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John Clarkson

  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Boston
  • Team: Beaneaters
  • League: National League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Permanent Outtake: Alternate throwing pose.

I made this card, the second one in the 1880s series for Clarkson, in a moment of doubt & fear. I had originally intended to produce only one pose per player for this set, but in the early days of the business there were ebbs in the demand for my work and I retreated to the idea that more Hall of Famers would increase demand. I also created a second Deacon White card for the same reason. I have since regretted that decision and now feel confident enough in your support to return to my original principles for this series. While I have removed this pose from this series, I hope to create a smaller series that covers the 1890s some day and I can envision this pose making a permanent appearance in that set.

Auction History

Joe Crotty

  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Sioux City
  • Team: Corn Huskers
  • League: Western Association

Joseph P. Crotty (1860-1926) was a catcher in two leagues: the American and Union Associations. He was in these organizations with 4 clubs from 1882 to 1886. Before, during and after these years in the “major leagues,” Crotty floated among numerous minor league franchises including the Sioux City Corn Huskers in whose uniform he appeared in the Old Judge series for 1889. A journeyman receiver, Crotty had a typically anemic batting average (.170 in MLB) but fared 100 points higher when in the lower echelons. His career did allow him to see the country: as far east as Syracuse, south to Jackson and west to Helena. Joe’s initial year, 1882, was also a year of firsts for his two clubs. He began in Louisville with the new Eclipse squad and then was picked up by Chris von der Ahe’s St. Louis Brown Stockings. This enabled him to be present at the creation of the Cardinals as the controversial owner brought the team into the American Association.

  • Joe’s other ML clubs were the Cincinnati Outlaw Reds and the NY Metropolitans
  • The Reds played in the UA’s only season, 1884, affording Crotty another chance to make a kind of history

Auction History

Lave Cross

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

Lafayette Napoleon Cross (1866-1927) debuted in the majors as a catcher for Louisville, transitioned to being a stellar third-baseman and went on to a remarkable 21-year career for nine teams including four Philadelphia clubs in four leagues. He was a solid hitter as well, ranking high in a number of offensive and defensive categories upon his retirement in 1907. His longevity allowed him to be the only player to appear in both the Old Judge card series and the 1910 T210 set.

  • At 40, led league in fielding for fifth time
  • His career .292 average included 2645 hits
  • Career assists record was not eclipsed until Eddie Mathews surpassed him in 1964
  • Lave’s uniform color on this card was changed in February, 2017 from blue to maroon to reflect recent reliable research by Craig Brown & friends at Threads of Our Game. Nine cards had been previously released featuring a blue uniform.

Auction History

Jack Crooks

Second Base
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: St. Louis
  • Team: Whites (WA)
  • League: Western Association

Charles John Crooks (1865-1918) became the first player in organized ball known to have hit four home runs in a game, accomplishing the feat for the Omaha Omahogs in 1889. The whole Western League had struggled to stay afloat that year and the team’s sale of Crooks to the American Association’s Columbus Colts that summer enabled them to make a profit (Omaha got $1750 for their outfielder and netted $1000 for the year). The four homers proved his strength but it was Crooks’ uncanny ability to draw walks that made him most valuable. He remains among a handful of players to record more bases on balls than games in a season, ranking him with the likes of Ted Williams, the Mick and the Babe. With a lifetime OBP of .408 and a BA of .237, Jack is in the top-ten highest ratio of the two.

  • Despite Jack’s sabermetric value, the 1890 Colts were his only winning team in an 8-year career
  • Jack cut short his baseball career after finding success as a cigar salesman

Auction History

Jack Crogan

  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Chicago
  • Team: Maroons
  • League: Western Association

John T. (or F.) Crogan is another of those tantalizing “mystery men” of the Old Judge card era. Many of their subjects were photographed in anticipation of a major league career that never happened. In this case, Jack was posed for five images in the OJ 1888 series. He wears the uniform of the Chicago Maroons of the Western Association as depicted in the Miller/Gonsowski/Masson definitive OJ text with middle initial T. whereas Baseball-Reference.com has him with F. Prior to his brief time with the Maroons (21 games, .188 BA) Jack was with Wheeling in ’87, apparently his first year in the minors. He went on to play in the Texas and Tri-State Leagues before finishing up with Davenport of the Illinois-Iowa League in 1891. The rest of this would-be big leaguer’s exploits are lost to history.

  • The Miller compilation shows a possible alternate surname spelling of Croghan
  • The only batting pose available shows Jack in a left-handed stance

Auction History