Sy Sutcliffe

  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Cleveland
  • Team: Spiders
  • League: National League

Elmer Ellsworth Sutcliffe (1862-1893) asked the famed Cap Anson for a tryout as a catcher. The Wheaton, IL native impressed “Uncle” Cap but wasn’t going to be a pushover. When Anson asked what he’d want to be paid, he is said to have replied “Well, Cap, I’ve been getting a dollar a day working out in Wheaton and I can’t afford to play ball for any less!” The 22-year-old signed on with the White Stockings for 2 years. Then, typical for the era, bounced from team to team: the Maroons, Wolverines, Spiders, Infants, Senators & finally, the Orioles in 1892. His lifetime BA of .288 was a composite of highs & lows. Sy’s best years were with Cleveland’s Infants (.329 in ’90) & .353 for the Senators in ’91 (the franchise’s 1st year, known then as the Statesmen).

  • Although signed as a catcher, Sutcliffe had the versatility to play 1B, SS, and the outfield
  • Sadly, the strapping 6’2” left-hander’s health gave out and he died at age 30, just months after his final game with Baltimore

Auction History

Ezra Sutton

Third Base
  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Boston
  • Team: Beaneaters
  • League: National League

Ezra Ballou Sutton (1849-1907). A 3rd baseman & shortstop, Sutton played for 5 teams over 20 seasons. Ezra was the 1st player to hit a home run in Major League baseball and became the 1st player to hit 2 HRs in one game when he hit his second that day (in a losing effort). Sutton was also one of the 1st ball players to collect 1,000 career hits.

  • Played in 1st National Association game: 5.4.71
  • Played in 1st National League game: 4.22.76
  • Lifetime .294 batting average
  • Sutton is tied with 17 other players as the first player in major league baseball history

Auction History

Parke Swartzel

  • Series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Kansas City
  • Team: Blues (WA)
  • League: Western Association

Parke B. Swartzel (1865-1940) pitched for seven years in organized ball but only played one year at the major league level—for the Kansas City Cowboys in 1889. Swartzel won the team’s season-opener and their final game that year. All told he made 48 appearances, starting 47 games and completing 45. During this busy year, Swartzel allowed a league-high 481 hits, going 19-27 for a struggling team.

  • Played for five minor league teams including the Lincoln Tree Planters of the Western League
  • Also gave up a league high 21 home runs as one of the workhorses of the American Association

Auction History