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Juice Latham

First Base
  • Series: Mort's Reserve
  • City: Louisville
  • Team: Grays (NL)
  • League: National League

George Warren Latham (1852-1914) came out of Utica, NY to become his hometown’s first player to make the major leagues. He began his career with a pretty good club, Harry Wright’s National Association champion Boston Red Stockings. They captured the pennant in 1875 with a 71-8 record. Juice (also known as Jumbo) got into only 16 of those games in ‘75, but he hit a solid .269 with 13 RBI. Latham also played for the New Haven Elm Citys that year, but hit only .197 as a utility infielder. Perhaps his stint with Wright gave him baseball smarts that quickly paid off as Jumbo also managed the Elm Citys for 18 of their games despite his rookie status. Latham fared much better with his next big league team, the Louisville Grays in the National League’s second season, 1877. He hit a fine .291 as a regular first baseman and had the most plate appearances on the club. A four year hiatus ensued before Juice revived his big league career in the American Association. He played for the Philadelphia Athletics in ‘82 and again had a solid season, batting .285, and was the team’s RBI leader with 38. The veteran moved back to Louisville with the AA’s Eclipse in 1883 and saw a drop-off in his stats, hitting .250 as the everyday first sacker. The following year would close-out his tenure in the majors, again with the Eclipse, where Juice slumped to .169 in his final summer at the top of his profession.

  • Latham was far from through with baseball when he left Louisville. He enjoyed a minor league career that continued through the decade of the 1880s. He had played for Utica in the International League back in 1878 and would play for his hometown in 1886 and ‘87, as well as other Eastern League and International League teams
  • Juice had shown further managerial skills with the London Tecumsehs of the International Association of Professional Base Ball Players back in 1877-78, a would-be rival to the new NL in the States. The Tecumsehs have been called the finest team in all of Canada in the early decades of the game
  • Per the New York Times, Latham made a final appearance with the Richfield Springs, NY squad in 1894, just a short drive from Cooperstown - perhaps the closest Jumbo got to the Hall

Auction History

William Edward White

First Base
  • Series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
  • City: Providence
  • Team: Grays (NL)
  • League: National League

William Edward White (1860-1937) has been declared by the researchers at SABR to be the most likely “first black player” in major league baseball. White, the son of a Georgia merchant and his slave, played on the Brown University team and, on June 21, 1879, substituted for an injured Joe Start at first base for the Providence Grays. White’s stint in the big leagues for this National League squad lasted only that summer solstice. With his Brown teammates cheering from the stands, White went 1-for-4, stole two bases, scored a run and recorded 12 putouts without an error, drawing rave reviews from the local papers and contributing to a 5-3 win for the title-bound Grays and a 19 year old pitcher named John Montgomery Ward. Despite the Providence Journal reporting that White would continue to play first base for the team's next series against Boston, he was replaced by regular right fielder and Hall of Famer Jim O’Rourke, who continued to man the position until Start returned. White then stepped back into society where he passed for Caucasian. This is borne out by census records showing he claimed Rhode Island birth and being of white race.

  • It has been suggested that White had always passed as white, thereby escaping suspicion in the baseball world and dodging "the virulent racism prevalent in the late 19th century." This may explain in part why the true identity of the first black ballplayer in major league baseball history went largely unknown for about 125 years.
  • It is likely that White is the only former slave to play major league baseball.
  • White’s death resulted from a fall on Chicago’s ice. His death certificate shows him to be Caucasian, affirming this mixed-race man spent a lifetime seeking to avoid the stigma of being black in Jim Crow America.

Auction History

Old Hoss Radbourn

  • Series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
  • City: Providence
  • Team: Grays (NL)
  • League: National League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Charles Gardner Radbourn (1854-1897). An elite pitcher for 5 teams over 12 seasons, Radbourn owns the single-season Wins record with either 59 or 60 (sources vary) in 1884 – the year in which he became baseball’s 2nd triple Crown winner with 441 Ks & a 1.38 ERA. In 1884, Radbourn started 40 of his team’s last 43 games and won 36 of them. In the 1884 World Series, Radbourn started and won all three games, giving up only 3 runs. Including the postseason, Old Hoss won 62-63 games in 1884 and threw over 700 innings.

  • NL Triple Crown: 1884
  • NL Wins champ: 1883, 1884
  • 309 career Wins
  • Pitched no-hitter: 1883
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1939

Auction History

Jack Farrell

Second Base
  • Series: Pioneer Portraits II: 1875-1899
  • City: Providence
  • Team: Grays (NL)
  • League: National League

John A. “Moose” Farrell (1857-1914) played 2nd base for 5 teams over 11 seasons. Served as player/mgr for the ’81 Providence Grays, achieving a 24-27 record before turning over the reins to Tom York. Always a reliable fielder, Farrell led or neared the lead in many defensive categories throughout his career.

  • Averaged a modest .243 lifetime but hit .300+ twice (rookie season ’79 & ’83)
  • Finished his career with the Orioles of the American Association in ’88 & ‘89

Auction History

Jimmy Collins

Third Base
  • Series: Pilgrims
  • City: Providence
  • Team: Grays (NL)
  • League: Eastern League
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

James Joseph Collins (1870-1943) was the best in the NL at 3B when he jumped to the new AL in 1901. Collins led the Boston Americans to the 1st World Series championship in ’03, downing Pittsburgh in best-of-nine. Thanks to John McGraw’s stubborn refusal to play the next year’s AL winner, Boston was denied another opportunity despite its 1st place finish.

  • The dust-up between leagues resulted in rules beginning in 1905 making the Series the permanent premier event in Major League Baseball
  • Upon his induction into the HOF Collins became the first regular third-baseman so honored
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1945

Auction History


T201 Mecca Canvas: Ernest (Johnny) Lush