Dan Casey

Pitcher
  • Series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
  • City: Philadelphia
  • Team: Quakers
  • League: National League

Daniel Maurice Casey (1862-1943) was dubbed by Time “the Mudville Man” and helped inaugurate the Hall of Fame in 1939 with a stirring re-enactment of Casey at the Bat. Whether he was Ernest Thayer’s model or not, Casey was a fine pitcher for the Philadelphia Quakers, leading the NL in ERA in 1887. He pitched 7 years for 4 teams, won 96 games with two 20+ seasons.

  • Became a candidate for THAT Casey by striking out, breaking Quakers fans’ hearts 8/21/87
  • The week prior, Casey had won the game with his only career HR, inspiring the fans’ hopes
  • In ’87 he won 28 of the 45 games he started, with a 2.86 ERA in 390 innings

Auction History

Henry Chadwick

Pioneer
  • Series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Henry Chadwick (1824-1908) is widely considered the “Father of Baseball” due to his profound influence on early public awareness of the game and upon its foundational rules. A journalist from Brooklyn, Chadwick was present at the creation as he saw the new game developing in the 1860s and began what would become sports reporting today.

  • Literally wrote the book on baseball: Beadle’s Dime Base Ball Player in 1860
  • Edited Spalding’s Official Base Ball Guide for decades
  • Saw to it we don’t have tie games or one-bounce outfield put-outs today
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1938

Auction History

Jack Chesbro

Pitcher
  • Series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
  • City: Richmond
  • Team: Bluebirds
  • League: Atlantic League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

John Dwight “Happy Jack” Chesbro (1874-1931) had the most formidable year as a pitcher in the modern era in 1904 with the New York Highlanders (Yankees.) Chesbro won 41 of 58 starts, completing 48—all unsurpassed since. The Veteran’s Committee elected him to Cooperstown in 1946 on the strength of that remarkable season.

  • Pitched the NY Highlanders’ first game in 1903
  • In his banner year, Chesbro began using the spitball, learned from inventor Elmer Stricklett
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1946

Auction History

John Clarkson

Pitcher
  • Series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
  • City: Boston
  • Team: Beaneaters
  • League: National League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

John Gibson Clarkson (1861-1909) won 328 games, won the triple crown in 1889 and twice pitched more than 600 innings in a season. In 1885, John appeared in 70 games, threw 68 complete games, 623 innings, won 53, had an ERA of 1.85, a no-hitter, and won the pennant. Apparently having to hurl the sphere a mere fifty feet was a tonic to the arm. But unlike so many pitchers of his era, Clarkson didn’t flame out from such prodigious labor on the mound. From 1885-92 he AVERAGED 36 wins per season and would win 30+ an extraordinary six times. This great career began with the Worcester Ruby Legs in 1882, flowered with Cap Anson’s Sox in ‘84 and fully bloomed in Boston when John followed his ace catcher King Kelly to the Beaneaters in ‘88. League politics that culminated in the Players’ League revolt took a toll on Clarkson’s reputation and sundered his friendship with Kelly as the hurler remained loyal to the Nationals.

  • Cleveland acquired John in 1892 allowing him to team with Cy Young. Chief Zimmer, who caught Young for a decade, proclaimed Clarkson the best he ever saw
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1963

Auction History

Ed Cogswell

First Base
  • Series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
  • City: Boston
  • Team: Red Stockings (NAPBBP)
  • League: National League

Edward Cogswell (1854-1888) was an England-born right-handed first baseman for the Boston Red Stockings, debuting in the majors in July 1879. That season he achieved the sixth highest batting average in the NL. He played two more years for short-lived NL teams, the Troy Trojans and Worcester “Ruby Legs” Worcesters.

  • Was the senior member of the Ruby Legs at age 28
  • Died in Fitchburg MA at age 34

Auction History

Jimmy Collins

Third Base
  • Series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
  • City: Boston
  • Team: Beaneaters
  • League: National League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

James Joseph Collins (1870-1943) was the best in the NL at 3B when he jumped to the new AL in 1901. Collins led the Boston Americans to the 1st World Series championship in ’03, downing Pittsburgh in best-of-nine. Thanks to John McGraw’s stubborn refusal to play the next year’s AL winner, Boston was denied another opportunity despite its 1st place finish.

  • The dust-up between leagues resulted in rules beginning in 1905 making the Series the permanent premier event in Major League Baseball
  • Upon his induction into the HOF Collins became the first regular third-baseman so honored
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1945

Auction History

Charles Comiskey

First Base
  • Series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
  • City: St. Louis
  • Team: Browns (AA)
  • League: American Association
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Charles Albert Comiskey (1859-1931) rose from decent first-baseman to become one of the foremost managers and owners of baseball’s early decades. “The Old Roman’s” leadership skills emerged with his first team, the newly-minted St. Louis Browns whom he piloted to four pennants. He would go on to compile an outstanding 840-541 record. His .608 winning percentage is third-highest behind Joe McCarthy and Jim Mutrie. “Commy” parlayed his ownership of the Western Association’s Dubuque Rabbits into a franchise in the American League which he helped found in 1901. He built the White Sox stadium in 1910 which would bear his name for the next 81 years and presided for the next decade over one of the most talented and troubled teams in history. While many dismiss the charge that it was Comiskey’s penurious ways that “drove” his 1919 squad to infamy, there is no doubt he was a cheapskate of the first order. He underpaid, over-promised and reneged with abandon, epitomizing the arrogance of the reserve-clause era.

  • Charles is credited with revolutionizing play at first-base, innovating play off the bag
  • Owned the Chicago White Sox from 1901-1931, winning two World Series
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1939

Auction History

Roger Connor

First Base
  • Series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
  • City: New York
  • Team: Giants
  • League: National League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Roger Connor (1857-1931) was the home run king of the 19th century, clouting 138 in his 18-year career. His record was not surpassed until Babe Ruth was in the Bronx. Connor anchored first-base for five teams, winning pennants twice with the Giants. His flair for the dramatic was never more evident than when he struck the first-ever major league grand slam with his team down by three with two outs in the ninth. Born in Connecticut, Roger played for local clubs until joining the Troy Trojans in 1880. That NY hamlet witnessed five future Hall of Famers on their squad with Connor playing alongside Dan Brouthers, Buck Ewing, Tim Keefe and Mickey Welch. After moving to the Gothams, the 6’3” Connor inspired owner Jim Mutrie to proclaim the team “my giants!” and a new identity was born.

  • Much more than a slugger, Connor won the NL batting title in 1885 and consistently hit .300+ while exhibiting remarkable speed for a big man (still fifth all-time in triples)
  • Beloved by fans and the baseball press, he had a particularly strong advocate for the Hall in fellow legend, umpire Bill Klem
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1976

Auction History

Pete Conway

Pitcher
  • Series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
  • City: Kansas City
  • Team: Cowboys
  • League: National League

Peter J. Conway (1866-1903) was a tough right-hander who played in tough luck with his early major-league clubs. Both the Buffalo Bisons and Kansas City Cowboys struggled to seventh-place finishes and failed to support their youngster during the 1885-86 seasons. He came into his own with a much better Detroit Wolverine squad for three years, helping the club win the pennant and post-season tourney in ‘87. Pete’s best year was in ‘88, going 30-14. The Wolverine franchise and Conway’s arm gave out. Pete went to the Alleghenys but got into only three games. Pressures were building that would culminate in the Players’ League “revolt” and the cavalier treatment Conway received in Pittsburgh was widely seen as all-too-typical. Pete tried unsuccessfully to play for Ward’s Wonders in 1890 but the arm was gone.

  • In 1891 Conway was hired as the first head coach of the other Wolverines: those of the University of Michigan

Auction History

Larry Corcoran

Pitcher
  • Series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
  • City: Chicago
  • Team: White Stockings
  • League: National League

Lawrence J. Corcoran (1859-1891) was a shining star who left a short trail through the baseball heavens before flaming out in ill-health and an exhausted right arm. He could even use the left one and did pitch ambidextrously on at least one occasion. Few players of any era could have better fulfilled media prophecy: on Sept 13, 1879 the NY Clipper predicted that with good catching support “it would be difficult to get a base hit from his pitching.” Only two others would exceed Larry’s rookie 43 win total. By 1884 Corcoran would hurl his third no-hitter. He was the first to accomplish the feat and it wasn’t matched until Koufax many decades later. For five glorious years with Anson’s White Stockings, Corcoran was phenomenal: 170 wins, 246 CG and the no-nos.

  • Unsurprisingly, the arm wearied. His body, afflicted by Bright’s disease, failed too, at age 32
  • Per his SABR biographer: “Corcoran possessed all the attributes of greatness except durability”

Auction History

Monte Cross

Shortstop
  • Series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
  • City: Pittsburgh
  • Team: Pirates
  • League: National League

Montford Montgomery Cross (1869-1934) enjoyed a 15 year career primarily in Philadelphia with the Phillies and, beginning in 1902, with the AL team, the Athletics. Cross consistently ranked first or near the top in several fielding categories such as shortstop assists and put-outs.

  • Cross led the NL in strikeouts in 1901 and led the AL In the same category in 1906
  • Upon his retirement in 1907, Cross was among the oldest major leaguers at 38

Auction History

Tony Cusick

Catcher
  • Series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
  • City: Philadelphia
  • Team: Quakers
  • League: National League

Andrew J. “Tony” Cusick (1857-1929), was a journeyman catcher for the Philadelphia Quakers in the 1880s. His career batting average was less than stellar, falling below .200. Nevertheless, Cusick was popular with his teammates, particularly Jim Fogarty who gave him a hearty reference for the Milwaukee Brewers of the Western League after his final year in the majors.

  • Went on to umpiring with similar results: His “incorrect calling of balls and strikes” was said by the Milwaukee Sentinel to have “brought down the anathemas of the vigorous-lunged ‘bleachers’ upon himself in consequence.”

Auction History