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Jim Manning

  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Kansas City
  • Team: Blues (WA)
  • League: Western Association

James H. Manning (1862-1929) became the first manager of the Washington Senators in their franchise-first season, 1901. Manning came out of retirement to take the helm of the fledgling D.C. enterprise after a twelve-year absence from the major leagues. As a player, Manning was an early utility man for the Boston Beaneaters, the Detroit Wolverines and the Kansas City Cowboys from 1885-1889. Manning compiled a career BA of .215 with his high year for Detroit in ’85 with .269.

  • Manning was a switch hitter who played OF, 2B and Short
  • He started in the OF for Boston’s second year in the NL, helping the team to a 2nd place finish in ’84 behind the Providence Grays

Auction History

Bill Bradley

Third Base
  • Series: Jim Dandie Feds
  • City: Kansas City
  • Team: Packers
  • League: Federal League

William Joseph Bradley (1878-1954) played third base better than anyone in the new American League until he was slowed by injury in 1906. Having jumped to the junior circuit from the Chicago Orphans in 1901, Bradley set batting and fielding marks for his hometown Cleveland Blues that would only be eclipsed by the likes of Ty Cobb and Home Run Baker. His pinnacle year came in 1902 when he batted .340, scored 104 runs with 39 doubles and 11 home runs, all putting him in the top five or six in the league. Bradley's output declined markedly following his injury-shortened season in '06. He stayed with Cleveland through the 1910 campaign, still playing regularly but seeing a great drop-off at the plate. He went to the International League's Maple Leafs as player-manager in 1911 but returned to the majors as manager for the Brooklyn Tip-Tops in the new Federal League where he put himself in as an occasional pinch hitter.The team's 77-77 record was good for a fifth-place finish. The next, and last, year for the Federal League saw him with the Kansas City Packers where Bill returned to a back-up role at third, playing in about half the club's games. Though known for his excellent fielding, Bradley figured uncharacteristically in a Cleveland no-hitter in 1908. Bob Rhoads hurled the gem but was shocked when he learned the hit he thought he'd surrendered on a grounder to Bradley had been ruled a rare error. His dazzling play at his position was a throwback to the earlier no-glove era as he mastered a bare-handed scoop-and-toss to throw out attempted bunters, per Stephen Constantelos of SABR. His rival as the best third-sacker of that decade, Jimmy Collins of Boston, told an admiring fan: “Well, if I could field and bat like Bradley, I should lay claim to that title myself.”

  • On September 24, 1903 Bradley hit for the cycle in D.C. with 12 total bases
  • Bradley's physical issues in 1906 had been presaged by a mysterious illness in '05 when his average began to drop. An intentional inside pitch from NY's Bill Hogg broke Bill's wrist, the first of a series of injuries that would plague him for the rest of his MLB tenure
  • Hogg removed any doubt about his intention to disable Bradley when he vowed “The big Frenchman (Nap Lajoie) is next on my list.”

Auction History

Charlie Reynolds

  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Kansas City
  • Team: Blues (WA)
  • League: Western Association

Charles Lawrence Reynolds (1865-1944) got a quick look in the majors in 1889. He was a catcher and debuted with the Kansas City Cowboys of the American Association on May 8. That day represented his career in KC. Charlie went one for four with an RBI. He played five innings and didn’t make an error. On May 22 the Brooklyn Bridegrooms purchased his contract and he moved east for a dozen games. He had nine hits in 43 ABs for a .214 average. Reynolds was charged with eight errors in 95 innings for a fielding percentage of .917. Perhaps it was this tendency toward miscues, coupled with an anemic batting record that curtailed his hopes of a career in the big leagues. Reynolds’ stint at the pinnacle of baseball came amid his college career at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. His college production mirrored his MLB stats. His average was .217.

  • Another DePauw alum became a true luminary of the game: Ford Frick went on to head the NL and serve as Commissioner of Baseball. The Hall of Fame in 1978 established the award in his honor that commemorates contributions in broadcasting

Auction History

Parke Swartzel

  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Kansas City
  • Team: Blues (WA)
  • League: Western Association

Parke B. Swartzel (1865-1940) pitched for seven years in organized ball but only played one year at the major league level—for the Kansas City Cowboys in 1889. Swartzel won the team’s season-opener and their final game that year. All told he made 48 appearances, starting 47 games and completing 45. During this busy year, Swartzel allowed a league-high 481 hits, going 19-27 for a struggling team.

  • Played for five minor league teams including the Lincoln Tree Planters of the Western League
  • Also gave up a league high 21 home runs as one of the workhorses of the American Association

Auction History

Jim Burns

  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Kansas City
  • Team: Cowboys
  • League: American Association

James Milton Burns (1861-1909) was an outfielder for the Kansas City Cowboys and Washington Statesmen in three seasons. He played for the Kansas City Cowboys in 1888-89 and for Washington’s first season in the American Association, 1891. That was also the American Association’s final year and the team moved to the National League as the Senators. 1888 was KC’s first year in the AA and ’89 was their last, so Burns was with teams in flux. A productive hitter, his batting average over the three years was .305 with 111 RBI. Jim had begun with Oshkosh and Omaha in ‘86-88 before getting a trial with the Cowboys and he stayed with the team when it became the KC Blues of the Western Association in 1890. He had a brief stint with the Denver Mountaineers before joining the D.C. squad in ‘91. Burns stayed in the minors after his season with the Statesmen, playing exclusively in the Western Association for the Minneapolis Minnies/Millers, the Detroit Creams, Grand Rapids Gold Bugs and St. Paul Apostles

  • Jim had a fine .332 average in his ten minor league seasons showing that his MLB stats were typical of a good hitter

Auction History