Arthur Irwin

  • Card series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Philadelphia
  • Team: Quakers
  • League: National League
  • Hall: Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame

Doc, Sandy, Cutrate, Foxy (1863-1927). Born in Canada, Arthur Irwin was: the 1st position player to wear a glove; a winning participant in the 1st interleague series to crown a “World Champion” club, the 1884 Providence Grays; a college coach; an MLB scout & an MLB business manager; a minor league owner; a major & minor league manager; the president of the 1st professional U.S. soccer league; an owner of cycling tracks; the inventor of a football scorecard; and an umpire of 50 National League games. Arthur Irwin is also a member of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. After contracting stomach cancer, Irwin committed suicide by jumping over board a ship. It was soon discovered that Arthur Irwin had two unwitting wives, 1 in Boston, 1 in New York.

  • In 1907, NY Highlanders’ manager George Stallings rented a flat overlooking Hilltop Park and, equipping Irwin with binoculars and mirrors, had Irwin steal signs from NY’s opponents and reflect them back to Stallings in the dugout.
  • Irwin signed Lou Gehrig to his first professional contract, with the Hartford Senators in 1921. Although Gehrig used the alias “Lou Lewis” to hide his professional status from Columbia University, the ruse was discovered and Lou was forced to sit out a year of college ball.
  • Irwin managed the Washington Nationals (1889), Boston Reds (1891), Philadelphia Phillies (1894-1895), NY Giants (1896) & the Washington Senators (1898-1899)
  • While with the Providence Grays in 1883, Irwin broke two fingers on his left hand. Determined not to miss any games, Irwin got a buckskin glove, added padding and sewed two fingers together to allow his bandaged fingers to fit. After his injuries healed, Irwin kept with the glove. John Motgomery Ward soon followed. By the next season, 1884, most professional players were using the Irwin Glove.
  • Elected to Canadian BB Hall of Fame: 1989




Auction History