• 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

Armando Marsans

  • Series: Diamond Heads '15
  • City: St. Louis
  • Team: Terriers
  • League: American League, Federal League
  • Hall: Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame

Armando Marsans (1887-1960) was the first Cuban to make a real impact in the major leagues. Frank Bancroft had spotted Marsans and Rafael Almeida in exhibition games in 1905 and finally brought them to Cincinnati in 1911. In his sophomore season with the Reds, Marsans hit .318 with 35 stolen bases and only 17 strikeouts in 448 plate appearances, placing a respectable 18th in Chalmer’s Award voting for 1912. A row with fiery manager Buck Herzog resulted in Marsans seeking a job with the new Federal League’s St. Louis Terriers in ‘14. When the league folded, Marsans signed on with the Browns but inactivity took a toll. Two years with the Yankees ended his MLB career in 1918 but Armando had many more years of baseball left. He continued to play winter ball back home through the 1928 season and became the first to play in the majors and the Negro Leagues in 1923 with the Cuban Stars. Marsans thrived as a manager in both Cuba and the States (another first for his countrymen), finally retiring in 1947 after 43 years in baseball.

  • The blue-blood Marsans was well-educated and an entrepreneur as well as a savvy baseball mind. Nevertheless, the Reds fended off race-baiting accusations in 1911
  • Artist’s Note: Images of Marsans are fairly rare and it is not uncommon for me to take liberties with dates and uniforms. This photo was taken in 1916 when Marsans was with the St. Louis Browns. In anticipation of the feedback I will receive, I’d like to invite you to join me in pretending this is a St. Louis Terriers’ uniform. Cheers!
  • Elected to Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame in its inaugural class: 1939

Auction History

Sam Crawford

  • Series: Diamond Heads '15
  • City: Detroit
  • Team: Tigers
  • League: American League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Samuel Earl Crawford (1880-1968) needed a couple more weeks among his 19 ML seasons to reach 3000 hits, finishing with 2961 and the all-time record for triples. “Wahoo Sam” teamed with Ty Cobb for 3 straight Series appearances ‘07-09. Neither did well or won a title. Nevertheless, the renowned manager who made Babe Ruth an outfielder said there was never a better hitter than Crawford. This Nebraska farm kid was considered the strongest hitter of his day and consistently ranked in the top 10 in slugging.

  • Playing in the big Deadball Era parks, speedy Crawford set the record for inside-the-park HRs
  • Debuting with Cincinnati in 1899, Crawford hit .307 as the youngest player in the majors
  • A model of moderation, he rarely struck out, walked or reacted to teammate Cobb’s tirades
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1957

Auction History

George J. Burns

  • Series: Diamond Heads '15
  • City: New York
  • Team: Giants
  • League: National League

George Joseph Burns (1889-1966) was dubbed by his teammates “Silent George” for his reserved, soft-spoken manner. He might as well have been named “Anonymous George” as one of the greatest outfielders of his generation of whom few remember today. He retired holding records for leading the National League in runs scored five times, a Giants' club single-season record for steals (62) that still stands, and top-ten ranking in games played and games in the outfield in MLB. The Utica native debuted with McGraw's crew in 1911 and George quickly found a home in left at the Polo Grounds, mastering its odd angles and even conquering the dazzling afternoon glares, prompting scribes to dub the area Burnsville. He was one of the first to don sunglasses and his mates later described him as “the 'greatest sun fielder' in the history of the game.” Only Rogers Hornsby exceeded George's total bases in 1917 and it wasn't till Willie Mays 53 years later in 1972 that his career stolen base record for the Giants would be eclipsed. His last hurrah in NY was the 1921 Series. The team hadn't won in October since 1905 and George hadn't performed well in his previous attempts at post-season glory. But '21 proved triumphant for Burns and his team as they beat the Yankees in the first Series between teams sharing the same home field. Babe Ruth had been phenomenal in the regular season but was hurt during the post-season and George got to wear the laurel wreath.

  • A renowned amateur boxer and wrestler, the diminutive Burns never backed down from invitations to grapple with his much more physically formidable teammate Jim Thorpe
  • Growing up in his father's pool hall, Burns was a world-class pool player, but teammates wouldn't play with him unless he agreed to play left-handed
  • McGraw traded Burns to the Reds two months after the '21 World Series for Heinie Groh, but the speedy Burns wasn't through. He set an NL record with his 28th steal of home in 1922
  • In fifteen ML seasons, Burns' 2,077 hits produced a .287 career average and only Musial and Hornsby equaled his feat of leading the NL five-times in runs record

Auction History

Chief Roseman

  • Series: 1880s: Spotted Ties
  • City: New York
  • Team: Metropolitans
  • League: American Association

James John Roseman (1856-1938) was born on the day America celebrated its four-score anniversary and seven years before Lincoln would use that language at Gettysburg. Brooklyn-born, Chief debuted with Brooklyn Chelsea of the League Alliance in 1877. The League was a loose consortium of clubs, the brain-child of Al Spalding as a minor league serving to prepare players for the National League which had organized the prior year. Chelsea was one of 28 teams spread from New England to Minnesota. A teammate of Roseman's was Larry Corcoran who would become one of the very few to pitch in the majors using each arm. Chief moved to two other League teams in '77, and was with several other minor league clubs before joining the Troy Trojans of the NL in 1882. He was a regular in the outfield for a team led by the great Roger Connor at first. Other luminaries on that Troy team included Buck Ewing and Tim Keefe. Roseman had been with the NY Metropolitans of the Eastern Championship Association in '81 and returned to their American Association incarnation in '83 where he would be a fixture in the outfield for five seasons. Roseman concluded his MLB career with three more AA teams, finishing with Louisville in 1890.

  • Chief's career average was .263 in seven seasons. He showed some power with NY where he hit 14 of his total 17 home runs
  • Played in one post-season tourney, the first, in 1884, between the NL's Providence Grays and his Mets. Roseman hit .333

Auction History


Old Judge Pose: 392-1

Steve Behel

  • Series: 1880s: Spotted Ties
  • City: New York
  • Team: Metropolitans
  • League: American Association

Stephen Arnold Douglas Behel (1860-1945) had a life that spanned a remarkable period, from the eve of the Civil War to nearly the end of  World War II. He only spent a few years out of those nine decades in professional baseball, but he could tell his grandchildren about how he was once a big league player.

Behel saw action in nine games in 1884 for the Milwaukee Brewers of the upstart Union Association, which had poached players from the dominant National League, the American Association and minor league teams. The UA managed to limp through that one season at the pinnacle of the game, though many decry the notion that it was truly a major league. The Brewers only played a dozen games in '84 as a replacement franchise late in the season along with the St. Paul Saints. The Saints never got to play a home game and the Brewers (aka Cream Citys) played only one on the road. Steve went 8 for 33, good for a .242 average which was third on the team.

Behel was a part-timer for the AA's NY Metropolitans in 1886, playing in 59 games, but his average slipped to .205. Primarily a minor leaguer, Behel began with the Fort Wayne Hoosiers of the Northwestern League in 1883 and concluded with Rockford of the Central Interstate League in 1888. His best season was with Eau Claire, where he batted .348 in 1887.

  • The Earlville, IL native played most of his pro ball close to home, but he did get further afield with the Augusta Browns of the Southern League in 1885

Auction History


Old Judge Pose: 26-1