Willie Breslin

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

Master William Breslin was one in a line of NY Giants’ mascots in the 1880s, primarily due to HOF catcher Buck Ewing’s love of “hoodoos.” Superstition is still alive and well in baseball and goes back to its roots. In the old days it wasn’t rally monkeys, tomahawks or Phanatics–it was young boys recruited from the mean streets by ball players desperate for an edge. Lads such as “masters” Bretsie and Preston prowled the NY dugout in 1886, preceded by an unknown “colored boy” that year. Any charm could do, though. Ewing seized variously on a yellow mutt, a ring-tailed monkey named “Mose,” and a toy barking dog. But no mascot seems to have gained the popularity and fame of Willie Breslin.

One of Buck’s proteges was Fred Boldt, a Chicago waif the team picked up on the road. Back in NY, young Fred ran up an account at a diner near the Polo Grounds and absconded with Cannonball Titcomb’s shoes.

  • The Breslin Old Judge cards have become highly prized
  • Sadly, biographical data for Willie and his cohorts is lacking. We trust he turned out better than young Boldt

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