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George Turner

  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Minneapolis
  • Team: Millers
  • League: Western Association

George Turner is a mystery man. He is the subject of five Old Judge cards in the 1889 series. He wears a Minneapolis Millers (Western Assoc.) uniform and is identified as a center fielder. He strikes a left-handed batting pose in two portraits. Miller, Gonsowski and Masson, in their compilation of Goodwin and Co. cards for 1886-90 state that Turner played for the WA Denver Grizzlies in the same year. There is a Thomas Turner on the Denver roster and a “Lone” Turner on the Millers, shown as a CF-Pitcher. No other information is recorded for this enigmatic player.

  • Turner’s Old Judge poses show two with the bat and three with bare-hand catching poses

Auction History

George Treadway

  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: St. Paul
  • Team: Apostles
  • League: Western Association

George W. Treadway (1866-1928) hit .328 with 26 triples and 102 RBI for the Brooklyn Grooms in 1894. That was the high-water-mark of a brief 3+ year ML career. Treadway knocked around the minors for several more years before retiring in California from the Pacific Coast League. Treadway was a target of racial slurs and rumors that he was passing for white. The gossip was printed by a Louisville paper and may have caused his trade from Baltimore to Brooklyn. If it was a spiteful move, Treadway commanded a high price: he and another player were traded for Hall of Famers Dan Brouthers and Willie Keeler.

  • A noted biography of Joe Jackson asserted Treadway was “driven out of baseball” by the accusations—belied by the lengthy minor league career he pursued until age 37

Auction History

Sleepy Townsend

  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Philadelphia
  • Team: Athletics (AA)
  • League: American Association

George Hodgson Townsend (1867-1930) must have been a catcher to his core. He began in pro ball in 1887 with Reading and moved up to the Philadelphia Athletics the same year, which was also the first and only year hitters got to look at four strikes. This must have made for longer days for the pitchers and catchers, but even such a temporary advantage for the batter was lost on George who could muster only a .193 average. He slumped to .155 the next year and moved down to Baltimore in ‘90 where he hit .239. One more sub-.200 campaign followed before Townsend returned to the minors for one year in the Eastern League with the Binghamton Bings and Rochester Flour Cities. Such was the life of the hard-working, much put-upon receivers of the eighties: mangled hands and slumping batting averages.

  • George had come by the “tools of ignorance” via America’s higher education: he makes the honor roll as one of 13 NYU Violets in the major leagues

Auction History

Phil Tomney

  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Louisville
  • Team: Colonels
  • League: American Association

Philip H. Tomney (1863-1892) was born on the banks of the Schuylkill River in the coal country of eastern Pennsylvania mere days before America’s bloodiest conflict would ensue at nearby Gettysburg. His short life would end just 28 years later when he succumbed to the pernicious effects of consumption, endemic to the area of his origins. “Buster” would devote nearly all of his brief adult life to the game of baseball, excelling to such a degree that in his nine year professional career, he would spend three at the pinnacle of the sport: the “big leagues.” Phil was a shortstop during his ML stint, all of it with the Louisville Colonels toward the end of their years in the American Association: 1888-90. It is reasonable to suppose that Tomney’s health drove him from the game. His final season stats indicate his best year with a .277 batting average in a career-high 386 ABs over 108 games. He drove in a solid total of 58 runs with an OBP that year of .357.

  • Slightly built at 5’7″ and 155 lbs, the right-hander’s final game was Oct 14, 1890
  • Died March 18, 1892 in his hometown of Reading

Auction History

Cannonball Titcomb

  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: New York
  • Team: Giants
  • League: National League

Ledell Titcomb (1866-1950). A pitcher for 5 professional seasons, Titcomb won a total of 30 games in his career while playing for 4 different clubs: Philadelphia Quakers, Philadelphia Athletics, New York Giants & Rochester Broncos. His best season was 1888, when he went 14-8 with a 2.24 ERA and 22 complete games for the New York Giants.

  • Threw a no-hitter against the Syracuse Stars while pitching for the Rochester Broncos: 9.15.90

Auction History