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William Abrams

image unavailable
  • Series: Pioneer Portraits I: 1850-1874
  • City: Lansingburgh
  • Team: Union of Lansingburgh
  • League: National Association (NABBP)

Abrams is an enigmatic figure of baseball’s earliest days. Pictured with Lansingburgh, what little documentation exists places Abrams as a veteran of the Union of Morrisania team. In fact, he was reported to be the only pre-Civil War member of the Unions to play on their sole championship team in 1867. A report in the NY Times of Aug. 4, 1862 describes a game with Newark in which Abrams switched mid-game from catcher to SS and made a spectacular grab in which he “jumped so high for it he might have passed for Mercury.” A footnote to that game reveals a bonhomie that soon was lost in the rowdy early days: both teams retired to a local hotel for dinner where the players’ “cheers were given for the Umpire, who returned thanks for the honor.”

  • Abrams’ teammates included Dave (The Old Man) Birdsall and perhaps the most oddly nick-named character in the game: Charley Pabor, “The Old Woman in the Red Cap.”

Auction History

Ross Barnes

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

This is not an image of Ross Barnes. I am not sure who this fine-looking gentleman is, but he is commonly mistaken to be Ross Barnes. Mark Fimoff, a very kind and generous researcher from the SABR community was good enough to take the time to contact me and alert me of my mistake. For Mark’s help, I am grateful. For the error, I am sorry.

I made and released this card twice, both in 2013.

Auction History

Harry Wright

  • Series: Pioneer Portraits I: 1850-1874
  • City: Cincinnati
  • Team: Red Stockings (NABBP)
  • League: National Association (NABBP)
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

William Henry Wright (1835-1895) established professional baseball on the American landscape with his 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings, a team with which he show-cased the game that was to become the true national pastime. His influence on the sport is incalculable. For 25 years Wright led as player, manager, executive, and chief of umpires. Perhaps his greatest contribution was inspiring true team-spirit. He invented such staples as signals, platooning, hit-and-run, communication among players and a nascent farm system.

  • Managed his teams to over 1200 wins, a .581%, winning six championships
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1953

Auction History

George Wright

  • Series: Pioneer Portraits I: 1850-1874
  • City: Cincinnati
  • Team: Red Stockings (NABBP)
  • League: National Association (NABBP)
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

George Wright (1847-1937) was considered baseball’s best player while starring for the Cincinnati Red Stockings, the game’s first professional team. He continued to excel at shortstop and at bat for the team his brother Harry moved to Boston in 1871. He co-founded Wright & Ditson Sporting Goods, contributing to tennis, hockey and golf, and built America’s first public golf course. He also fathered two US tennis champions.

  • Wright was a seven-time league champion with Cincinnati, Boston and Providence
  • Was a consultant on the foundation of the National Baseball Hall of Fame
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1937

Auction History

Joe Start

First Base
  • Series: Pioneer Portraits I: 1850-1874
  • City: Brooklyn
  • Team: Atlantics
  • League: National Association (NABBP)

Joseph Start’s (1842-1927) baseball career spanned the early days of the game before the Civil War and included two NL titles with the Providence Grays. Start was a premier first baseman beginning with the Enterprise of Brooklyn and the Atlantics (1860-71) and extending to the NA Mutuals (1871-76) and several NL teams, well-earning his nickname, Old Reliable.

  • Best year was ’78 with the Chicago White Stockings, leading the league with 100 hits and 125 total bases
  • Playing exclusively in the “no-glove” era, his .963 fielding % at first base over 16 seasons is remarkable

Auction History