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Fred Andrus

  • Series: Mort's Reserve
  • City: Chicago
  • Team: White Stockings
  • League: National League

Frederick Hotham Andrus (1850-1937) had the distinction of making major league baseball a part time occupation. Fred always held gainful employment but stayed close enough to the game to get two opportunities to play at the pinnacle of the sport, both with Chicago. His first brief tour was in 1876 where he played outfield in eight games for the champion White Stockings in the National League's inaugural season. He made a good record, hitting .306 in 36 plate appearances with three doubles and two RBI. Eight years later Andrus returned for a single game for the White Stockings, this time as a pitcher. He completed his start while yielding three runs, two earned, for a “career” ERA of 2.00. Andrus is known to have played for only one official minor league club, Milwaukee of the League Alliance, in 1877. He was one of two managers for the team that year along with Pidgey Morgan. Milwaukee was one of 29 teams vying in the agglomeration known as the League Alliance. It had formed in response to a perceived threat by a rival professional organization, the International Association of Professional Base Ball Players challenging William Hulbert's new National League. Spalding had managed Andrus at Chicago in '76 and was heavily involved with Hulbert in navigating the tumult as the nascent NL established itself as THE major league. In fact, Spalding had founded his famed sporting goods company in 1876, a franchise Andrus would serve as treasurer for eight years beginning with his move to Chicago in 1884. Undoubtedly, it was the high-level connections Andrus had forged in baseball and in business that gave him the entree for his cameo appearance that year back with his old Windy City team.

  • Andrus had started out in his native Michigan playing for the Mutuals of Jackson, possibly a successor to one of the earliest organized clubs in America. The Daybreak Club of Jackson had begun in 1860. Jackson had another claim to fame as, in 1854, a meeting “Under the Oaks” just outside of town was the site of the founding of the Republican Party
  • Fred left Spalding's company to manage a Detroit real estate concern with which he was still employed at his death from pneumonia at age 87

Auction History

Hugh Duffy

  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Chicago
  • Team: White Stockings
  • League: National League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Hugh Duffy (1866-1954) is as much a baseball institution as the Hall of Fame that enshrines him. For 68 years he devoted himself to the game he loved and excelled at as few ever have. In 1894 he set the all-time mark with a .440 average while winning the triple crown. He made HOF pitchers look like batting practice coaches: .586 against John Clarkson, .650 vs Cy Young. Amos Rusie was the exception, holding Duffy to a mere .333. So diminutive Cap Anson nearly dismissed him (“We already have a bat boy”), Hugh hustled his way to becoming the only player to hit .300 in four leagues and let the power follow his form (“hit ‘em up the middle”) winning two HR titles. Duffy went on to coach, manage, scout and mentor for a half-century after hanging up his spikes. He was still hitting fungoes eight years after his induction into Cooperstown and delighted in pupil Ted Williams’ success as he sought in vain to eclipse Duffy’s record in 1941.

  • Playing career spanned 19 years, primarily in Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia
  • Played center field for the Beaneaters next to his “Heavenly Twin,” Tommy McCarthy in right, leading Boston to a pair of pennants
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1945

Auction History

Pete Wood

  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Philadelphia
  • Team: Quakers
  • League: National League

Peter Burke Wood (1867-1923) got into the majors with the Buffalo Bisons in 1885, just in time to join his brother Fred as an early family combo in the big leagues, and rarer still to be teammates. Fred retired after that season. Pete was a native of Ontario Canada and had begun ‘85 with two Hamilton teams just across the river from Buffalo. Wood would shuttle back and forth over Niagara playing for Buffalo’s International League entry in ‘86 and the Hamilton Clippers of the IL and the Hamilton Hams of the International Association through the 1888 season. He got one more call-up with the Philadelphia Quakers in 1889, but saw action in a mere three games where he failed to get a hit but did manage to drive in two runs. Pete returned to Canada for his final seasons with the London Tecumsehs and Toronto Canucks. Throughout his time in pro ball Wood had alternated between pitching and infield/outfield. He was 8-15 with Buffalo in ‘85 and had one stand-out season in the pitcher’s box with the Hams in ‘88, winning 37 and losing 12. He may have hurt his arm in that remarkable year as he rarely pitched again. Nevertheless, his performance undoubtedly gained him that final shot in the majors, but he was only able to win one of his two starts for the Quakers. His victory came against the Indianapolis Hoosiers where Philadelphia won 11-4 beating Charlie Getzien.

  • MLB.com compiled a list: Brothers as teammates in MLB history. They found nearly 100 such duos (including some trios--looking at you Alou and Cruz brothers….) Although the compilation extends into the 19 century, the Wood brothers are absent
  • Baseball Almanac has identified over 350 brother combinations to have made the majors. Perhaps the record goes to the Delahanty clan who put five siblings into the bigs

Auction History

Pat Deasley

  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: New York
  • Team: Giants
  • League: National League

Thomas H. Deasley (1857-1943) was a catcher for eight years for four ML clubs: the Boston Red Caps, St Louis Browns, NY Giants and Washington Statesmen from 1881 through ’88. This Irish immigrant compiled a .244 BA and did not hit a home run in the “Dead Ball” era.

  • Pat’s best year was 1887 with the Giants, hitting .314 with a .367 OBP
  • That NY team was noted for being nearly all Irish: Mike Dorgan, Pete Gillespie and Jim O’Rourke were the OF, while all but 2 innings in ’85 were pitched by Irishmen for example

Auction History

Lev Shreve

  • Series: 1880s: Loving Paupers
  • City: Indianapolis
  • Team: Hoosiers (NL)
  • League: National League

Leven Lawrence Shreve (1869-1942) had a spotty experience in the major leagues beginning with the Baltimore Orioles in 1887, moving to the Indianapolis Hoosiers that year and staying there until 1889. His total pitching record was 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA. Shreve was a slight 150 lb right-hander. He had played for two minor-league clubs in ‘86: Savannah and Chattanooga in the Southern Association where he was a combined 12-9. He was said to have played for some midwestern teams that year but no data survives, so he may not have made the squads. Following the Hoosiers, Lev did get to play briefly in the Twin Cities and ended his stint in pro ball with the Rochester Hop Bitters of the Eastern Association in 1891.

  • Shreve mustered only four hits with the Orioles, but got three of them during his debut. Despite being shelled, his bat helped him win 15-9




Auction History


Old Judge Pose: 418-5