• A
  • B
  • C
  • D
  • E
  • F
  • G
  • H
  • I
  • J
  • K
  • L
  • M
  • N
  • O
  • P
  • Q
  • R
  • S
  • T
  • U
  • V
  • W
  • X
  • Y
  • Z

Armando Marsans

  • Series: Diamond Heads '15
  • City: St. Louis
  • Team: Terriers
  • League: American League, Federal League
  • Hall: Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame

Armando Marsans (1887-1960) was the first Cuban to make a real impact in the major leagues. Frank Bancroft had spotted Marsans and Rafael Almeida in exhibition games in 1905 and finally brought them to Cincinnati in 1911. In his sophomore season with the Reds, Marsans hit .318 with 35 stolen bases and only 17 strikeouts in 448 plate appearances, placing a respectable 18th in Chalmer’s Award voting for 1912. A row with fiery manager Buck Herzog resulted in Marsans seeking a job with the new Federal League’s St. Louis Terriers in ‘14. When the league folded, Marsans signed on with the Browns but inactivity took a toll. Two years with the Yankees ended his MLB career in 1918 but Armando had many more years of baseball left. He continued to play winter ball back home through the 1928 season and became the first to play in the majors and the Negro Leagues in 1923 with the Cuban Stars. Marsans thrived as a manager in both Cuba and the States (another first for his countrymen), finally retiring in 1947 after 43 years in baseball.

  • The blue-blood Marsans was well-educated and an entrepreneur as well as a savvy baseball mind. Nevertheless, the Reds fended off race-baiting accusations in 1911
  • Artist’s Note: Images of Marsans are fairly rare and it is not uncommon for me to take liberties with dates and uniforms. This photo was taken in 1916 when Marsans was with the St. Louis Browns. In anticipation of the feedback I will receive, I’d like to invite you to join me in pretending this is a St. Louis Terriers’ uniform. Cheers!
  • Elected to Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame in its inaugural class: 1939

Auction History

Jack Boyle

  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: St. Louis
  • Team: Browns (AA)
  • League: American Association

John Anthony Boyle (1866-1913) debuted with the Red Stockings in 1886 for one game before being traded to Comiskey’s Browns. Jack became their regular catcher when Doc Bushong got hurt. Comiskey then took Boyle with him to the Players’ League Chicago Pirates for the 1890 season and then back to St. Louis when that venture collapsed. Sold to NY in ‘92, Jack became the “giant” of the team at 6’4”. The Giants used Jack and others to reclaim HOF’er Roger Connor from the Phillies the following year. Boyle finished his ML tenure with the Phils where he had his best years at bat. As he gained experience behind the plate, Jack’s defense measured up to his strong offense.

  • Boyle compiled a career .253 average and fielded .929 overall, mostly as a durable catcher
  • Per SABR, “Honest Jack’s” trade to the Browns was the very first in the major leagues

Auction History

Jim Devlin

  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: St. Louis
  • Team: Browns (AA)
  • League: American Association

James H. Devlin (1866-1900) was another of those Troy, NY (Lansingburgh) ballplayers to make an impact on the major leagues in the 19th century. The game was growing into a national pastime and Troy was at its center in the post-Civil War years when Devlin was born. He began with Syracuse of the International League in the spring of 1886, going 2-4 with a 1.05 ERA, which earned him a call-up to the NL's Giants that summer. He would continue to shuttle between major and minor league clubs for the next decade. His time in the big leagues included two more teams, the Philadelphia Quakers and the St. Louis Browns, then of the American Association. After the 1889 season in St. Louis, Devlin was out of baseball for a year before leading the Eastern League's Albany Senators with 26 wins in 40 decisions in '91. His MLB record was a mere 11-10, but he compiled a very respectable 3.38 ERA. Like so many before and since, Devlin fared much better in the minors. Jim would play in the Eastern and Pennsylvania Leagues through the mid-'90s and closed his professional career in the Canadian League, going 2-0 for London despite surrendering 14 runs. Every pitcher would pray for such support.

  • All together Devlin won 106 games in the minors, including 21 with his hometown Troy Trojans
  • Among many major leaguers to perish at too young an age, Devlin succumbed to typhoid fever at 34 back in Troy

Auction History

Miller Huggins

Second Base
  • Series: Diamond Heads '15
  • City: St. Louis
  • Team: Cardinals
  • League: National League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Miller James Huggins (1879-1929) played 2B for the Reds and Cards (1904-16), then managed the Cards and Yankees during the latter’s dominant decade, winning 6 AL pennants and 3 World Series. Despite a low-key style, Huggins shook up the NY roster, drawing heavily from the Red Sox and even reined in the mighty Babe, laying the groundwork for Murderers’ Row.

  • Presided over consecutive World Series sweeps in 1927 & 28
  • Following Huggins’ untimely death at age 50, all AL games were canceled in tribute
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1964

Auction History

Branch Rickey

  • Series: Diamond Heads '15
  • City: St. Louis
  • Team: Browns (AL)
  • League: American League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Wesley Branch Rickey (1881-1965) didn’t live to see his 1967 entrance into the Hall of Fame as one of the legends in baseball’s executive ranks, but he did see the legacy of his pioneering efforts to end decades of shameful discrimination in the sport he loved. In the year of his death, one in five MLB players was African American. In his half-century in the front office, Rickey invented the farm system and had one of the keenest eyes for talent.

  • In WWI Rickey commanded a chemical warfare unit that included Ty Cobb and Christy Mathewson
  • Hired Allan Roth as the first team statistician in 1947, thus becoming an early progenitor of sabermetrics
  • Jackie Robinson eulogized Rickey as having done more for African Americans than anyone but Abraham Lincoln
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1967

Auction History