Bug Holliday

  • Card series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Des Moines
  • Team: Prohibitionists
  • League: Western Association

James Wear Holliday (1867-1910) had a knack for beginnings. He began in big league baseball at its pinnacle: game five of the 1885 post-season series. He wouldn’t play in a regular-season game until 1889, but again reached an apex by leading the league in home runs as a rookie. Bug’s sophomore season began with another bang: an opening game HR. Holliday played exclusively for Cincinnati and during his six prime years was second only to Roger Connor in home runs. His peak productivity came in 1894 when he hit .372, scoring and driving in 119 runs. Thereafter, health took a sad toll. Following an appendectomy in ‘95 Bug was never the same and his life ended too early due to a fatal infection.

  • At 5’11” “Bug” was not tiny, but he struck some as such way out in center field and got the nickname
  • His unlikely debut came about when Cap Anson was desperate for a right-fielder in the St. Louis Series. Young Bug fared poorly and headed to the minors for seasoning.
  • Holliday’s uniform color on this card was changed in June, 2017 from black to blue to reflect recent reliable research by Craig Brown & friends at Threads of Our Game. Six cards were previously released featuring a black uniform.

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