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Johnny Ryan

  • Series: Pioneer Portraits I: 1850-1874
  • City: Baltimore
  • Team: Canaries
  • League: National Association (NAPBBP)

John Joseph Ryan (1853-1902) broke into the majors with the Philadelphia White Stockings of the NAPBBP in 1873, their first season in pro ball. The team finished second with a record of 36-17. He played for the cellar-dwelling Baltimore Canaries the following year, the franchise’s last. Ryan went to the New Haven Elm Citys in ’75, their only year in the league. In 1876 Ryan joined the Louisville Grays for their inaugural season. He ended his career in ’77 with Cincinnati. Ryan’s best year was with the Grays in ’76, hitting .253 with his only HR.

  • Ryan became a Philly cop and died in the line of duty, while making an arrest in a bar fight

Auction History

Fraley Rogers

  • Series: Pioneer Portraits I: 1850-1874
  • City: Brooklyn
  • Team: Star of Brooklyn
  • League: National Association (NABBP)

Fraley W. Rogers (1850-1881) played at the cusp of the professional era, mostly with the Star of Brooklyn in the old Nat’l Assoc of Base Ball Players. Played the ’72 (championship) season for the Boston Red Stockings, compiling a decent .276 average in RF. Sadly, Rogers is the earliest known professional ball player to take his own life, by gunshot at age 30.

  • The Star of Brooklyn was a breeding ground for talent in the 1860s
  • ’72 marked the end of the “Knickerbocker Era” and the start of professional ball
  • Fraley’s brother Mort Rogers was a National Association umpire who innovated the Mort Rogers’ Scorecards that inspired this series of Pioneer Portraits

Auction History

Al Reach

  • Series: Pioneer Portraits I: 1850-1874
  • City: Philadelphia
  • Team: Athletics (NABBP)
  • League: National Association (NAPBBP)

Alfred James Reach (1840-1928) “served baseball with distinction as player, organizer, club owner and provider of the equipment to attain the highest possible skill in the game” per his own Reach’s Official Base Ball Guide upon his death. “A good man, of the kindest impulses, his name will last as long as we have baseball” expressed the legacy of one of the great men of the early era of America’s game. The London-born, Brooklyn-raised Reach joked that he made the gloves he eschewed in the beginnings of the game in which he starred for the Brooklyn Eckfords and Philadelphia Athletics. He also made the AL’s balls while owning the NL Phillies franchise. A genius for marketing equipment and a lifelong love of the game made him one of the most influential figures of baseball’s first half-century.

  • Began play in the amateur era, then founded the NL’s Philadelphia club in 1883
  • Built the first modern ballpark in ’87, then rebuilt it with steel after a fire in ‘94
  • Al's brother Bob Reach was a MLB shortstop for 3 games, 1872-1873
  • Was the 88th player to debut in MLB

Auction History