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Clark Griffith

  • Series: Pilgrims
  • City: Cincinnati
  • Team: Reds (NL)
  • League: National League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Clark Calvin Griffith (1869-1955) was a successful pitcher for over 20 years but had only just begun his baseball career. AL founder Ban Johnson prevailed on Griffith to take the helm of the NY entry into the new league in 1903. That began a tenure as manager and owner that lasted until Griffith’s death in 1955. With a showman’s touch and a veteran player’s savvy, Griffith turned around the D.C. franchise.

  • Only one in history to be a player, manager and owner for over 20 years in each role
  • Counted eight U.S. presidents as friends during his long tenure as owner of the Senators
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1946

Auction History


T201 Mecca Canvas: Harry Baker

Bill Watkins

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

I made this card before I had clearly defined the parameters within which images would be used for each Ars Longa series. This image is actually an Old Judge image and I would greatly prefer to reassign it to the 1880s series. This particular card is now retired and I will likely replace it in this series with a different (but still excellent) image of Mr. Watkins.

Auction History

Frank Selee

  • Series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
  • City: Boston
  • Team: Beaneaters
  • League: National League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Frank Gibson Selee (1859-1909) was on the way to becoming the greatest baseball manager of all time when tuberculosis drove him out of the game he had mastered. For sixteen years, 1890-1905, Selee molded teams that found ways to win. He placed players on the field like a chess grandmaster, using their talents in ways they didn’t even recognize in themselves. He treated his players fairly and as men, not cogs in a machine. And they responded to him, setting records for games won. Frank’s Beaneaters won five titles. He went out to Chicago and rebuilt a floundering squad, recruiting the likes of Mordecai Brown and carefully putting together the pieces of a legendary infield. Illness forced him to pass the baton to Frank Chance, but it is clear that Chicago’s four pennants were a testament to Selee’s managerial acumen.

  • Frank’s genius was in organizing men to get the best results from them. His players hit for power unlike any until the Babe’s Yankees yet also innovated many of the finesse plays: hit and run, hitting behind the runner, double-plays
  • A dozen of Selee’s charges would precede him into Cooperstown
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1999

Auction History

Nicholas Young

  • Series: Pioneer Portraits I: 1850-1874
  • City: Washington, D.C.
  • Team: Nationals
  • League: National Association (NAPBBP)

Nicholas Ephraim Young (1840-1916) shepherded the National League from its inception in 1876 until the strains of dealing with the upstart AL caused his departure in 1902. Young was president from 1885-1902. Led the “Senior Circuit” during tumultuous years of job actions (the Players’ League), merger with the American Association in 1892, and the arrival of the competing American League.

  • A former cricket player & government official, Young played amateur ball in Washington D.C.
  • Organized the meeting that established the first pro league (Nat’l Assoc of Pro BB Players)
  • His struggle to survive as NL leader against Al Spalding’s bid led to a compromise choice: Harry Pulliam

Auction History