Bill Hawes

  • Series: Mort's Reserve
  • City: Lowell
  • Team: Invincibles
  • League: League Alliance

William Hildreth Hawes (1853-1940) was an infielder out of New England who had a chance to play briefly for Harry Wright in the early days of the National League, first in an 1876 exhibition match in Boston while Bill was with the Lowell club, followed by a stint with Wright’s Red Caps in 1879. It appears he made an impression during that early game that prompted Wright to give Hawes a shot in the outfield. The ‘76 game definitely made an impression on Hawes and his family as, many years later at the end of his long life, Hawes’ obituary included reference to that long ago contest, per the Lowell Evening Leader: “He played second base in Boston when the first professional game was played there in 1876.” Despite his New England roots, Hawes’ passion for baseball took him out west in 1883 when he and many fellow players joined the first recognized minor league, the Northwestern League. Bill signed with Saginaw that year and got his one other opportunity at the big leagues with the Union Association’s Cincinnati Outlaw Reds in ‘84. When the UA collapsed that season, Hawes returned home with Brockton in the new New England League. His team made it to a play-off with Lawrence that inaugural year but Lawrence prevailed in a best-of-three. The prairie beckoned once more and Hawes moved to the Twin Cities, with Minneapolis in 1887-88 and St. Paul for 1889-90. Once again Bill headed home after the 1890 season and went into business in Lowell. He continued to play occasionally with his pals in local leagues and was part of numerous reunions of the Bartlett Club of Lowell, his original squad from 1874-75.

  • Hawes served as treasurer of the “Junior Baseball Players of Massachusetts 1873, 1874, and 1875 Association”
  • Hawes overcame a weak stint at the plate for Wright’s Boston club where he hit a mere .200 by feasting a bit on Union Association pitching. He managed .278 with the Outlaws giving him an overall .254 average in the major leagues
  • Hawes is represented fairly well in Goodwin's Old Judge series with six known poses of him suited up with the Minneapolis Millers in 1888. Although OJ cards exist with his name Hawes properly spelled, it appears that his name was misspelled as "Howes" on his cards more often than not.
  • Hawes also appears on the 1879 Boston Red Caps' team composite cabinet, beside teammates Tommy Bond, Ezra Sutton, John Morrill, Jack Burdock and Harry Wright.

Auction History

Joe Hornung

  • Series: Mort's Reserve
  • City: London
  • Team: Tecumsehs
  • League: International Association

Michael Joseph Hornung (1857-1931) made a lasting impression in the baseball world of his day on at least two grounds. Most noteworthy, he was perhaps the premier defensive outfielder of the 1880s. His sure-handedness allowed him to lead the National League in fielding percentage in 1881, ‘82, ‘83 and ‘86. The second basis of notoriety for Hornung was what must have been a very annoying habit. He would shout “ubbo, ubbo!” whenever he got a hit or made a play he fancied. Since he hit a respectable .257 over his twelve-year career, and made just about all the plays that came his way in the no-glove era, the ballparks of the day must have resounded with many an “ubbo.” His antics led to his nickname Ubbo Ubbo, which meant others beside himself were uttering the gibberish all too frequently.

Joe had begun his pro career in Canada with the London (Ontario) Tecumsehs in 1876. His major league debut was with the Buffalo Bisons in 1879 and in '81 made the move to Boston which would be his home through the 1888 season. The colorful star's performance declined and the Beaneaters tried to sell him to the White Stockings. The veteran balked, insisting on a piece of the $5000 price, and was rewarded by being ousted from the league. The American Association's Orioles welcomed Joe and he played one year on a bad leg before ending his big league career in 1890 with the Giants. His speed had been an asset afield and on the bases. Hornung was a renowned base-stealer, usually among the leaders in triples, and led the NL in scoring in 1883.

  • Ubbo Ubbo's popularity was such that the vaunted '27 Yankees honored him on his June 12 birthday at the stadium. Ruth, Gehrig, Lazzeri and all serenaded Joe and he received a “nice check” from players who remembered him fondly as one of the greats.
  • His hometown Utica paper hailed him as “King of the Left Fielders” and “just as much a baseball hero as Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth or Tris Speaker is today.”

Auction History