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Charles Reipschlager

Catcher
  • Series: 1880s: Spotted Ties
  • City: New York
  • Team: Metropolitans
  • League: American Association

Charles W. Reipchlager (aka Ripslager) (1856-1910) was a reserve catcher, playing the one position that didn't require an ability to hit the curve, just corral it. His major league tenure was primarily with the New York Metropolitans, beginning in 1883. He lasted four seasons as a partner with Bill Holbert, himself a light-hitting but capable receiver.

Charlie moved on to the Cleveland Blues for the '87 season where he labored in 63 games and batted .212. He would try one more time to escape the minors. He signed with the Brooklyn Gladiators for the upcoming 1890 season, only to be released before the campaign began. The Gladiators would go on to a 26-73 record that year which must have convinced Reipschlager that the majors were simply out of reach.

Reipschlager and Holbert were working behind the plate during an era of rapid change in pitching distances and pitching technique. The National League loosened the requirements for the pitching motion in 1884 but the Metropolitans' American Association didn't follow suit until mid-way through the '85 campaign. In 1886 both leagues lengthened the pitcher's “box” and placed a flat stone at the front of it to allow the umpire to police the pitcher's adherence to the defined space. The “mound” would await the 20th century's innovations.

  • Reipschlager's career batting average was a meager .222, but he earned his keep in an era when short distances from the pitcher's “plate” to home made it perhaps more challenging to catch than to hit

Auction History

Chief Roseman

Outfield
  • Series: 1880s: Spotted Ties
  • City: New York
  • Team: Metropolitans
  • League: American Association

James John Roseman (1856-1938) was born on the day America celebrated its four-score anniversary and seven years before Lincoln would use that language at Gettysburg. Brooklyn-born, Chief debuted with Brooklyn Chelsea of the League Alliance in 1877. The League was a loose consortium of clubs, the brain-child of Al Spalding as a minor league serving to prepare players for the National League which had organized the prior year. Chelsea was one of 28 teams spread from New England to Minnesota. A teammate of Roseman's was Larry Corcoran who would become one of the very few to pitch in the majors using each arm. Chief moved to two other League teams in '77, and was with several other minor league clubs before joining the Troy Trojans of the NL in 1882. He was a regular in the outfield for a team led by the great Roger Connor at first. Other luminaries on that Troy team included Buck Ewing and Tim Keefe. Roseman had been with the NY Metropolitans of the Eastern Championship Association in '81 and returned to their American Association incarnation in '83 where he would be a fixture in the outfield for five seasons. Roseman concluded his MLB career with three more AA teams, finishing with Louisville in 1890.

  • Chief's career average was .263 in seven seasons. He showed some power with NY where he hit 14 of his total 17 home runs
  • Played in one post-season tourney, the first, in 1884, between the NL's Providence Grays and his Mets. Roseman hit .333

Auction History