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Fraley Rogers

  • Series: Pioneer Portraits I: 1850-1874
  • City: Brooklyn
  • Team: Star of Brooklyn
  • League: National Association (NABBP)

Fraley W. Rogers (1850-1881) played at the cusp of the professional era, mostly with the Star of Brooklyn in the old Nat’l Assoc of Base Ball Players. Played the ’72 (championship) season for the Boston Red Stockings, compiling a decent .276 average in RF. Sadly, Rogers is the earliest known professional ball player to take his own life, by gunshot at age 30.

  • The Star of Brooklyn was a breeding ground for talent in the 1860s
  • ’72 marked the end of the “Knickerbocker Era” and the start of professional ball
  • Fraley’s brother Mort Rogers was a National Association umpire who innovated the Mort Rogers’ Scorecards that inspired this series of Pioneer Portraits

Auction History

Frank Jones

  • Series: Pioneer Portraits I: 1850-1874
  • City: Washington, D.C.
  • Team: Nationals
  • League: National Association (NABBP)

Colonel Frank Jones, Cmdr of the 31st NY Regiment, former Excelsior of Brooklyn player, and then Treasury official, was pres. of the Washington Nationals in 1867. He had recruited top NY players such as George Wright to create a powerhouse. Their tour of the West, covered by “Father Henry” Chadwick, brought baseball to the national consciousness.

  • The Nats’ thrashing of Harry Wright’s famed Red Stockings prompted him to build the 1st openly professional team
  • Nats’ only loss on the tour was to Al Spalding’s Forest City club

Auction History

Charlie Gould

First Base
  • Series: Pioneer Portraits I: 1850-1874
  • City: Cincinnati
  • Team: Red Stockings (NABBP)
  • League: National Association (NABBP)

Charles Harvey Gould (1847-1917) played for the 1st professional team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings, who reigned supreme for 2 yrs, winning 84 straight games and barnstorming the country from 1869-1870. Disbanded in ’71, Gould followed Harry Wright to Boston where he inaugurated baseball there and won its 1st title in 1872.

  • His fielding prowess earned him the nickname “the bushel-basket”
  • Ironically, Gould’s errant throw to 2nd ended his Red Stockings’ duel with the Brooklyn Atlantics, and with it the longest winning streak in baseball history on June 14, 1870
  • Was Cincinnati Reds’ first manager: 1876

Auction History

John Goldie

First Base
  • Series: Pioneer Portraits I: 1850-1874
  • City: South Bronx
  • Team: Union of Morrisania
  • League: National Association (NABBP)

John Goldie (c1836-1871) played 1st base for the NY Mutuals beginning in 1862 and later for the Union Club of Morrisania (the Bronx.) He suffered from TB most of his adult life and blamed his work as type-setter. He credited his outdoor play for prolonging his life.

  • With Goldie at 1st, Morrisania beat the Atlantics 14-13 for the 1867 NABBP title
  • The Union’s star had four hits in a titanic struggle with the Cincinnati Red Stockings who won13-12 on Sep 4, 1869 as the new professionals began to supplant their amateur forebears
  • Goldie succumbed to tuberculosis at age 35 in NYC

Auction History

Davy Force

Third Base
  • Series: Pioneer Portraits I: 1850-1874
  • City: Washington, D.C.
  • Team: Olympics
  • League: National Association (NABBP)

David W. Force (1849-1918) played shortstop for Nicholas Young’s Olympic Club in D.C., one of the founding-dozen teams in the new Nat’l Assoc of pro ball. Davy spent a long career moving among the prominent clubs of the first two decades of the national game. In the mid-70s he was regarded as second only to George Wright at his position and was vied for by his Chicago club and the Athletics. The “Force Case” became a cause of action in the formation of the National League in ‘76 as Bill Hulbert was energized to bring order from chaos (though he still lost Davy.) “Wee Davy” was a powerhouse at 5’4” with terrific range and would later be known as a “miniature Hans Wagner.” On Christmas Eve 1896 a murder occurred in San Francisco and the tabloids had a field day mis-identifying poor Davy as the killer. His old mentor Young rescued him from scandal by vouching for the ex-player.

  • Force hit .418 in ‘72 and .365 in ‘73 for the Canaries and .249 over his 15 years

Auction History