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Tom Forster

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

Thomas W. Forster (1859-1946) played infield and outfield for three teams in the 1880s. His major league tenure began with the Detroit Wolverines of the National League in 1882. Tom had begun in pro ball the year before with three teams in the Eastern Championship Association: the New York Qucksteps, the New York New Yorks and the Washington Nationals, who also represented Albany, NY in '81. Following Tom's rookie season he went out to Michigan and played for the East Saginaw club in the Northwestern League. He began there again in 1884 before getting hired by the Pittsburgh Alleghenys. He got into 35 games for the team that would finish 11th in the American Association. Before the season was out, Tom was shipped back to NY and the Metropolitans. He got into only one game in '84 but saw action the next two years. Unfortunately, Forster couldn't hit in the big leagues. He was .221 in '85 and .195 in '86 with minor league stints interspersed. He ended up out “west” with Milwaukee and Davenport before returning east for final campaigns with the Hartford, CT entry in the Atlantic Association. Tom was player-manager at the end of the 1890 season.

  • Forster's batting average over his four MLB seasons was .197. He had his sole HR with the Metropolitans in 1886

Auction History


Old Judge Pose: 167-1

Farrell tags Hines

  • Series: 1880s: Diamond Duos
  • City: Washington, D.C.
  • Team: Nationals
  • League: National League

Jack Farrell:

John A. Farrell (1857-1914). Known as Moose, Farrell played 2nd base for 5 teams over 11 seasons. Jack also served as player/manager for the 1881 Providence Grays and achieved a 24-27 record before quitting as the captain. A light hitter, Jack’s defense was excellent and he either led or finished near the lead in many defensive categories for second basemen throughout his career.

  • Led NL in assists with 365 in 1883
  • Led NL in assists for 2B twice: 1881 & 1883
  • Led NL in double plays for 2B in 1883
  • Led NL in FLDG% for 2B in 1883 with .924
  • Ranks 26th all-time in range factor at 2B


Paul Hines:

Paul Aloysius Hines (1855-1935). A hearing-impaired center fielder for 16 professional seasons, Hines accumulated the most hits in the first 5 years of National League history and, upon his retirement in 1891, was 3rd all-time in hits behind Cap Anson & Jim O’Rourke.

  • Won baseball’s 1st Triple Crown: 1878
  • May have recorded the 1st unassisted triple-play in history
  • Twice won the batting title


Artist's Note:

  • The uniform colors on this card were changed in April, 2017 from black to blue to reflect recent reliable research by Craig Brown & friends at Threads of Our Game. Two cards were previously released featuring black uniforms.

Auction History


Old Judge Pose: 154-3

Elmer Foster

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

Elmer Ellsworth Foster (1861-1946) was primarily an outfielder with the New York Metropolitans, New York Giants and Chicago Colts over a six year span beginning in 1886. The very rare baseballer who threw left and batted right, Foster achieved a career batting average of .187.

  • One of the first five major leaguers born in Minnesota
  • Played at Haverhill with future Hall of Famers Wilbert Robinson and Tommy McCarthy
  • Noted for his speed on the base paths, Foster always had an explanation if caught stealing: “Why, I wasn’t a bit tired. Why should I have stopped running?”

Auction History


Old Judge Pose: 168-1

Jay Faatz

First Base
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Cleveland
  • Team: Blues (AA)
  • League: American Association

Jayson S. Faatz (1859-1923) was a long, lean first-baseman with speed, spunk and the mouth of a drunken sailor. His brief tenure in the major leagues was marked by poor offensive output and notable regard by his bosses. Despite mediocre hitting stats and the temperament of a wounded wolverine, Jay was repeatedly chosen to lead his teammates on the field. He served as player-manager in the minors and majors and was a key ally of John Montgomery Ward in the creation of the Players' League. Faatz came out of the Canadian circuits to Pittsburgh's misbegotten American Association entry late in the 1884 season, getting into 29 games as the club finished 11th of 13. He last played in the PL after moving from Cleveland to Buffalo. A colorful sports reporter of the time, Ernest Jarrold, once described the inner machinations that produced the Players' League. He spoke of Faatz, with his 6'4” sub-200 lb frame as “one of the most striking figures” involved. He dubbed Faatz “the most expert poker player in the United States” with a passion for diamonds, which were always tucked on his person. He not only cut a dashing image but was a “level-headed, clear thinker, and the orator of the Brotherhood,” per Jarrold.

  • Faatz' career average was as lean as the player: .241. Yet one of his three lifetime home runs was noteworthy. His grounder bounced off third-sacker Deacon White's foot and rolled under the stands, yielding a three-run “blast” that never left the infield, per David Nemec of SABR
  • In one of those Old Judge idiosyncrasies, Goodwin's editors elected to identify Faatz as "Capt." on his three Old Judge entries while curiously omitting his defensive position. One might assume that this speaks to Faatz' reputation as more of a leader than a skilled ballplayer.

Auction History

Wallace Fessenden

  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • League: National League

Wallace Clifton Fessenden (1860-1935) was born in New Hampshire as the clouds of civil war were gathering. At age 28 he umpired in the National League, logging 52 games in 1889 and returning for one game in 1890. At the end of that season, Fessenden left his referee garb on July 2 and stepped in as the interim manager of the American Association's Syracuse Stars three weeks later. The team went 4-7 during his time at the helm. His ace that season was Dan Casey, who although not the real model for Mighty Casey, had the honor of reenacting Thayer's opus at the inauguration of the Hall of Fame in 1939. The best hitter on the Stars was Cupid Childs who hit .345. Wally followed George Kasson Frazier who, with Fessenden, shared the distinction of managing the Stars that year as their only major league managerial experience. Frazier was the team owner and stepped aside as the season wound down toward the dissolution of the club at year's end. The Stars had been an International Association team in 1888 and '89 before their sole MLB season in the AA.

  • Fessenden had gained some minor league managerial experience with Lynn of the Massachusetts State Association in 1884 and with Salem of the New England League in 1888

Auction History