Sunday, April 5, 2009

Cleveland Baseball History,Part VI,First Cleveland Cards?

Cleveland makes it's way back to the Major Leagues.

After a two year hiatus Cleveland was able to move back into major league baseball as a replacement for the Pittsburgh team which defected to the National League. Of course, that made Cleveland a member of the American Association. Jimmy Williams, the manager for the 1887 Blues is featured on the 1887-90 Old Judge (N-172) series card pictured above. Many Cleveland players were awarded cards in this very large and confusing set.Being issued over a four year period created cards with the same player on various teams and also,in some cases, many different poses.These are the oldest Cleveland cards I have been able to identify. I am now working on a list of all the Cleveland cards in this set. If anyone knows of any older Cleveland cards, please let me know !

Cleveland did not fare well in their first year in the Association, finishing last in an eight team league, with a 39-92 record. Pete Hotaling,who played center field, finished with a .299 BA, 136 pts. behind the league leader Tip O'Neill ( was he on that list of "same name" players ?? )at .435. Their team ERA of 4.99 barely beat out the New York club at 5.28 for last place in the league.Things are sure to better next year !

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