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Billy Barnie

  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Baltimore
  • Team: Orioles
  • League: American Association

William Harrison Barnie (1853-1900) played catcher/OF for three National Association teams in the 1870s prior to beginning an extensive career as manager. Nicknamed “Bald Billy,” Barnie struck a distinguished pose for the Old Judge photographer during his days with the Orioles, the club he led for nine years. Billy left Baltimore following the 1891 season for a very brief turn with the Senators before managing Louisville and Brooklyn for two years each. Barnie’s frail health felled him a mere two years after his final campaign with the Bridegrooms, dying of pneumonia at age 47.

  • While Mike Scanlon was desperately trying to gain major-league status for his Washington Statesmen in 1885, he publicly engaged Barnie in war of words seeking a contest with the Orioles to prove his team’s mettle. When the match finally occurred, following a wearisome Baltimore road trip, the D.C. lads prevailed 3-2 on May 28. The following year, Scanlon brought his squad into the NL
  • Barnie was a lifelong partisan of the American Association, working hard to reconstitute it. He was mourned as a beloved man who would have had a big impact as the AL was forming

Auction History


Old Judge Pose: 21-1

Harry Whitacre

  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Philadelphia
  • Team: Athletics (AA)
  • League: American Association

Harry Whitacre (aka Whiteacre, Whitaker) is known primarily from photographs: he is depicted on (at least) three 1888 Old Judge cards in an Athletics’ uniform. Harry was photographed batting and throwing right-handed. He is also found in a team photo of the Kennett Square Mohicans of 1886 along with the brothers of future major leaguer Mike Grady and the father of future Hall-of-Famer Herb Pennock. Kennett Square was becoming the “mushroom capital of the world” about the same time the Mohicans were transforming from an amateur club to one of the foremost teams in Pennsylvania in the late 1880s. The Sporting News, in January ‘88, touted “Whiteacre, the Athletics new pitcher” as being “highly thought of by Manager Sharsig.” As with many up-and-coming minor leaguers of the day, Harry’s promise went unfulfilled. He didn’t make the Philadelphia squad.

  • The pose used on this card is one of two recently discovered Old Judge proofs of Whitacre, neither of which are known to have been issued in the original Old Judge series
  • Baseball Encyclopedia records an H. Whitaker pitching one game for Williamsport of the Pennsylvania State Association in 1886, a complete-game win
  • Although the Old Judge series features three known poses of Harry Whitacre, I could not find one of suitable quality for this project. This image is taken from an Old Judge proof taken at the same time as Whitacre's other OJ images and may represent an as-of-yet undiscovered pose.

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

Cook tags Werrick

  • Series: 1880s: Diamond Duos
  • City: Louisville
  • Team: Colonels
  • League: American Association

Paul Cook:

Paul Cook (1863-1905) got into three games at catcher for Harry Wright’s struggling Philadelphia Quakers at the end of the 1884 season. He returned to the minors before getting picked up by the Louisville Colonels where he stayed four years before jumping to Ward’s Wonders for the Players’ League season of 1890. Cook finished up the following year with three teams, back in Kentucky, then the Lincoln Rustlers and, finally, the St. Louis Browns. During his five years with the Colonels, Cook batted a mere .219 with no power.

  • In his early days, Cook played for Muskegon in the Northwestern League, the Toledo Avengers of the Western League, and the Washington Nationals of the Eastern League
  • Paul played in D.C. for manager Mike Scanlon who would lead the club in ‘86 as they joined the National League

Joe Werrick:

Joseph Abraham Werrick (1861-1943) broke into minor-league ball in 1884 with the Winona Clippers of the Northwestern League, moving to their St Paul franchise later that summer. Joe became a major-leaguer almost by accident as the Apostles of the Twin Cities became a late entry into the Union Association that September as the White Caps. Hitting less than a buck in nine games sent Werrick to the Nashville Americans of the Southern League in ‘85. The Louisville Colonels took him on in ‘86 and Joe rewarded them the following year with a terrific output: .285 BA, 99 RBI and 49 steals. Unfortunately, his average plummeted to .215 in ‘88 and Werrick sought the shelter of the minors for the remainder of his lengthy tenure. He played for various teams in the Virginia and Interstate Leagues, finishing up with the Mansfield Haymakers in 1899 showing he still had power with 11 HRs and a .297 average.

  • In his short-lived debut, Joe participated in a unique “record.” St Paul was a last-minute fill-in for the moribund Union Assoc and played only nine road games--a “major league” team that never played a home game


Auction History


Old Judge Pose: 92-1

Jack Lynch

  • Series: 1880s: Spotted Ties
  • City: New York
  • Team: Metropolitans
  • League: American Association

John H. Lynch (1857-1923) was a right-hander for three New York state teams, the Buffalo Bisons, NY Metropolitans and Brooklyn Gladiators, in a career that spanned the period 1879-1890. He had several minor league assignments scattered among his total of seven major league campaigns.

While with the Metropolitans, Jack caught the attention of the New York Clipper, the weekly paper that did much to popularize baseball in its earliest days. One scribe wrote of Lynch: “Studying the in-and-out curves, rises, and drop deliveries, he rapidly acquired a reputation as an effective and puzzling pitcher . . . He has complete control of the ball, with all the curves and varying paces in delivery, and is cool and self-possessed.”

The highlight of Jack's career had to have been the championship season with the Mets in 1884. He shared the mound duties with Tim Keefe and actually nosed out the future Hall of Fame hurler in winning percentage: Lynch was 37-15 to Keefe's 37-17. Keefe had a slightly lower ERA and completed a couple more games than Lynch, but Jack had more shut-outs. All in all, they were a remarkably balanced duo who led their club to the first post-season tourney against the Providence Grays. Unfortunately, the New Yorkers were swept 3-0. Lynch would win 20+ in his two additional years with the Mets, but would never again achieve the heights of that '84 season (nor the 496 innings he threw that year).

  • Jack Lynch more than held his own alternating mound assignments next to a pitching genius, widely acclaimed as one of the most dominant of the 19th century. Keefe endured but, for that one shining season in 1884, Lynch earned applause and lasting respect

Auction History


Old Judge Pose: 282-1