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Frank Selee

  • Series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
  • City: Boston
  • Team: Beaneaters
  • League: National League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Frank Gibson Selee (1859-1909) was on the way to becoming the greatest baseball manager of all time when tuberculosis drove him out of the game he had mastered. For sixteen years, 1890-1905, Selee molded teams that found ways to win. He placed players on the field like a chess grandmaster, using their talents in ways they didn’t even recognize in themselves. He treated his players fairly and as men, not cogs in a machine. And they responded to him, setting records for games won. Frank’s Beaneaters won five titles. He went out to Chicago and rebuilt a floundering squad, recruiting the likes of Mordecai Brown and carefully putting together the pieces of a legendary infield. Illness forced him to pass the baton to Frank Chance, but it is clear that Chicago’s four pennants were a testament to Selee’s managerial acumen.

  • Frank’s genius was in organizing men to get the best results from them. His players hit for power unlike any until the Babe’s Yankees yet also innovated many of the finesse plays: hit and run, hitting behind the runner, double-plays
  • A dozen of Selee’s charges would precede him into Cooperstown
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1999

Auction History

Emmett Seery

  • Series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
  • City: Indianapolis
  • Team: Hoosiers (NL)
  • League: National League

John Emmett Seery (1861-1930) played the outfield for and with some of the game’s most colorful characters in the early era of baseball. He debuted with the Baltimore Monumentals in 1884. Seery led his Union League team in batting with a .311 BA. Played under John Montgomery Ward (Ward’s Wonders of Brooklyn) and Mike “King” Kelly (Kelly’s Killers of Cincinnati) during a tumultuous age as teams and leagues were starting and folding abruptly.

  • In ’86 with the St Louis Maroons, led the league in games played with 126
  • Followed the team’s owner, Henry Lucas, to Indianapolis with the Hoosiers for 3 years
  • Demonstrating a good eye, consistently ranked in the top 10 in walks

Auction History

Ben Sanders

  • Series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
  • City: Philadelphia
  • Team: Quakers
  • League: National League

Alexander Bennett Sanders (1865-1930) pitched for the Quakers, Athletics and Colonels over a 5 year career. His odd delivery left him facing 2nd base and vulnerable to the bunt. Nevertheless, Sanders went 80-70 with a 3.24 ERA. Perhaps his fielding limitations led to his yielding 2 runs despite hurling a no-hitter against the Orioles on 8/22/92 — the 1st no-no where the loser scored.

  • Sanders joined the ill-fated Player’s League with Philadelphia in 1890
  • As a rookie, nearly achieved a 2nd no-hitter, giving up a one-out single in the 9th

Auction History

Ezra Sutton

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

Ezra Ballou Sutton (1849-1907). A 3rd baseman & shortstop, Sutton played for 5 teams over 20 seasons. Ezra was the 1st player to hit a home run in Major League baseball, and became the 1st player to hit 2 HRs in one game when he hit his second that day (in a losing effort). Sutton was also one of the 1st ball players to collect 1,000 career hits.

  • Played in 1st National Association game: 5.4.71
  • Played in 1st National League game: 4.22.76
  • Lifetime .294 batting average
  • Sutton is tied with 17 other players as the first player in major league baseball history

Auction History

Joe Start

First Base
  • Series: Pioneer Portraits I: 1850-1874
  • City: Brooklyn
  • Team: Atlantics
  • League: National Association (NABBP)

Joseph Start’s (1842-1927) baseball career spanned the early days of the game before the Civil War and included two NL titles with the Providence Grays. Start was a premier first baseman beginning with the Enterprise of Brooklyn and the Atlantics (1860-71) and extending to the NA Mutuals (1871-76) and several NL teams, well-earning his nickname, Old Reliable.

  • Best year was ’78 with the Chicago White Stockings, leading the league with 100 hits and 125 total bases
  • Playing exclusively in the “no-glove” era, his .963 fielding % at first base over 16 seasons is remarkable

Auction History