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Bill Holbert

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

William Henry Holbert (1855-1935). Holbert was a catcher for 6 teams over 12 seasons and is perhaps best known as the player with the most career at bats without a home run (2,335). While a good defender, Bill was a weak hitter compiling a career BA of .208, with .228 OBP, .232 SLG, and an OPS+ of 47.

  • One of the original umpires of the Player’s League in 1890
  • Of his 486 hits, only 48 were for extra bases

Auction History


Old Judge Pose: 230-1

Frank Hankinson

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

Frank Edward Hankinson (1856-1911) was a third baseman for four early National League clubs before ending his major league tenure with two American Association teams. Just why he was, primarily, a third baseman is a bit of a head scratcher. Frank debuted with the Chicago White Stockings in 1878 and hit a respectable .267 (an average he wouldn't exceed for a decade). Manager Bob "Death to Flying Things" Ferguson did start young Hankinson on the mound one time that rookie season, a complete game loss with the pitcher surrendering six runs. Ferguson must have seen something he liked as he used Hankinson much more in '79. As the back-up to Terry Larkin, Frank went 15-10 with an ERA nearly matching the ace (2.50 vs. 2.44 for Larkin). Perhaps it was Hankinson's anemic .181 BA that made him more desirable as a pitcher but, for unknown reasons, that would be basically a one-and-done “career” as a hurler in the majors. Thereafter, Hankinson labored as a NL part-timer mostly at third, although he played all positions but catcher over his ten-year span. His move to the AA saw him get many more plate appearances, especially with the Metropolitans from 1885-87.

  • Overall, Hankinson hit .228 but compiled an impressive 16-12 record on the mound, completing all his starts and throwing two shut-outs. His ERA was 2.50.
  • He closed out his career with '88's last-place Kansas City Cowboys, hitting a lifetime low .174

Auction History


Old Judge Pose: 211-1

Hardie Henderson

  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Pittsburgh
  • Team: Alleghenys
  • League: National League

James Harding Henderson (1862-1903) could have been nicknamed “Hard-Luck” Henderson instead of Hardie. He is one of only 34 pitchers of the 1870s and 1880s to achieve 200+ decisions. Unfortunately, most were losses (81-121 over his six-year major league career with four teams). Hardie came up with the NL’s Quakers in 1883 and was rudely treated in his debut by the Providence Grays and one Charles Radbourn. Old Hoss made Hardie one of the 48 notches on his belt that year, prepping for the glory of “59 in ‘84." Philadelphia soon shuffled Henderson off to Baltimore where he would achieve ignominy in a number of categories: most losses in ‘85 with 35; most walks in ‘84; most hits, walks and runs surrendered in ‘85; not to mention twice leading the league in wild pitches. Nevertheless, the guy won 81 games in a mere six seasons and compiled a lifetime 3.50 ERA, so the losses couldn’t have all been his fault.

  • In a curious bit of morbid irony, the Library of Congress lists Hardie Henderson as a member of the Brooklyn Trolley-Dodgers - for his 1888 Kimball Campions (N184) card - when the team was actually known as the GraysThe borough of Brooklyn wouldn’t be known by that Manhattan put-down until 1895 - the year the team adopted the Trolley-Dodger nickname. Unfortunately for this man who has been posthumously misidentified as a trolley-dodger, Hardie perished under the wheels of a Philadelphia trolley while making his way home from work at a pool hall at the tender age of 40
  • Henderson's uniform color in this card was changed from black & red to blue & red in March, 2017 to reflect recent reliable research conducted by Craig Brown and friends at Threads of Our Game. Two cards had been previously released featuring a black uniform.

Auction History

Willie Hahm

  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Chicago
  • Team: White Stockings
  • League: National League

Willie Hahm, also known as “Master Willies,” was a rarity among early baseball mascots. He was white. The youngster, said to have been barely able to talk when first brought to the dugout, was the diminutive talisman for the Chicago White Stockings in the mid-1880s. “The Chicagos have great confidence in him as a promoter of success and make a great fuss over him” said Louisville Colonels manager Jim Hart in one of the earliest interviews explicating the curious role of mascots in America’s game. After triumphing in the 1884 campaign, Hart said the Sox had paraded Hahm at the head of their procession in an open landau. The Chicago Tribune reported on a big match with the rival Wolverines on June 18, 1886. Al Spalding brought a trainload of boosters to Detroit in hopes of preventing the eclipse of Chicago’s record home winning streak. Downtown Motor City was treated to the spectacle of the White Stockings and 200 rabid fans marching from the depot to the Russell Hotel carrying broomsticks with Willie Hahm leading the throng. Later, per the Tribune, “The Chicagos were escorted to the ground by a band, and entered the field behind little Willie Hahm, who carried an immense broom on which were written the words Our Mascot.”

  • Many of the early mascots were black kids dragooned by superstitious players such as NY’s Buck Ewing
  • The first two releases of this card (2016) were errors: Hahm was misspelled as "Hahn"
  • Hahm's uniform color in this card was changed from black to blue in March, 2017 to reflect recent reliable research conducted by Craig Brown and friends at Threads of Our Game. Two cards had been previously released featuring a black uniform.

Auction History

Miller Huggins

Second Base
  • Series: Diamond Heads '15
  • City: St. Louis
  • Team: Cardinals
  • League: National League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Miller James Huggins (1879-1929) played 2B for the Reds and Cards (1904-16), then managed the Cards and Yankees during the latter’s dominant decade, winning 6 AL pennants and 3 World Series. Despite a low-key style, Huggins shook up the NY roster, drawing heavily from the Red Sox and even reined in the mighty Babe, laying the groundwork for Murderers’ Row.

  • Presided over consecutive World Series sweeps in 1927 & 28
  • Following Huggins’ untimely death at age 50, all AL games were canceled in tribute
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1964

Auction History