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Louis Sockalexis

  • Series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
  • City: Cleveland
  • Team: Spiders
  • League: National League

“The Deerfoot of the Diamond” (1871-1913). A Maine native & son of a Penobscot chief, Sockalexis was one of the most gifted athletes ever to play the game. A pioneering Native American, Sockalexis endured intimidation and abuse throughout his all-too-brief career. He starred for the Fighting Irish before joining the Cleveland Spiders in 1897. His legacy lives today whenever the Cleveland Indians take the field—many believe that mascot to be a post-mortem tribute to this early star.

  • Harvard professors measured his throw at 414′
  • While at Notre Dame, he homered in the Polo Grounds off future Hall of Famer Amos Rusie
  • John McGraw called him the “greatest natural talent” he had ever encountered in the game

Auction History

Pop Snyder

  • Series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
  • City: Cincinnati
  • Team: Red Stockings (AA)
  • League: American Association

Charles N. Snyder’s (1854-1924) 18 year career was bookended by Washington clubs: the Blue Legs of the NA and the Statesmen of the AA. As a catcher, he set many records. He won the inaugural championship of the American Assoc in 1882 as player-mgr w/Cincinnati. He was also on the pennant-winning Boston Red Caps in ’78.

  • Umpired for the Players’ League in ’91; went on to officiate in 4 leagues
  • Records included putouts, assists, double plays and fielding %, all as catcher

Auction History

Mike Smith

  • Series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
  • City: Pittsburgh
  • Team: Pirates
  • League: National League

Elmer Ellsworth "Mike" Smith (1868-1945) pitched well enough to lead the AA in ERA in 1887 for Cincinnati, but after 3 years on the mound his bat dictated a shift to the outfield. Traded to the Pirates in ’92, Smith was an impact player, hitting 136 triples and 37 HRs over his 14-year career. His three-baggers tied Babe Ruth’s lifetime total.

  • His remarkable but brief pitching record included 122 CG in 136 starts with 9 shut-outs
  • In his great ’87 season, Smith started 52 games, completed 49 and went 34-17

Auction History

Jack Sharrott

  • Series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
  • City: New York
  • Team: Giants
  • League: National League

John Henry Sharrott (1869-1927) debuted in professional ball at the top, with the New York Giants in 1890, winning 11 games. In ‘93 Jack moved to the Phillies where he ended his ML tenure going 4-2. He won 20 games in his four years with a respectable 3.12 ERA before turning to the minors and a managerial career. He led the Bangor team in 1894-95 and came back with the Ilion Typewriters (no kidding) in 1904 before ending his pro experience in Wilkes-Barre, also of the NY State League, in 1905-06. Jack was a spot starter in the outfield for various minor league teams where he compiled a .300 average in nine seasons. His best year was with the Bangor Millionaires (so ahead of their time) in 1894 where he hit .328 with ten HRs.

  • Jack relieved old friend Jack Taylor in a Philadelphia/Brooklyn contest on July 27, 1893. A rookie came to bat and singled. The kid was George Sharrott and the writers were abuzz with the story of a first: “Brother gets a hit against brother in MLB debut.” Unfortunately, George was Jack’s cousin so the “record” lost some of its shine

Auction History

Ed Seward

  • Series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
  • City: Philadelphia
  • Team: Athletics (AA)
  • League: American Association

Edward William Seward (nee Sourhardt) (1867-1947) was just 20 years old when he teamed with Gus Weyhing on the mound as the Athletics’ formidable starting duo, combining for 51 of the team’s 63 wins. “Kid” Seward had begun in the minors at 16 so was something of a veteran when Philadelphia made him their ace. Ed started and finished 110 games in ’87 and ’88, winning 60. He was on fire in 1888, leading the American Association in strikeouts and shutouts while hurling a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Red Stockings on July 25. He went 35-19 with a 2.01 ERA. The phenom began to burn out the following year but still posted a strong 21-15 season. His final year with the A’s, 1890, saw the Kid fall off to 6-12. A brief look with the Cleveland Spiders the following year was his last, starting a mere three games and winning two. His mound-mate Weyhing matched his no-hitter a week after Ed’s. Nicknamed “Rubber Arm,” Weyhing indeed proved the more durable, going on to a 14-year career. Nevertheless, for a couple of seasons, these two strong-armed youngsters really lit it up in the city of brotherly love.

  • Seward’s overall record was 89-72 with a 3.40 ERA and 589 strikeouts

Auction History