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Mortimer Hogan

  • Series: 1880s: Loving Paupers
  • City: Cleveland
  • Team: Blues (AA)
  • League: American Association

Mortimer Edward Hogan (1862-1923) broke into pro ball in 1883 with the Peoria Reds. The young outfielder got the first of two shots at the big time the following season with the Milwaukee Brewers of the soon-to-be-defunct Union Association. Even had the league survived that turbulent year, it is virtually certain that Hogan's .081 batting average would have doomed him to return to the minors. He spent most of '84 with the Milwaukee Northwestern League club after the UA went belly up. Hogan at least hit his weight here, bumping his average up to .217. The light-hitting Hogan remained in the minors, bouncing from the Southern League to the Western League and to Elmira of the New York State League before returning south to two Georgia squads for most of the '86 season. He moved back to the WL's Leavenworth Soldiers to finish the campaign before getting another opportunity in the majors with the American Association's New York Metropolitans where his .200 average might have been overlooked as the team struggled to a 45-88 record and a dismal seventh place finish. Well, apparently Mort's weak hitting wasn't ignored as the woeful Mets shipped him to Nashville to finish out the '87 season. But all was not dark for Hogan as he was given one last chance at big league glory with the 1888 Cleveland Blues of the AA, where he managed a .227 average. The Cleveland management, having witnessed the futility of Hogan and the Mets the prior year, still held out hope, signaling the eternal optimism that defines America's pastime.

  • Perhaps Mortimer had the last laugh as the Blues managed a sixth place finish in '88, an improvement that launched Hogan into retirement at the age of 26

Auction History


Old Judge Pose: 229-5

Cub Stricker

Second Base
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Cleveland
  • Team: Spiders
  • League: National League

John A. Stricker (nee Streaker) (1859-1937) played second base over an eleven year career in the majors. The native Philadelphian broke in with his hometown Athletics in 1882 and stayed for four seasons. He never caught fire in Philly, batting a meager .239 during his tenure there. The Athletics consigned Cub to the Southern Association’s Atlanta squad before the 1886 season. The following year Stricker was dealt to Cleveland. During his time on the shores of Lake Erie, Stricker saw the team morph from the American Association’s Blues to the NL’s Spiders and, in the 1890 uprising of the Players’ League, Cub became an Infant. He boosted his average a bit and was much more productive on offense overall. He emerged as a fairly adept base-stealer, swiping 86 in his first year with the Blues, his best on the basepaths for his career. Having never been a regular with the Athletics, Stricker was an everyday player throughout his time in Ohio and continued that pattern in 1891 when he moved to Boston with the AA’s Reds. Thereafter, Cub’s performance and plate appearances dwindled rapidly and he bounced from club to club for the remainder of his big league experience. Two episodes late in his career give evidence of a fiery temperament that made Stricker a durable competitor and even gave him a shot at managing while sometimes exposing a darker side. On at least two occasions Cub couldn’t resist the baiting of rowdy fans. His tour as manager of the Browns ended when, after a losing streak, Stricker leaped into the stands to punch a heckler. With the Senators in ‘93, in a game back home in Philadelphia, he couldn’t abide the fans’ jeers. He claimed later that the ball he loosed into the stands was meant to hit only the low fence. Unfortunately, it bounced into the stands and broke the nose of a paying customer, leading to Stricker’s arrest.

  • Out of the majors following his contretemps, Cub played minor league ball for several more years, primarily in Providence for the Clamdiggers/Grays into 1896. He had a final go of it with Chester of the Pennsylvania State League in 1901 at the ripe age of 42
  • Stricker received the nickname Cub due to his diminutive stature
  • Stricker enjoys four known poses in the Old Judge canon, but is credited with six different cards as two cards are known in two different cropped-image variations each.

Auction History

Gene Kimball

Second Base
  • Series: Pioneer Portraits I: 1850-1874
  • City: Cleveland
  • Team: Forest Citys (NAPBBP)
  • League: National Association (NAPBBP)

Eugene Boynton Kimball (1850-1882) was an evanescent spirit on the early baseball scene. This ghost came to the (Cleveland) Forest Citys on May 4, 1871 and departed what was then major league play the following September. He had played in the early amateur National Association of Base Ball Players for the Alert of Rochester in 1869 and for the Cleveland club in 1870. That team was the first fully salaried team in Cleveland and was unaffiliated that season. In 1870 the Forest Citys (a designation adopted in recent years to distinguish the team from the pro club in Rockford, IL known as “Forest City”) were managed by Charlie Pabor. Charlie was dubbed “The Old Woman in the Red Cap,” giving him enduring status as the baseball figure with the most mysterious and alluring nickname of all time.

  • Kimball’s debut in Rochester occurred on June 4, 1869 when the Alert hosted the powerhouse Cincinnati Red Stockings on their famed national tour. Gene played alongside other future major leaguers: John Glenn, Sam Jackson, John McKelvey and Ezra Sutton. The young amateurs held Harry Wright’s bombers to one of the closest margins of that undefeated season
  • In his brief time with Cleveland, Gene managed a .191 average. He made 44 errors in 170 chances playing 2nd, 3rd, short and outfield in 29 games. It is reported that he achieved fair renown as a billiards player following his baseball career

Auction History

Jay Faatz

First Base
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Cleveland
  • Team: Blues (AA)
  • League: American Association

Jayson S. Faatz (1859-1923) was a long, lean first-baseman with speed, spunk and the mouth of a drunken sailor. His brief tenure in the major leagues was marked by poor offensive output and notable regard by his bosses. Despite mediocre hitting stats and the temperament of a wounded wolverine, Jay was repeatedly chosen to lead his teammates on the field. He served as player-manager in the minors and majors and was a key ally of John Montgomery Ward in the creation of the Players' League. Faatz came out of the Canadian circuits to Pittsburgh's misbegotten American Association entry late in the 1884 season, getting into 29 games as the club finished 11th of 13. He last played in the PL after moving from Cleveland to Buffalo. A colorful sports reporter of the time, Ernest Jarrold, once described the inner machinations that produced the Players' League. He spoke of Faatz, with his 6'4” sub-200 lb frame as “one of the most striking figures” involved. He dubbed Faatz “the most expert poker player in the United States” with a passion for diamonds, which were always tucked on his person. He not only cut a dashing image but was a “level-headed, clear thinker, and the orator of the Brotherhood,” per Jarrold.

  • Faatz' career average was as lean as the player: .241. Yet one of his three lifetime home runs was noteworthy. His grounder bounced off third-sacker Deacon White's foot and rolled under the stands, yielding a three-run “blast” that never left the infield, per David Nemec of SABR
  • In one of those Old Judge idiosyncrasies, Goodwin's editors elected to identify Faatz as "Capt." on his three Old Judge entries while curiously omitting his defensive position. One might assume that this speaks to Faatz' reputation as more of a leader than a skilled ballplayer.

Auction History

Chief Zimmer

  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Cleveland
  • Team: Blues (AA)
  • League: American Association

Charles Louis Zimmer (1860-1949) was one of the great catchers the game has known. As Cy Young’s receiver from 1890-98, Chief was extolled by the great pitcher as a peerless partner. The two grew up together with Cleveland with Zimmer setting numerous records at his position while guiding the nascent talent that would come to define baseball greatness. Perhaps fittingly, when Young left Cleveland after the ‘98 season, the club let the 38-year-old Zimmer go, too. He was spared the indignity of laboring for next year’s “worst team in history” club that went 20-134. Chief went on to a pennant with Pittsburgh in 1901, catching HOF’er Jack Chesbro. In ‘03 Pirate owner Barney Dreyfuss persuaded Zimmer to move to Philadelphia to manage the Phillies before retiring at 42.

  • Zimmer claimed no Native American heritage. The “Chief” was due to being the team leader on an early club so speedy as to be dubbed “Indians”
  • The Sporting Life wrote in 1890 that Zimmer was one of about 6 major leaguers who abstained from both liquor and tobacco. Despite his aversion to smoking, Zimmer made a fortune selling cigars, spreading his business to every city his ball club visited
  • Was elected 1st president of The Players’ Protective Association – predecessor to the MLB Players’ Association
  • An entrepreneur and wise investor, Zimmer was known to be one of the wealthiest players of his day
  • Zimmer famously invented Zimmer’s Base Ball Game, a mechanical parlor game popular in the 1890s
  • Zimmer'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.

Auction History