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Walter Johnson

  • Series: Diamond Heads '15
  • City: Washington, D.C.
  • Team: Senators
  • League: American League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Walter Perry Johnson (1887-1946) played his entire 21-yr career for the Senators then managed them for 4 more. Ty Cobb’s first impression was of a “rube out of the cornfields.” But when the rube threw “The thing just hissed with danger.” Cobb wasn’t the last player to be stunned by this man’s fastball: Most shut-outs in MLB, 2nd in wins, 4th in complete games, etc.

  • Only member of 3000 SO club until Bob Gibson joined in 1974
  • Still holds record 12x league-leader in strikeouts
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1936

Auction History

Ban Johnson

League President
  • Series: Diamond Heads '15
  • League: American League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Byron Bancroft Johnson (1865-1931) was a big man who embodied bigger ambitions. He built the Western League into competitive shape in the 1890s and virtually forced the NL to accept his new creation as an equal. He presided over the new AL for the first two decades of the 20th century. In the aftermath of the Black Sox scandal, Judge Landis became the new czar. By 1927 Johnson was out. But what a legacy he left! His unstinting zeal for cleaning up the rowdiness of that era did not prevent him from shameless opportunism and subterfuge as he methodically put the pieces in place to rival the senior circuit. By dint of his larger-than-life persona, Johnson revolutionized the game: umpires became the true arbiters on the field, rioting players and fans no longer held ballparks hostage to violence, and the pernicious effects of gambling were largely curtailed.

  • Charted the new league with his pal Comiskey but bringing on Connie Mack was a key move
  • The 1903 World Series stood as the emblem of victory for the upstart AL and Ban Johnson
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1937

Auction History

Bill James

  • Series: Diamond Heads '15
  • City: Boston
  • Team: Braves
  • League: National League

William Lawrence James (1892-1971) had a season for the ages in 1914. His woeful Boston Braves hadn’t seen a winning campaign in over a decade and for years had been trapped in the all-too-public hell reserved for teams that can’t get within 50 games of the leaders. No one could have imagined the year that followed James’ rookie season where he had gone 6-10. No one to this day can completely fathom the wonder that became the “Miracle Braves.” The lowliest of teams won it all, pennant and Series. And Seattle Bill James eclipsed his fellow ace Dick Rudolph. His sophomore year produced a 26-7 record, .788 winning percentage, 1.90 ERA with 156 strikeouts in 332 innings. He won two Fall Classic games in three days. He was on fire. Yet, he lacked the fire in the belly that might have led to a great career. He tired of the travel rigors, complaining of it as “hard and disagreeable work.” After winning 32 games in two years, he and his brilliant arm were done. He soon returned to the west coast for minor league assignments, a stint in the wartime infantry and retirement.

  • James was stunning with the Seattle Giants in 1912, winning 29 and a ticket to Beantown

Auction History

Joe Jackson

  • Series: Diamond Heads '15
  • City: Cleveland
  • Team: Naps
  • League: American League

Joseph Jefferson Wofford Jackson (1887-1951) had the “perfectest” swing according to Babe Ruth who copied it. After nearly a century of more contenders, many would still say Shoeless Joe was the purest hitter ever to wield a baseball bat. Expelled from baseball by Judge Landis, Jackson lives in infamy despite demonstrating prowess at the plate and grace afield. While he will ever be branded with the “Black Sox,” Jackson stirred passions that still echo in baseball today.

  • Still ranks as the third-highest career batting average in history (.356)
  • His .408 average in 1911, his rookie season, is sixth-highest in the modern era

Auction History

Addie Joss

  • Series: Pilgrims
  • City: Cleveland
  • Team: Naps
  • League: American League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Adrian Joss (1880-1911) starred for Cleveland for all of his too-brief nine-year career. What his ML tenure lacked in length, Joss made up in quality. Of his 160 wins, 45 were shutouts including a perfect game and another no-hitter. His lean frame and exceptionally long arms gave him the ability to fool batters with a twisting delivery. Joss’s first game was a one (scratch) hit shutout on his way to 17 rookie victories. Won 20+ games four straight years before being plagued by ill health his final two seasons. Succumbed to TB as the 1911 season was starting.

  • Nap Lajoie said: “In Joss’s death, baseball loses one of the best pitchers and men that has ever been identified with the game.”
  • 67 years later, the Veteran’s Committee elected Addie to the Hall of Fame in 1978


Auction History


T201 Mecca Canvas: James Dygert