Pop Tate

Catcher
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Boston
  • Team: Beaneaters
  • League: National League

Edward Christopher Tate (1860-1932) made his ML debut with the Boston Beaneaters at the end of the 1885 season. He stayed as a catcher for three more seasons before moving to the Orioles where his big league career ended in 1890. Tate went on to play four more years in the minors. His career batting average was .218 and he had two HRs.

  • Tate played nine games in the outfield for Boston and subbed at 1B for Baltimore
  • In 1926 Tate’s home town fans re-named Island Park in Richmond, VA Tate Field to honor one of their first baseball heroes

Auction History

Patsy Tebeau

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

Oliver Wendell Tebeau (1864-1918) played first and third-base for five ML teams from 1887-1900. He was player-manager for three of those clubs 11 of his 13 seasons, squaring off with his arch-rival John McGraw and his Orioles. Tebeau led Cleveland during the rough-and-tumble era closing the 19th century. His obituary said he belonged to “the blood and iron brigade of baseball.” It was said that when the Spiders and Orioles met, “wild war raged up and down the field.” The august founding father of the game, Henry Chadwick, wrote in 1896 that Tebeau “degraded the game more than any player of the previous quarter century.” But the Cleveland fans loved Patsy and the League’s attempts to silence him soon faded.

  • After retiring from the diamond, Tebeau ran a successful saloon in St. Louis
  • Patsy couldn’t endure his wife’s decision to leave him and take the kids back to Cleveland. After his death at his own hand the local paper headlined: “Patsy Tebeau Acts as His Own Umpire”

Auction History

John Tener

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

John K. Tener (1863-1946). Born in Ireland, Tener won 25 games for 3 teams over 4 seasons. In 1888, on Spalding’s world baseball tour, John was chosen to explain baseball to the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII. At home, Tener was elected Secretary of John Ward’s pioneering player’s union, the Brotherhood of Professional Players. John became the 25th Governor of Pennsylvania, serving from 1911-15 & also served as NL president from 1913-18.

  • Organized 1st Congressional Baseball Game, now an annual tradition

Auction History

Sam Thompson

Outfield
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Detroit
  • Team: Wolverines
  • League: National League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

“Big Sam” (1860-1922). An outfielder over 15 seasons for 3 different teams, Thompson was one of the great hitters of the 19th century. Sam was the 1st player with 20 steals & 20 HRs in a season. In 1894, he was one of 4 Philly OFs to hit over .400.

  • His 61 RBI in 1 month is a record
  • Only 19th c. player to amass 150 RBI in a season & he did it 2x
  • .923 RBI/AB ranks 1st all-time
  • Back problems shortened his career; but he returned after 10 years to play 8 games for Detroit in 1906
  • Elected to hall of Fame: 1974

Auction History

Mike Tiernan

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

Michael Joseph Tiernan (1867-1918) overcame early miscues (a still-MLB-record 5 errors in a game & giving up a 10-run 10th inning in relief) to become a model of stability and decorum for the NY Giants, playing exclusively for them his entire 13-yr career. His bat trumped all else. “Silent Mike” was 4th in 19th Century HRs and batted .311 lifetime.

  • Tiernan’s bat was key to the NY triumphs in the ’88-89 “world series”
  • His outstanding year in ’91 silenced any animosity felt by returning teammates who had formed the ill-fated Players’ League

Auction History

Cannonball Titcomb

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

Ledell Titcomb (1866-1950). A pitcher for 5 professional seasons, Titcomb won a total of 30 games in his career while playing for 4 different clubs: Philadelphia Quakers, Philadelphia Athletics, New York Giants & Rochester Broncos. His best season was 1888, when he went 14-8 with a 2.24 ERA and 22 complete games for the New York Giants.

  • Threw a no-hitter against the Syracuse Stars while pitching for the Rochester Broncos: 9.15.90

Auction History

Phil Tomney

Catcher
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Louisville
  • Team: Colonels
  • League: American Association

Philip H. Tomney (1863-1892) was born on the banks of the Schuylkill River in the coal country of eastern Pennsylvania mere days before America’s bloodiest conflict would ensue at nearby Gettysburg. His short life would end just 28 years later when he succumbed to the pernicious effects of consumption, endemic to the area of his origins. “Buster” would devote nearly all of his brief adult life to the game of baseball, excelling to such a degree that in his nine year professional career, he would spend three at the pinnacle of the sport: the “big leagues.” Phil was a shortstop during his ML stint, all of it with the Louisville Colonels toward the end of their years in the American Association: 1888-90. It is reasonable to suppose that Tomney’s health drove him from the game. His final season stats indicate his best year with a .277 batting average in a career-high 386 ABs over 108 games. He drove in a solid total of 58 runs with an OBP that year of .357.

  • Slightly built at 5’7″ and 155 lbs, the right-hander’s final game was Oct 14, 1890
  • Died March 18, 1892 in his hometown of Reading

Auction History

Sleepy Townsend

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

George Hodgson Townsend (1867-1930) must have been a catcher to his core. He began in pro ball in 1887 with Reading and moved up to the Philadelphia Athletics the same year, which was also the first and only year hitters got to look at four strikes. This must have made for longer days for the pitchers and catchers, but even such a temporary advantage for the batter was lost on George who could muster only a .193 average. He slumped to .155 the next year and moved down to Baltimore in ‘90 where he hit .239. One more sub-.200 campaign followed before Townsend returned to the minors for one year in the Eastern League with the Binghamton Bings and Rochester Flour Cities. Such was the life of the hard-working, much put-upon receivers of the eighties: mangled hands and slumping batting averages.

  • George had come by the “tools of ignorance” via America’s higher education: he makes the honor roll as one of 13 NYU Violets in the major leagues

Auction History

George Treadway

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

George W. Treadway (1866-1928) hit .328 with 26 triples and 102 RBI for the Brooklyn Grooms in 1894. That was the high-water-mark of a brief 3+ year ML career. Treadway knocked around the minors for several more years before retiring in California from the Pacific Coast League. Treadway was a target of racial slurs and rumors that he was passing for white. The gossip was printed by a Louisville paper and may have caused his trade from Baltimore to Brooklyn. If it was a spiteful move, Treadway commanded a high price: he and another player were traded for Hall of Famers Dan Brouthers and Willie Keeler.

  • A noted biography of Joe Jackson asserted Treadway was “driven out of baseball” by the accusations—belied by the lengthy minor league career he pursued until age 37

Auction History

George Turner

Outfield
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Minneapolis
  • Team: Millers
  • League: Western Association

George Turner is a mystery man. He is the subject of five Old Judge cards in the 1889 series. He wears a Minneapolis Millers (Western Assoc.) uniform and is identified as a center fielder. He strikes a left-handed batting pose in two portraits. Miller, Gonsowski and Masson, in their compilation of Goodwin and Co. cards for 1886-90 state that Turner played for the WA Denver Grizzlies in the same year. There is a Thomas Turner on the Denver roster and a “Lone” Turner on the Millers, shown as a CF-Pitcher. No other information is recorded for this enigmatic player.

  • Turner’s Old Judge poses show two with the bat and three with bare-hand catching poses

Auction History

Larry Twitchell

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

Lawrence Grant Twitchell (1864-1930) spent the afternoon of August 15, 1889 having himself a grand day out. The box score would read: six for six, plus a walk; a homer, three triples, a double and a single; five runs scored; and 16 total bases. Had he not led off three innings he might have had more than his three RBI. Oh, and the outfielder even relieved in the second inning. The Cleveland Leader said of their home team's effort: “Twenty-seven hits for a total of forty-eight bases doesn't grow on every tree and never grew in Cleveland before, that's for sure.” Remarkably, it took a mere five years for Larry's total-bases mark to be eclipsed by Bobby Lowe of the Beaneaters. That mid-summer feat was the highlight, but far from the whole story of Twitchell's career. He was a strong fielder and is purported to have thrown a ball 407' - the longest throw on record in the 19th century. He played for seven MLB clubs over his nine-year career. Prior to returning to his hometown Spiders, Larry had starred for the Wolverines, his first team, from 1886-88 including the '87 “world series” title versus the Browns. That championship season saw Twitchell hit .333 while taking the “mound” in 15 games (twelve as a starter) and going 11-1. Ironically, Twitchell's teammate in Detroit, the renowned slugger Dan Brouthers, had set the NL record for total bases in 1886 with 15. After leaving the Spiders for Cleveland's Players' League entry in 1890, Larry migrated to other teams and lesser performance. It must have been satisfying when he was invited to a Cleveland Old Timer's game in 1921, playing alongside fellow sandlot veterans Cy Young, Chief Zimmer, Nap Lajoie and Elmer Flick.

  • Twitchell's only blemish as a pitcher in '87 came in a 14-inning one-hitter loss
  • His five extra-base hit day wasn't equalled until Josh Hamilton did it in 2012. In 2015, Jackie Bradley, Jr. also tied that mark
  • Inducted into Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame: 1980

Auction History

Jim Tyng

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

James Alexander Tyng (1856-1931). Jim is credited as the 1st player to wear a catcher’s mask, playing for Harvard in 1877. In 1879, Tyng became the 1st Harvard player selected to play in the majors, when he was picked up by Harry Wright & the Boston Red Caps as an emergency pitcher. Tyng defeated the 1st-place Providence Grays to draw the Red Caps within 2 games of the Grays. It was the only victory in his major league career.

  • Career 1-2 record; 4.94 ERA
  • .333 batting average (5 for 15)

Auction History