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Candy Cummings

  • Series: Pioneer Portraits I: 1850-1874
  • City: Brooklyn
  • Team: Star of Brooklyn
  • League: National Association (NABBP)
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

William Arthur Cummings (1848-1924) has a plaque in Cooperstown today, not because of his won-lost record or ERA – both of which were excellent; but primarily because he is credited with inventing the curveball, and was able to throw it effectively under the combat conditions of early baseball. A star for the Brooklyn clubs in the old NABBP in the 1860s, Cummings continued to be effective in the pro era until 1877.

  • Cummings got the idea for the curve from a day at the beach chucking clam shells
  • Once catcher Nat Hicks moved close behind the batter, the curve became a viable pitch
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1939

Auction History

Jim Creighton

  • Series: Pioneer Portraits I: 1850-1874
  • City: Brooklyn
  • Team: Excelsiors
  • League: National Association (NABBP)

James Creighton, Jr. (1841-1862) was a star pitcher for the Excelsior of Brooklyn from 1860-62. Widely regarded as the game’s 1st superstar and, perhaps, its 1st martyr. His unique pitching motion propelled him to fame, but his death from a ruptured hernia caused while hitting a home run gave this young man a place in the Pantheon of early greats.

  • John Thorn, official historian of MLB, has called Creighton the “most important player not inducted into the Hall of Fame”
  • Threw baseball’s 1st shutout: 11.8.1860
  • In 1866 baseball made a small contribution to national reconciliation as the Washington Nationals came to Brooklyn for a match. Both clubs retired to the Creighton monument where, per the NY Times, “a silent tear was dropped to [his] memory…”

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Tommy Bond

  • Series: Pioneer Portraits I: 1850-1874
  • City: Brooklyn
  • Team: Atlantics
  • League: National Association (NAPBBP)

Thomas Henry Bond (1856-1941) entered pro ball as the 1st Irishman to do so, and survived to become the last living member of the NL’s first season. In between, he was a force of nature on the mound, leading the NL in wins twice, winning 40+ from 1877-1879 for the Boston Red Caps.

  • Hurled 386 complete games in 406 starts with 42 shutouts and ERA of 2.31
  • In 1877 won the “triple crown” with 40 wins, 2.11 ERA and 280 SOs
  • Compiled a career 234-169 record with a 2.14 ERA, 10th in MLB history
  • Bond appeared only once on the Hall of Fame ballot, in 1936, and received only 1% of the votes by the Veteran’s Committee

Auction History