taken at the same time as Flynn's other OJ images and may represent an as-of-yet undiscovered pose.

Auction History

Jim Fogarty

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

James G. Fogarty, (1864-1891) was a speedy outfielder and infielder with the Philadelphia Quakers of the NL and the Philadelphia Athletics of the Players’ League where he was also the manager. Fogarty was one of the swiftest of the early era, stealing a league high 99 bases in 1889. In his seven years in Philly, Fogarty was a consistent offensive contributor, driving in 35 to 58 runs each season.

  • A native San Franciscan, Fogarty graduated from St Mary’s College of California
  • Joined the short-lived Players’ League, 1890 in an attempt to break the reserve clause
  • Died way too early of tuberculosis in Philadelphia at age 27

Auction History

Elmer Foster

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

Elmer Ellsworth Foster (1861-1946) was an outfielder with the New York Metropolitans, New York Giants and Chicago Colts over a six year span beginning in 1886. The very rare baseballer who threw left and batted right, Foster achieved a career batting average of .187.

  • One of the first five major leaguers born in Minnesota
  • Played at Haverhill with future Hall of Famers Wilbert Robinson and Tommy McCarthy
  • Noted for his speed on the base paths, Foster always had an explanation if caught stealing: “Why, I wasn’t a bit tired. Why should I have stopped running?”

Auction History

Dave Foutz

Pitcher
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Brooklyn
  • Team: Bridegrooms
  • League: American Association

David Luther Foutz (1856-1897) compiled the 2nd highest winning % of all time (.690) for the St. Louis Browns & Brooklyn Bridegrooms over a 13 year career. A fine batsman, he hit .357 for Brooklyn in ’87 & won 25 games on the mound. Foutz was so highly prized that Browns’ owner Chris Von der Ahe bought the Bay City, MI franchise to get him.

  • Was sold to the Bridegrooms in 1888 for $13.5k, then led Brooklyn to pennants in ’89 & ‘90
  • Ended his career as player-manager for the Bridegrooms from 1893-1896
  • Forced to retire due to ill health, Foutz succumbed to asthma at the age of 40
  • Foutz' uniform color in this card was changed from blue to red in March, 2017 to reflect recent reliable research conducted by Craig Brown and friends at Threads of Our Game. Six cards had been previously released featuring a blue uniform.

Auction History

Julie Freeman

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

Julius Benjamin Freeman (1868-1921) was just 19 years old when he got his first and last chance to pitch in the major leagues. The date was October 10, 1888 when he took the mound for the St Louis Browns, then in the American Association. Julie lasted six and a third innings, surrendering seven hits and five runs, three of which were earned. He walked four and struck out only one batter, making one wild pitch. Such is the glory of America’s Game that over a century later, such details survive about a seemingly obscure effort. Freeman was a walk-on in the cavalcade of baseball, but history allows us to relive many of the details of his one moment in “the Show.” He lost that contest to the Louisville Colonels but goes down in the record books with a “lifetime” .333 batting average, by virtue of his single that autumn afternoon.

  • Freeman’s player-manager was Charlie Comiskey, prepping for his storied career in Chicago en route to the Hall of Fame

Auction History

Will Fry

Outfield
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: St. Joseph
  • Team: Clay Eaters
  • League: Western Association

William Fry was the subject of an Old Judge series while with the 1889 St Joseph Clay Eaters. He never played in the major leagues and his minor league record is sketchy. Fry’s best-documented season was 1887 with the Zanesville Kickapoos of the Ohio State League. Will scored the most runs that year (104) and had the team’s second-highest total of hits with 141. He began in pro-ball in 1883 in the Pittsburgh area with the Liberty Stars of the Western Interstate League (eight Pennsylvania clubs plus Youngstown.) The following year found him still in the Steel City with East Liberty of the Iron and Oil Association. We have no data for 1885. Will moved west to the St Joseph Reds of the Western League in ’86 before joining the Kickapoos for two seasons. He returned to Missouri for his final year, when Old Judge caught up to him, this time with the Clay Eaters. He only managed a .187 average in 150 at-bats.

  • Baseball Reference records Fry’s surname as Frey while the Goodwin catalog editors indicate an alternate spelling of Frye. We use the name that appeared on the OJ cards

Auction History

Shorty Fuller

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

William Benjamin Fuller (1867-1904) played shortstop for the Washington Statesmen (Senators), St Louis Browns and NY Giants from 1888-1896. For one day in 1891, Shorty‘s brother Harry joined him with the Browns for his only MLB game. Blessed with a keen eye at the plate, Shorty struck out only 198 times while receiving 444 bases on balls.

  • Fuller’s knack for walks boosted his anemic career BA of .235 to an OBP of .322
  • Stint with the Browns included their final year in the AA (’91) and 1st in the NL (’92)
  • Washington sold Shorty to the Browns after the ’88 season for $800

Auction History