Fred Dunlap

Second Base
  • Card series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Pittsburgh
  • Team: Alleghenys
  • League: National League

Frederick C. Dunlap (1859-1902) strode the heights of baseball throughout the 1880s as the “king of second basemen.” Highest-paid, adored by fans, sought by clubs who needed to win, the slick-fielding, sharp-eyed batsman could write his own ticket, and did. When Detroit (which had paid a record price to secure him from St. Louis) wanted to sell him to Pittsburgh, “Sure-Shot” demanded and nearly got half the proceeds. Despite never using a glove, this graceful fielder consistently ranked as the best at his position. In 1910, the founder of The Sporting News said he had seen them all and Dunlap was “the greatest that ever lived.” Yet his fall equaled his rise: forced out by a broken leg, a decade later his fortune was gone, as were his friends and health. “King Fred” died in 1902 “clean broke” without enough to carry his coffin.

  • In 12 years: .292 BA & .924 fielding %
  • A fondness for horse racing is cited as the cause of his financial ruin
  • Dunlap’s pants color on this card was changed in February, 2017 from black to blue to reflect recent reliable research by Craig Brown & friends at Threads of Our Game. Five cards had been previously released featuring black pants.

Auction History