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Esteban Bellán

Third Base
  • Series: Pioneer Portraits I: 1850-1874
  • City: Troy
  • Team: Haymakers
  • League: National Association (NAPBBP)
  • Hall: Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame

Esteban Enrique "Steve" Bellán (1849-1932) was one of the first Latin players in American pro baseball. Born in Cuba and educated in NY during the Civil War, Bellán played for the Unions of Morrisania and Troy Haymakers of the NABBP and the NAPBBP at the dawn of pro sports franchises. A stylish infielder, Steve was nicknamed the “Cuban Sylph.” Bellán attended Fordham University, the innovator of nine-man college baseball with a game against St. Francis Xavier College on Nov 3, 1859.

  • Upon gaining US citizenship, Esteban returned to Havana and helped found Cuban baseball in 1874
  • Piloted Club Habana to 3 titles from 1878-83
  • Oftentimes cited as the "Father of Cuban Baseball"
  • Elected to Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame: 1961

Auction History

George Bechtel

  • Series: Pioneer Portraits I: 1850-1874
  • City: Philadelphia
  • Team: Whites (NAPBBP)
  • League: National Association (NAPBBP)

George A. Bechtel (1848-1921) led a life and career that mirrored the best and worst of baseball’s earliest days. He was a stand-out pitcher, fielder and hitter for amateur teams in the 1860s, a leader for four Philly teams in the NABBP 1867-70, and joined the Athletics when pro ball was born in ’71. He played in all five seasons of that foundational pro league before ending his tenure with the Louisville Grays in the NL’s inaugural season. Famed Henry Chadwick noticed anomalies in Bechtel’s game, untimely “errors” that cast suspicion on George’s integrity. Finally, an incriminating telegram offering to throw a game led to a lifetime ban.

  • Pitched every one of the Centennials’ 14-game season in ’75. Along with Bill Craver, became the first players sold to a rival team, returning him briefly to the Athletics

Auction History

Frank Barrows

  • Series: Pioneer Portraits I: 1850-1874
  • City: Boston
  • Team: Red Stockings (NAPBBP)
  • League: National Association (NAPBBP)

Franklin Lee Barrows (1844-1922) played just one season for the Boston Red Stockings of the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players, in the outfield for 18 games in 1871. Despite batting .151, Barrows knocked in 11 and scored 13 in 18 games, which appears productive – but league average for runs per game was 10.5 in 1871, with some scores running into the 30s.

  • Debuted with the Boston Tri-Mountains of the NABBP from 1867-70
  • Boston played only 40 games in 1871
  • Al Spalding started 31 of the team’s games with manager Harry Wright starting nine
  • Three teammates: George Wright, Cal McVey and Ross Barnes hit over .400 that year

Auction History

Ross Barnes

Second Base
  • Series: Pioneer Portraits I: 1850-1874
  • City: Boston
  • Team: Red Stockings (NAPBBP)
  • League: National Association (NAPBBP)

Charles Roscoe Barnes (1850-1915) was the best player in the five year history of the fist professional baseball league, the National Association of Professional Baseball Players (NAPBBP), 1871-1875. Barnes is the all-time NAPBBP leader in runs, hits, doubles, walks, stolen bases, total bases, batting average, OBP and SLG%. He then dominated the National League in its inaugural year, 1876, leading the league hits, runs, average, OBP, SLG%, total bases, doubles, triples and walks. He also hit the 1st HR in National League history, for the Chicago White Stockings, 5.2.1876. Over the first six years of his major league career, Barnes' batting average was .397. An unidentified illness limited Barnes to just 22 games in 1877, and he was never the same player again, retiring shortly thereafter at the age of 31.

“Roscoe C. Barnes…was the greatest second baseman the game ever had…” - A History of the Boston Baseball Club, 1897.

"No matter how great you were once upon a time — the years go by, and men forget. Ross Barnes, forty years ago, was as great as Cobb or Wagner ever dared to be. Had scores been kept then as now, he would have seemed incomparably marvelous.” - W.A. Phelan, Baseball Magazine, 1915

  • Because he played in the second game in MLB history, is credited with the 17 other players that day as the 27th player to debut in MLB
  • 1st hitter to win batting titles in 2 leagues: NA in ’72-73 and NL in ‘76
  • In 1918, made Cap Anson’s all-time team as the shortstop
  • Barnes was selected as SABR’s ”Overlooked 19th Century Baseball Legend “ for 2013

Auction History

Cap Anson

Third Base
  • Series: Pioneer Portraits I: 1850-1874
  • City: Philadelphia
  • Team: Athletics (NABBP)
  • League: National Association (NAPBBP)
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Adrian Constantine Anson (1852-1922) was Mr. Longevity, a big, brawling cyclone of controversy & batsmanship unrivaled in the early days of pro ball. He set hitting standards that only the greatest future players would approach or break. He also, by dint of his ferocious personality, may have been the single greatest force for segregation in baseball until Branch Rickey began to reverse that sad estate.

  • Played a record 27 consecutive years in the NL
  • First batter to 3000 hits, using his powerful arms to create line drives with a short swing
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1939

Auction History