Now, on to some vintage Baseball collectibles. In the late 19th Century there are only a handful of cards that feature women playing the national game. Below is one of those items. It is a large cabinet card (measuring 5" x 7.5") and is designated as H807-2 Virginia Brights Polka Dot Nine. This was produced in 1884 and features a women in a very unusual uniform. She is wearing a bib style jersey with bloomer pants emblazoned with polka dots throughout. It is doubtful that she was an actual player, but is likely a model hired to sell cigarettes to the adoring Base Ball public.
This pin features Old Hoss Radbourn. He is known as one of the more vile, pugnacious and rude ballplayers to every play the game. His wild nature is legendary. In fact, he is credited with being the first person ever photographed giving the "bird" (middle finger). This pin is 4" in diameter and was produced in his hometown of Bloomington, Illinois in tribute to Radbourn's death in 1897. It dates to 1898 and is thought to be the only example to still exist.
Take a gander at one of the pioneers of Base Ball. This is a 1888 N173 Old Judge Cabinet of Harry Wright. From the auction description:
For many folks, talk of the "Wright Brothers" conjures images of Wilbur, Orville, Kitty Hawk and a biplane. But baseball history buffs know better. Harry and George Wright were nationally famous decades before aviation came along! The elder Harry managed George and the other trailblazing 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings, then took his powerhouse team to Boston and captured four straight National Association titles. By the time of this stately Old Judge portrait, Harry Wright was five campaigns into a 12-year managerial tenure with the lowly Philadelphia Quakers/Phillies—a franchise perennially hamstrung by miserly ownership. The crowning achievement of Wright’s leadership was the mid-1880s implementation of an innovative "southern trip" for preseason warm-weather conditioning. Soon every team hopped on the annual bandwagon of spring training. Wright’s career came to an end in 1893. He died in October of 1895 and received long-overdue enshrinment in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1953.