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Charlie Bennett

  • Series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
  • City: Detroit
  • Team: Wolverines
  • League: National League

Charles Wesley Bennett (1854-1927). A catcher for 4 teams over 15 seasons, Bennett was an above average hitter and one of the best defensive catchers of the 19th century. He lead the NL in FLDG % 7 times and is credited with inventing the chest protector. Bennett played all 7 seasons of the Detroit Wolverines existence and the Detroit Tigers’ 1st ballpark was named for him: Bennett Park.

  • Won 2 World Series: ’87 & ’92
  • Lost both legs when he slipped & fell under a train

Auction History

Jake Beckley

First Base
  • Series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
  • City: Pittsburgh
  • Team: Pirates
  • League: National League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Jacob Peter Beckley (1867-1918) was a durable first-baseman over a 20-year career. Though he never played for a pennant winner, Beckley hit .309 lifetime and held the games-played-at-first record until Eddie Murray surpassed him in 1994. Hit .300+ in 13 seasons (three different Pittsburgh clubs, Giants, Reds and Cards.) Upon his retirement, Beckley’s 2930 career hits made him second only to Cap Anson.

  • Not above subterfuge, worked a hidden-ball trick on Honus Wagner using two balls
  • Known for cheating on the base paths, was called out by the ump for “getting there too fast!” after racing from 2nd directly home while Blue wasn’t looking
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1971

Auction History

Charley Bassett

Second Base
  • Series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
  • City: New York
  • Team: Giants
  • League: National League

Charles Edwin Bassett (1863-1942) was a well-traveled infielder with the Providence Grays, Kansas City Cowboys, Indianapolis Hoosiers, the New York Giants and Louisville Colonels for nine major league seasons from 1884-92. Bassett had three fine years with the Hoosiers, getting nearly a hit a game. His most productive season was 1891 with the Giants, batting .260 in 524 at-bats. In his 917 games he drove in 402 runs and stole 116 bases.

  • Hall of Stats ranks Bassett 189th among all second-basemen
  • Bassett attended Brown University in his native Rhode Island

Auction History

Mark Baldwin

  • Series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
  • City: Pittsburgh
  • Team: Pirates
  • League: National League

Marcus Elmore Baldwin (1863-1929) had a career that mirrored the stormy times in which he pitched. In his seven years with five clubs, Baldwin managed to get on the good and bad sides of some of the most notable figures in early baseball. He warred with Chris von der Ahe, including time in the slammer and charges of kidnapping. He practically put the “pirate” in the Pittsburgh Pirates by poaching inter-league players. He was the mound mainstay for Al Spalding’s world tour, only to return to lawsuits and acrimony as Spalding accused him of rowdiness beyond the bounds of a dissolute era. His debut was aborted as Cap Anson tried to insert him into the series with the Browns only to be expelled by the officials. Such was the checkered path that proved preparation for a long medical career in Pittsburgh.

  • Baldwin was regarded as the flamethrower of his era. Catcher Jack O’Connor, who also caught Cy Young, said Baldwin was “the fastest pitcher I ever caught.”
  • His fastball was all the more intimidating given Baldwin’s wildness, often walking as many as he fanned.

Auction History

Cap Anson

First Base
  • Series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
  • City: Chicago
  • Team: White Stockings
  • League: National League
  • 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