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Grover Alexander

  • Series: Pilgrims
  • City: Syracuse
  • Team: Stars (NYSL)
  • League: New York State League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Grover Cleveland Alexander (1887-1950) earned his plaque in the Hall of Fame on the strength of his strong right arm and an indomitable spirit. The battered WWI vet fought German mustard gas, epilepsy-inducing artillery, PTSD-induced alcoholism, and opposing hitters, all with honor and distinction. It is impossible to know the record he would have achieved but for the interruption of the war.

  • Led the NL in ERA: 1915, ‘16, ‘17, ‘19, and ‘20
  • Led GIs into battle in 1918
  • Named after President Grover Cleveland, was sometimes referred to as Alexander the Great orOld Pete, but friends and family called him Dode.
  • Said of his induction into the HOF: “the greatest treat and one of the biggest thrills” of his life
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1938

Auction History


T201 Mecca Canvas: Jimmy Barrett

Babe Adams

  • Series: Pilgrims
  • City: Pittsburgh
  • Team: Pirates
  • League: National League

Charles Benjamin Adams (1882-1968) was one of the most remarkable control pitchers in baseball history. The superlatives just keep coming: only rookie to win 3 WS games (and, until Lackey in ’02, only rookie to win game 7); lowest rookie ERA ever at 1.11; fewest walks in a season of over 250 innings (18 in 1920 AFTER recovering from sore arm.) Still ranks at or near top of Pirate pitching records, the team for which he played virtually his whole career. Only pitcher with a better walk ratio in 20th Century was his Pittsburgh teammate Deacon Phillippe. Held Ty Cobb to 1 for 11 in the ’09 Series during his 3 complete games. Held Marquard’s Giants without a walk for 21 innings on 7/17/14, never equaled. Lifetime 2995 innings & ERA of 2.76, pitching shut-outs in his 40s. Were it not for intermittent arm troubles throughout his career, this Babe might have a place in Cooperstown.

  • The Depression forced Adams to work into old age. He entered journalism and covered WWII and Korea as a war correspondent

Auction History


T201 Mecca Canvas: Bobby Byrne

Doug Allison

  • Series: Pioneer Portraits I: 1850-1874
  • City: Cincinnati
  • Team: Red Stockings (NABBP)
  • League: National Association (NABBP)

Douglas L. Allison (1846-1916) helped create the “Dead Ball Era” by cannily moving his catcher position closer to the plate, thus drastically reducing steals. Run production plummeted from 50-60 per game thanks in part to this savvy early player. Doug was present at the creation of professional baseball: an original Cincinnati Red Stocking in the NABBP.

  • Later, Doug starred for the Washington Olympics, inaugurating the National Association (NAPBBP) in 1871
  • He is credited as the 1st professional player to use a glove when he donned buckskin mittens to catch a game for the Cincinnati Red Stockings against the Washington Nationals, 6.28.1870
  • Purportedly made pitchers chase down their own wild pitches
  • Allison was hearing impaired. The Boston Globe reported that Allison suffered his hearing loss during his service with the Union Army during the Civil War.
  • Brother Art Allison was an MLB outfielder over five seasons, 1871-1876
  • Occasionally umpired games from 1872-1875
  • Managed the 1873 Elizabeth Resolutes of the NA to a 2-21 record.
  • Because he played in the second game in MLB history (5.5.1871), he is credited with the 17 other players that day as the 27th player to debut in MLB. (The 18 players in game #1 are all credited as the 9th player to debut in MLB).
  • Died at age 70 en route to his job at the Post Office

These are reportedly Allison's hands after years of catching barehanded:

Auction History

Cap Anson

Third Base
  • Series: Pioneer Portraits I: 1850-1874
  • City: Philadelphia
  • Team: Athletics (NABBP)
  • League: National Association (NAPBBP)
  • 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
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1939

Auction History