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Pat O’Connell

First Base
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Omaha
  • Team: Omahogs
  • League: Western Association

Patrick H. O’Connell (1861-1943) had a very short-lived experience in the majors. He played mostly outfield during part of the 1886 season for the Baltimore Orioles of the American Association. He started 41 of his 42 games in the field, played one at first base and relieved for three innings in a game. His woeful batting (.181 average) was eclipsed by his even more inept play in the pastures as he committed 17 errors on 78 chances. By contrast, Jumbo Davis, the third baseman, handled 231 plays and muffed only 35 at the hot corner. O’Connell’s path crossed with Sandy Nava in his last appearance in the majors that season. Nava was the first known Mexican-American to play in the big leagues and was closing out what had been primarily a National League career.

Pat had broken in with Lawrence of the Eastern New England League in 1885.  The Maine native continued briefly with Lawrence the next year before going back closer to home in Portland prior to making the jump to the AA later in ‘86. O’Connell found more playing time out west. He moved to Oshkosh in the Northwestern League for the ‘87 season and saw the most action of his pro career. He played regularly at first base and hit a resounding .354 in 116 games. From Wisconsin, Pat’s playing career declined quickly. He got into 84 games with the Omaha Omahogs in ‘88 and fewer than half that for two clubs the next year. After several years absence, Pat resurfaced in 1895 with the New Bedford Whalers of the New England League. At 34 he was the old man on the club.

  • The Old Judge production department oftentimes misidentified Pat O'Connell on his cards as being a member of the Des Moines Prohibitionists of the Western League, occasionally listing his name as "Connell." A Peter J. Connell did play for Des Moines that year, and is one of 39 subjects who make a one pose appearance in the Old Judge cannon. (Mike Dorgan, by contrast, singularly leads the OJ cohort with 17 different poses.) Because of the confusion, this Pat O'Connell is oftentimes cited as PJ O'Connell. Such mix-ups are fairly common in the OJ series as the intrepid Old Judge crew sought to document as many players as possible in an era of shoddy record-keeping.

Auction History

Juice Latham

First Base
  • Series: Mort's Reserve
  • City: Louisville
  • Team: Grays (NL)
  • League: National League

George Warren Latham (1852-1914) came out of Utica, NY to become his hometown’s first player to make the major leagues. He began his career with a pretty good club, Harry Wright’s National Association champion Boston Red Stockings. They captured the pennant in 1875 with a 71-8 record. Juice (also known as Jumbo) got into only 16 of those games in ‘75, but he hit a solid .269 with 13 RBI. Latham also played for the New Haven Elm Citys that year, but hit only .197 as a utility infielder. Perhaps his stint with Wright gave him baseball smarts that quickly paid off as Jumbo also managed the Elm Citys for 18 of their games despite his rookie status. Latham fared much better with his next big league team, the Louisville Grays in the National League’s second season, 1877. He hit a fine .291 as a regular first baseman and had the most plate appearances on the club. A four year hiatus ensued before Juice revived his big league career in the American Association. He played for the Philadelphia Athletics in ‘82 and again had a solid season, batting .285, and was the team’s RBI leader with 38. The veteran moved back to Louisville with the AA’s Eclipse in 1883 and saw a drop-off in his stats, hitting .250 as the everyday first sacker. The following year would close-out his tenure in the majors, again with the Eclipse, where Juice slumped to .169 in his final summer at the top of his profession.

  • Latham was far from through with baseball when he left Louisville. He enjoyed a minor league career that continued through the decade of the 1880s. He had played for Utica in the International League back in 1878 and would play for his hometown in 1886 and ‘87, as well as other Eastern League and International League teams
  • Juice had shown further managerial skills with the London Tecumsehs of the International Association of Professional Base Ball Players back in 1877-78, a would-be rival to the new NL in the States. The Tecumsehs have been called the finest team in all of Canada in the early decades of the game
  • Per the New York Times, Latham made a final appearance with the Richfield Springs, NY squad in 1894, just a short drive from Cooperstown - perhaps the closest Jumbo got to the Hall

Auction History

Charlie Gould

First Base
  • Series: Mort's Reserve
  • City: Boston
  • Team: Red Stockings (NAPBBP)
  • League: National Association (NAPBBP)

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

Jumbo Schoeneck

First Base
  • Series: 1880s: Loving Paupers
  • City: Chicago
  • Team: Maroons
  • League: Western Association

Lewis N. Schoeneck (1862-1930) came by his nickname honestly, standing 6'2” and 223 lbs, a true Gargantua in his day. Despite his size and presumed strength, Schoeneck proved better suited to the minors than the big leagues. His decade in pro ball was mostly in those smaller circuits and, apart from his season with the Union Association in which he played for two clubs and saw pitching a decided cut below true major league caliber, his batting average was consistently much higher in the minors. This is, of course, not unique by any means and the big first baseman was able to perform very well for most of the franchises he played for. Thanks to the renegade UA that siphoned off a lot of upper-tier minor league talent to make its attack on National League dominance in 1884, many of its players enjoyed one sunny season hitting well above their pay grade. Jumbo, for example, was in the top ten in the league in many offensive categories, including BA, OBP and Slugging Percentage. Since his only other major league time came four years later with the Indianapolis Hoosiers of the NL, his summer of love with the Pittsburgh Stogies and Baltimore Monumentals (never mentioned in connection with baseball greatness) enabled Schoeneck to “retire” with a career major league batting average of .283. Not a bad accomplishment to tell the grandkids.

  • During his first of two seasons with the Hoosiers in 1888, Jumbo was summoned to relieve in two games. He hurled 4.1 innings, surrendering five hits and four runs without a decision. All of the runs were unearned giving him a phenomenal career ERA
  • Neither of Jumbo's UA clubs performed too badly, but all of the league's other teams were crushed by the St. Louis Maroons who made mincemeat of the competition. The lop-sidedness of the runaway Maroon steamroller played a large part in demoralizing the fans and leading to the league's demise after that storied '84 campaign. St. Louis was a big winner in another, more important way. Their achievement led to the franchise graduating to the NL in 1885 where they became cellar-dwellers

Auction History


Old Judge Pose: 404-4

Alex McKinnon

First Base
  • Series: 1880s: Loving Paupers
  • City: Pittsburgh
  • Team: Alleghenys
  • League: National League

Alexander J. McKinnon (1856-1887) was a remarkably talented player who was cut down in his prime by a scourge of the 19th century, typhoid fever. The tragedy was even more poignant inasmuch as McKinnon had endured numerous illnesses in his youth that had prevented him from really beginning what was on its way to a very fine career. As if sickness wasn't enough of a hardship for young Alex, he was also hindered in the beginning of his pro tenure by league politics and evolving contractual arrangements. He had begun playing for the Syracuse Stars in 1877, staying in NY with Albany/Rochester for the '79 season before heading west to the San Francisco Athletics of the California League in 1880. This move was precipitated by a squabble that involved William Hulbert of the new National League. Alex was assigned to the Troy Trojans for the 1879 season, but wanted to play for Rochester of the International League. Despite some back-room dealings that should have cleared up the controversy, Hulbert expelled McKinnon. A combination of illness that plagued him lifelong and this contract dispute seems to have led him to make the move west and then drop out of baseball altogether for a few years. Clearly McKinnon's talent was recognized and Hulbert relented, allowing Alex to be signed for the '83 season by the Philadelphia Quakers - but the young man was too sick to play. Finally, in 1884, the New York Gothams (not yet the Giants) signed Alex and he began a belated major league tenure that showed tremendous promise. Indeed, in the four short years he played for three NL teams - NY, St. Louis and Pittsburgh - Alex steadily improved his batting average. He hit .272 for the Gothams, jumped to .294 and .301 with the Maroons and was hitting a stunning .365 in 1887 when he was stricken with an ailment he couldn't lick, typhoid. After his mid-season death, the Alleghenys honored Alex by donning black crepe for the duration of that campaign.

  • McKinnon was not just a good and ever-improving batter, he became a star in the field. He led the NL in fielding percentage in 1885 with a .978 record. This was all the more striking given his difficulty at first base for the Gothams the prior year when he made 53 errors. Clearly this star-in-training was a quick study

Auction History


Old Judge Pose: 315-1