• A
  • B
  • C
  • D
  • E
  • F
  • G
  • H
  • I
  • J
  • K
  • L
  • M
  • N
  • O
  • P
  • Q
  • R
  • S
  • T
  • U
  • V
  • W
  • X
  • Y
  • Z

Walter Blair

  • Series: Pilgrims
  • City: New York
  • Team: Highlanders
  • League: American League

Walter Allen Blair (1883-1948) was a back-up catcher for the NY Highlanders from 1907-1911. After a two year absence from MLB, Blair finished his career with the Federal League’s Buffalo Blues. Those two years with the “outlaw” Federal League were his most productive offensively and he even served as manager for a doubleheader.

  • Left MLB for the college ranks, coaching Pitt and Bucknell
  • Inducted into the Bucknell Hall of Fame in 1987

Auction History


T201 Mecca Canvas: Walter Blair

Bill Bergen

  • Series: Pilgrims
  • City: Brooklyn
  • Team: Superbas
  • League: National League

William Aloysius Bergen (1878-1943) spent 11 years in the majors carving out a special spot in the record books: worst hitter of all time. No one with more than 2500 ABs ever went lower than Bergen’s .170 lifetime average. And it wasn’t even close. Pitcher Pud Galvin is next at 201.

  • Bergen’s two career HRs were inside-the-park
  • Until Mark Lemke in 1997, no one surpassed Bergen’s record of not being hit-by-pitch in 3228 ABs
  • Bergen played 11 years because he was one of the game’s best defensive catchers

Auction History


T201 Mecca Canvas: Bill Bergen

Cal McVey

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

Calvin Alexander McVey (1849-1926) was a key player in the earliest days of pro ball, first with Harry Wright’s seminal Cincinnati Red Stockings in 1869, then moving with Wright to Boston as one of Harry’s select threesome. The young McVey joined the fledgling pro team for a stagecoach trip to Omaha and then became the 1st ball club to use the new transcontinental railroad to SF as part of the Red Stocking’s national tour.

  • During his career, McVey played all nine positions and was an outstanding hitter: .346 BA lifetime
  • McVey’s move from Boston to Chicago in 1876 with Al Spalding, Ross Barnes & Deacon White (to form the White Stockings with Cap Anson, Paul Hines & Bob Addy) led to the creation of the NL

Auction History

Fergy Malone

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

Fergus G. Malone (1844-1905) was a rare left-handed catcher, perhaps the first in major-league history (Bill Harbridge is another oft-cited contender for that title). Historians differ on what qualified then as a “major league,” but there is no doubt this Irishman was among the pioneers. He debuted with the Athletics in May, 1871 in the old National Association. A Civil War vet, Malone was a leader among his mates and was frequently tapped as “captain” or manager. He lasted in Philadelphia long enough for the new National League to form in 1876 while he was back with the Athletics. After a few seasons in the minors, Fergy got one last shot with the Union Association’s Philly Keystones in 1884 where a 19-year-old rookie named Jack Clements was starting out. Clements went on to be the most enduring and accomplished southpaw catcher in major league history.

  • Fergy finished his time in pro ball managing Pennsylvania teams through 1888
  • His batting average showed a downward arc probably related to the rigors of backstopping in the no-glove era: 1871 he hit .343, then .282, dropping steadily to .229 his last active season. Overall: .250

Auction History

Doug Allison

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

Douglas L. Allison (1846-1916) helped create the “Dead Ball Era” by cannily moving his catcher position closer to the plate, thus drastically reducing steals. Run production plummeted from 50-60 per game thanks in part to this savvy early player. Doug was present at the creation of professional baseball: an original Cincinnati Red Stocking in the NABBP.

  • Later, Doug starred for the Washington Olympics, inaugurating the National Association (NAPBBP) in 1871
  • He is credited as the 1st professional player to use a glove when he donned buckskin mittens to catch a game for the Cincinnati Red Stockings against the Washington Nationals, 6.28.1870
  • Purportedly made pitchers chase down their own wild pitches
  • Allison was hearing impaired. The Boston Globe reported that Allison suffered his hearing loss during his service with the Union Army during the Civil War.
  • Brother Art Allison was an MLB outfielder over five seasons, 1871-1876
  • Occasionally umpired games from 1872-1875
  • Managed the 1873 Elizabeth Resolutes of the NA to a 2-21 record.
  • Because he played in the second game in MLB history (5.5.1871), he is credited with the 17 other players that day as the 27th player to debut in MLB. (The 18 players in game #1 are all credited as the 9th player to debut in MLB).
  • Died at age 70 en route to his job at the Post Office

These are reportedly Allison's hands after years of catching barehanded:

Auction History