Big Fred Toney: Baseball’s Real “Iron Man”
Since the 1990s, Cal Ripken Jr. has been called baseball’s “Iron Man.” But, decades before Cal was bestowed with that name for showing up for work when he was supposed to, another ballplayer earned that moniker for several feats of endurance that will never be equaled as long as the game is played.
The origin story of the initial “Iron Man” is almost as inconceivable as the accomplishments that would later earn him his nickname. The story goes that sometime in 1907 two baseball scouts were on a squirrel hunting trip in the mountains around Goat Hill, Tennessee. After eight hours of hiking, the pair had failed to bag a single squirrel. As the two sat and rested their aching feet, a towering barefoot mountain man-boy came out of the woods holding three good-sized and very dead squirrels. The scouts noticed he had neither a rifle nor bow and arrow. When asked how he bagged his quarry, the man-boy replied, “by throwing one of these at ‘em,” and produced a handful of large, round rocks from his pocket. The two scouts knew then and there that before them stood the kind of prospect that came along once in a lifetime. The story ends with the scouts returning to civilization with young Fred Toney’s signature on a pro contract.
But that’s all it is, just a story.
FRED ALEXANDRA TONEY was born and raised just outside Nashville, in Ball Knob, Tennessee. He was big and strong for his time, six foot four inches (though some sources put him a few inches shorter) and 195 pounds of farm boy muscle. A right hander, Toney got his start as a teenager with the local Nashville Free Silver Sluggers where he won 26 out of 32 games. In 1908, the nineteen-year-old ventured north to Kentucky to play for a semi-pro team in Bowling Green. How he came to play for Bowling Green is not known, but he was probably lured North by the prospect of a steady factory job with extra pay for playing on the ball club. When the team folded midway through the summer, Toney headed back home to Tennessee, but a professional scout was hot on his heels.
1908 was the inaugural season of the Blue Grass League. With its six clubs based in central Kentucky, the pool of quality home-grown ballplayers was drained fast. By mid-season, Winchester’s entry, called the “Hustlers,” was in last place. Team owner John Edwin Garner, a local business leader and baseball fanatic, had gone so far as to carve out his own ballpark on his brother William’s farm for the new ballclub to play in. A losing team wasn’t in Garner’s business plan, so he set about trying to locate fresh talent. A Winchester resident happened to be in Bowling Green and heard of a great semipro pitcher named Toney. He passed on the intel to the Hustler’s owner who, in turn, dispatched Woodson Moss, a local hotel manager and part-time scout for the St. Louis Browns, to bring the prospect back to Winchester.
This proved more difficult than anticipated. The team Toney was playing for in Bowling Green had folded and the pitcher wasted no time in going back to Tennessee. Moss spent a week on Toney’s trail, tracking him from Bowling Green to Nashville and finally into the Tennessee hinterlands. However, once located, Toney refused to sign any contract to play ball in Kentucky, telling Moss that he didn’t have much regard for the fans in the Blue Grass State. He also said that they would knock him if he didn’t win every single game. Turns out, that for all Toney’s size and talent, he had something of a fragile and sensitive disposition. He told Moss that he didn’t care for the pressure playing professional ball put upon him. He related how he didn’t want to have anything to do with Kentucky because of how the Bowling Green fans jumped all over him if he didn’t win every game. For him, playing ball for money robbed the game of all its joy. In 1911, Toney told a Nashville newspaper, “As a matter of fact, I don’t like to play league ball. There’s only one way to have real fun out of the game and that’s on the lots around your home town.” However, through skillful negotiations, which included a concession to take along Toney’s friend “Greasy” Hanly as well, Moss was successful in getting the big pitcher’s signature on a $60 per month contract.
Winchester’s new pitcher was blessed with a natural speedball that he thankfully hurled towards the plate with pinpoint accuracy. And while opposing batters had trouble handling his offerings, so did Winchester’s catcher, “Frenchy” Marmolotte. According to a 1915 newspaper feature on Toney, several games were lost during the ’08 season due to Marmolotte’s inability to keep the big right-hander’s fastball in his glove. Finally, a tearful Toney declared he would quit if the team did not send for Newt “Daddy” Horn, his farmer neighbor back home in Tennessee, who had also been his sandlot catcher. Daddy Horn was brought north, and Toney finished out the ’08 season with his fastball garnering comparisons to a young Walter Johnson.
1909 BEGAN with Winchester locked in a tight race with the rival Lexington Colts. Daddy Horn took over as the Hustler’s manager and he skillfully navigated his team to the top of the standings. His protege, now called “Big Fred” by the locals, continued to dominate the rest of the league.
Reading the contemporary newspapers, it appears that Toney delivered his fastball from both an “underhand” type of motion and an “overhand” drop delivery that lefthanders either pounded into the dirt or popped up. Toney would soon add a spitter and a curve to his repertoire. In 1953, he told a Nashville Banner writer, “I just didn’t have enough confidence in my spitball much. And I’d throw two to one more curves than fastballs. I had almost perfect control of my curve. I could get eight out of nine across the plate.”
ON MONDAY MAY 10, 1909, three hundred fans sat in the stands in Winchester’s Garner’s Park to watch the Hustlers take on the visiting Lexington Colts. Fred Toney had pitched four innings the day before at Frankfort, but he was back on the mound for the important game against Lexington. The game started at 3:15, fifteen minutes early because of the threatening weather, and the light crowd was what could be expected on a rainy, miserable spring afternoon. The field was damp and muddy in places, but deemed acceptable for play. As the innings ticked by, neither team was able to score. Toney was magnificent, striking out batters with ease and refusing to give up a single hit. The muddy playing field cost Winchester a run in the 6th inning when Hustler’s center fielder Harry Chapman slipped rounding third and was tagged out before he could scramble back to the base. The next batter singled, which would have easily scored Chapman had he not been tagged out in the mud.
After nine frames, neither team had scored, and Toney had a no-hitter, but the game wasn’t over. As more innings passed without a hit, word spread around Winchester of what was transpiring in their little ballpark. A boy on a bicycle raced back and forth from the ballpark to the business district with updates as the historic game went on. Crowds began to gather outside the park as Toney steadfastly remained on the mound holding the Colts hitless. George Brooks, the town dentist who doubled as Winchester’s official team scorekeeper and ticket salesman, told the local newspaper that he sold more tickets after the 10th inning than before. By the time the game entered the 12th inning, darkness was beginning to fall over the Kentucky town. Now, not only was there a race to score the first run, but to do it soon as the game and no-hitter would be struck from the record if it were to be called because of darkness. The Colts’ pitcher, Jimmy Baker, was still on the mound as well, allowing just 6 hits through his 17 innings.
Finally, in the bottom of the 17th, Winchester’s right fielder Charlie Ellis singled to right center. Left fielder Henry Schmidt tried to sacrifice Ellis over to second with a bunt. The ball rolled to the left side of the mound where third baseman John “Pug” Roddy started to field it, but Baker cut in and scooped it up first. “I yelled for Baker to let me handle it.” He told the Louisville Courier-Journal in 1959, “But maybe he didn’t hear me.” Baker threw wild towards first and, by the time the ball was corralled, Schmidt was safe on second while Ellis took third. Eddie Goostree then fouled off one of Baker’s pitches, which was caught for the first out. With runners on second and third, Hustler’s skipper Daddy Horn began to consider calling for a squeeze play.
For those who have grown accustomed to the modern game, a squeeze play is when the runner on third dashes for home as soon at the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand. It’s up to the batter to execute a perfect bunt so the runner can cross the plate before a play can be made. It’s one of the most difficult plays in the game, but it’s also the most exciting. Since the play depends upon a player being able to bunt properly, a skill modern players are no longer expected to master, the squeeze play remains as elusive as bigfoot.
But Winchester’s shortstop Ingles had a reputation as an excellent bunter. After taking two balls from Baker, Daddy Horn flashed the signal for the squeeze play. Ellis took off with the pitch as Ingles laid down a perfect bunt back to the mound. As Baker frantically retrieved the ball and made the toss to the catcher, Ellis slid across the plate with the winning run.
AS WORD of the victory spread from the ballpark, the town’s factories let loose their steam whistles, church bells pealed, and the few cars that were around honked their horns. Toney, who just one year earlier had refused to play pro ball because of the pressure, had pitched a beautiful 17 inning no-hitter complete with 19 strike outs and giving up but one stingy base on balls. The 17-inning game was completed in just over 2 hours, 45 minutes.
For those who haven’t done the math, Toney’s gem was an inning shy of two complete no-hitters and remains the longest professional no-hitter on record. I can’t find any amateur or semi-pro no-hitter 17 innings or more, so I’m going to assume Toney’s feat is unmatched. Likewise, it’s probably safe to say it would never be matched as there is no way a pitcher today would be allowed to throw 17 innings in one outing.
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A CONTROVERSIAL CALL?
Toney’s great game wasn’t without controversy. On May 13, 1909, Colt’s first baseman, Charley Stockum, told the Lexington Herald, “the official scorer gave him a hit on a bunt which he beat out in the third inning, but after the game was over the scorer erased the hit and thereby gave Toney credit for a no-hit game.” Contemporary newspaper coverage of the game fails to mention Stockum’s phantom hit, with the Lexington Leader noting Toney allowed “nothing resembling a hit” and the Lexington Herald stating, “Though the game was tight and exciting there was not a single wrangle over any of the umpire’s decisions.” When I inspected the actual official score book from the game, it showed Stockum hit into a 4-3 inning-ending play in the 2nd. His next at-bat, in the 5th, he reached base on an error by the pitcher. The book appeared to show no indications of being altered retroactively. There may have been sour grapes on Stockum’s part as he had been released by Lexington a few days before he made his claim in the Herald. I failed to find any follow-up to his allegations in later newspaper articles, but Blue Grass League president W.C. Ussery appears to address Stockum’s claim in the 1911 Spalding Guide:
This memorable game has never received proper consideration from baseball statisticians and historians; perhaps its authenticity has been doubted. I have the assurance of the official scorer that throughout the entire seventeen innings but one play came up where there was the least chance for an argument with himself as to how it should be scored; the fielder was given an error. The play came early in the game, when no one had reason to expect a record breaker. I make mention of it here to get the game on record, as I have made a thorough investigation of it and can vouch for its genuineness.
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Even more amazing than his 17-inning masterpiece is that just five days later on May 15, Toney was back on the mound pitching against Shelbyville. What’s more, he nearly threw another no-hitter, giving up just a single hit in the 4-0 shutout. The game time of 1 hour and 15 minutes even set a league record for fastest game.
If that wasn’t enough, on July 3, Toney again went the extra mile when he pitched all 16 innings of a game against Shelbyville, this time relinquishing six hits. The 17-inning no-hitter and his subsequent iron man performances made the sports pages from coast to coast, and Toney was courted by several big league teams. In July, the Phillies were reported to have acquired the right hander, but apparently the deal fell through. This was in part to Toney’s reluctance to leave the Blue Grass State. His treatment by the fans in Winchester and the other league cities had been the opposite of his experience in Bowling Green. The big righthander felt comfortable and was hesitant to leave. He’d finish 1909 with a 22-15 record as the Hustlers beat out Richmond to claim the pennant by a single game.
TONEY FOLLOWED THAT UP with a 23-10 season in 1910, and now the majors weren’t going to take no for an answer. Mid-season, the Chicago Cubs sent a man south to take the measure of Winchester’s rubber armed ace. Knowing the Chicago scout was in the stands, Toney did everything he could to make himself look inept. If he was going to leave Winchester, he wanted to go to a southern team such as Memphis or Atlanta. Despite maintaining his cool and poise through two years of pro ball and tossing some of the most nerve-racking games in modern memory, Fred Toney was afraid to move up to the big leagues.
Despite his best efforts to stay in the minors, the Cubs succeeded in buying Toney’s contract for a thousand dollars. He made his debut in 1911 and in 18 games he was a marginal 1-1. Toney had a problem dealing with Cubs manager Johnny Evers’ abrasive personality and he was bounced back and forth between Chicago and the minor leagues before they lost patience and cut him loose. After some fine work back in Kentucky with Louisville, Brooklyn bought his contract in 1914. By now, Toney was no longer a country bumpkin and knew what his right arm was worth to a big league club. Balking at what they wanted to pay him and calling Brooklyn a “cheap town” in the press, Toney was released back to Louisville. He threatened to join the Pittsburgh team in outlaw Federal League, but Cincinnati proffered a $3,200 contract and Toney joined the Reds.
NOW IN HIS mid-20s and a bit surer of himself, Toney became one of the National League’s best right handers. He especially thrived under the gentle management of Christy Mathewson, who handled the big pitcher with loose reins. Toney told the Nashville Banner in 1953, “Under Matty, I was the happiest. He let me pitch my own game.” Toney ticked off seasons of 17, 14 and 24 wins for a young Cincinnati team.
On May 2, 1917, the Reds were in Chicago to play the Cubs. Toney took the mound for Cincinnati and faced the Cubs ace, Hippo Vaughn. The two men had faced off before back in the minor leagues, and Toney found he could get the edge on Vaughn by letting the pitcher hit a long single, the base running eventually tiring him out. But while their bouts in the minors may have been memorable, nothing could compete with what would happen that afternoon in May. Not only did Toney not allow Vaughn a base hit, but he silenced all the other bats in the Cubs lineup as well. Meanwhile, Vaughn did the same to the Reds, and after nine complete innings both men were throwing no-hitters. Finally, in the top of the 10th, Vaughn gave up a single to Larry Kopf who went to third on an error, then came home on a Jim Thorpe single. Toney finished off the Cubs in the bottom of the inning and won the only double no-hit game in baseball history.
As if Fred Toney needed to prove his iron man standing, later that season he did another feat that would be impossible in today’s game – pitched and won both games of a double header. Facing Pittsburgh on July 1st, Toney gave up just three hits and a single run in each game – 18 innings, 6 hits, 2 runs. Incredible. Unfortunately for Toney, it was a quick descent from being the most revered pitcher on the Reds to their most reviled.
IN APRIL of 1917, America declared war on Germany and Austria-Hungary, and all able-bodied men were expected to serve the war effort in some capacity. Toney was married with a child, and as such was given a deferment in the draft. Somehow it was leaked that not only was Toney three years separated from his wife and kid but was also shacked up with a young lady other than Mrs. Toney. With so many young men being sent off to war, public outcry against suspected draft dodgers was sharp and sometimes violent. Federal marshals were dispatched to not only arrest the Reds ace but also the Nashville draft board member who falsified his deferment papers.
The case went to trial but ended in an unsatisfying hung jury. Although the Feds decided not to retry him, Toney’s trial had revealed that the married ballplayer had often traveled across state lines with his girlfriend, unknowingly violating the Mann Act. This controversial federal law was enacted in 1910 to stop the prostitution trade and the enslavement of unsuspecting women. Unfortunately, the vague wording of the law, “transport of any woman or girl for the purpose of prostitution or debauchery, or for any other immoral purpose,” made it possible for a wide interpretation. As such, it was used by crooked prosecutors to ensnare men of various ethnic and racial minorities, most infamously African American heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson. In his case, presided over by future Commissioner of Baseball Kenesaw Mountain Landis, Johnson was found guilty and sentenced to a year and a day in jail for traveling with a white woman across state lines, even though the trip in question had taken place before the Mann Act was passed.
Now that same law was used against Fred Toney when his case for evading the draft didn’t end in a conviction. The Cincinnati fans turned against their ace and the Reds unloaded him and his legal problems on the New York Giants. Between pitching for New York and appearing in federal court, Toney pleaded guilty to violating the Mann Act and served out a short prison term.
WHILE OTHER PLAYERS would find it hard to come back from a prison sentence and questions about their morality, Fred Toney found success with the Giants. Longtime manager John McGraw had much experience dealing with players of questionable backgrounds, temperance, morals, and legal issues. Though he bristled under McGraw’s tough leadership style, Toney pitched good ball, posting 13-, 21- and 18-win seasons for the Giants. He became something of a team character, amusing his teammates with impromptu exhibitions of his formidable strength, lifting automobiles off the showroom floor, single-handedly pulling around a groundskeeper’s lawn roller that normally took five men to maneuver and wrestling the team’s full-grown Texas wildcat mascot like it was a kitten.
Big Fred even got a chance to redeem himself as a protector of the game’s integrity. On September 11, 1919, Toney was on the mound for the Giants against the Cubs. After the first inning, Toney was approached by teammate Hennie Zimmerman, who told him it would be worth $200 if the pitcher threw the game. Toney took himself out of the game and reported the incident to manager John McGraw, who did nothing. Later that night, Hal Chase of the Giants and Buck Herzog of the Cubs tried to entice Rube Benton, scheduled Giants starter in the next game, with a similar offer. While Benton didn’t report the bribe, he did beat Chicago the next afternoon, after which Zimmerman told him, “You poor fish, don’t you know there was $400 waiting for you to lose that game today?” It wasn’t until a few days later when Zimmerman and Chase tried to bribe another Giants player that McGraw got fed up and tossed both men off the team. Toney’s honest handling of the attempted bribery and subsequent testimony against Zimmerman helped repair the damage left by his draft dodging trial and Mann Act conviction.
In the spring of 1924, Toney snapped a finger while executing a bunt. The injury ruined his grip on the ball, and he slipped back into the minor leagues. The 36-year-old hung up his spikes for good in 1925 and headed back home to Tennessee. In the town he was born and raised, he opened a soda fountain, ran a roadhouse, and even became an officer of the local court. The depression brought hard times and he turned to the newspapers to plead for a job. The KITTY League, with teams in Kentucky, Indiana, and Tennessee, offered to take him on as an umpire, but Toney chose instead to work as a guard in a defense plant.
He spent his last days around Nashville, a popular guest at athletic banquets, passing away in 1953 at the age of 65, his reputation as baseball’s real “Iron Man” secure for all eternity.
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MY SEARCH FOR THE ENIGMATIC “BAKER”
One of the more interesting facets of the 17-inning no-hitter Fred Toney threw for the Winchester Hustlers was the almost equally immaculate pitching of the man who pitched for the Lexington Colts. I wanted to know more about Lexington’s iron man, identified in the box score as “Baker.” Seeing as the 17-game no-hitter was a big deal at the time and had made national news, I figured it wouldn’t be too hard to find out his first name – but, in fact, it was.
Baseball-Reference.com has a “Baker” playing for Frankfort and Lexington in 1909, but no record or other details. Not one single contemporary newspaper report of the great game recorded Baker’s first name. The “remember when” articles that appeared on the 25th, 40th and 50th anniversary of the event just name him as “Baker.” Even the modern historians’ retelling of the game fails to fully identify the elusive “Baker.” Since this is the kind of detour I love, I happily spent hours culling through Blue Grass League box scores and game notes in dozens of Kentucky newspapers from 1908 to 1912.
Though he appears in Blue Grass League stories throughout the summer of 1909, Baker is just plain Baker. The September 19, 1909, Lexington Herald posted the season-ending records with “Baker” winning 7 and losing 16. I dug through every mention of a “Baker” I could find in Lexington newspapers until I finally found a mention of Colts pitcher “Jimmy Baker” in the May 19 edition of the Lexington Herald.
Finally, Baker had a first name. Now I wanted to know a little more about him.
In August 1937, Pug Roddy, Lexington’s 3rd baseman in 1909, wrote to the Lexington Leader asking them to reprint the box score from the great game. Seems Roddy lost it and all his other baseball memorabilia in the devastating Ohio River Flood that January. In the story, the paper not only reprinted the box score but also the game summary from the May 11, 1909 Leader. There, near the end of the story, is the following: “The game was the first contest Baker has pitched for the local team and showed conclusively that he can pitch some.”
After a little more digging I found that the May 10 game was not in fact his first game; Baker had actually pitched the last innings of the first game of a doubleheader against Shelbyville on May 5, striking out 1 and walking two. But the 17-inning heartbreaker was, I’m assuming, his first starting assignment for the Colts.
More research revealed a few articles that report Baker’s arm never recovered from the 17-inning grudge match. A May 15, 1909, headline in the Lexington Herald proclaimed: “Baker Has Not Recovered From Strain Of Long Winchester Game.” In 1944, Eddie Goostree (himself almost always mis-identified in both the box score and subsequent retelling of the game as “Goosetree”), who played 3rd base for Winchester that day, told a sportswriter from The Tennessean, Baker “pitched his heart out that day and he never did do any good at baseball after that.”
Sometime in June or July Baker was traded to the Frankfort Statesmen and he ended the 1909 season with a 7-16 record in 49 games. I couldn’t find him in any 1910 box scores, but he did pitch for Frankfort again in 1911, winning 6 and losing 3.
What happened to him after that, I can’t say, but I was glad I could at least give “Baker” back his first name. After 17 innings of 7-hit pitching, it’s the least he deserves.
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You may have noticed I went a little overboard with the sidebars in this booklet. That’s because there was so much that either hadn’t been discovered (like Baker’s first name) or investigated in any detail (Charley Stockum’s phantom bunt). While the Blue Grass League is sometimes referenced in histories of the game, it’s often just a footnote, one of the many bush leagues that existed generations ago.
There are no books dedicated to the Blue Grass League, but Tom Chase has done a terrific job preserving as much of its rich history as he can. Much of his work can be seen on the website dtermanpresents.com. If a book is ever produced on the history of the Blue Grass League, Tom Chase’s work will be the base upon which it will be written.
An assist must be attributed to Cassidy Lent, the Manager of Reference Services at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Cassidy’s the unsung hero of modern baseball research. Without her, researchers like me wouldn’t have an easy pipeline to the Hall of Fame’s extensive research files. The Fred Toney file Cassidy provided shed some light on the big pitcher’s height as well as the feats of strength he liked to exhibit during his career. It’s little details like those that help me create a real person apart from the impersonal numbers and stat lines that often are all that remains of an old ballplayer’s life.
Perhaps the most unique aspect of researching this booklet is that I was able to actually “touch” the history. This opportunity came when I learned the original official scorebook from the 17-inning game still existed less than 60 miles from my studio. After a pleasant 90-minute drive south down the back roads of Kentucky, I arrived in the town of Winchester. The reference librarians at the Clark County Library were kind enough to allow me to inspect the record kept by Winchester’s official score keeper.
The Spalding’s Number 7 Club Score Book was battered but complete, safely protected in its own case. The title pages had been signed by “Geo. S. Brooks – Winchester, Ky Official Scorer” and contains notations about its provenance over the decades to it becoming part of the local library. The book almost opens itself to the pages containing the May 10 game, the top of the sheet marked with a giant “X.”
What I wasn’t prepared for was how George Brooks scored the entire 17 innings on the single page, doubling back after he ran out of columns after the 11th inning. Though it looked confusing at first, once one acclimates to the way Brooks was thinking, the 12th-17th innings become easy to follow. There were a few archaic symbols used, but most of these were deciphered after consulting a handful of turn-of-the century scorecards I had in my library. However, a few remained elusive, so I contacted one of the last fans I know who scores games, my old pal Charlie Vascellaro. Together, we were able to crack the last of Brooks’ symbols, namely an “S” (which Brooks used to represent a stolen base), and a dash or upside down “U” (representing a grounder and flyball, respectively). I also asked Charlie to independently verify my reading of Charley Stockum’s batting during the game, which he did, confirming that there was no erased bunt single in the 3rd inning, as he had claimed.
The scorebook also allowed me to confirm the details of the 16-inning 1-hitter Fred Toney threw against Shelbyville. Like the great 17-inning no-hitter, the July 3, 1909, spread was prominently marked with a large “X” to show its significance.
When it came to my illustration of “Big Fred,” I was again assisted by the reference librarians at the Clark County Library. They shared three beautiful original team photos of the Winchester Hustlers taken in 1908, 1909 and 1910, allowing me to note details of the uniforms that I incorporated into my drawing. One last detail I wanted to include was some local advertising on the outfield wall. Every Kentuckian knows Winchester is home to the state’s famous soft drink, Ale-8-One. For the uninitiated, it’s kind of like ginger ale, but with a citrus twist. Putting an Ale-8-One ad on the wall seemed to be a no-brainer until I found that it wasn’t produced until 1926. But, upon further research, I found that before Ale-8-One, the company was famous for their Roxa-Kola, bottled since 1906. I then located some old Roxa-Kola tin signs and reproduced the logo on the wall behind Toney. It’s not something most will notice, but it’s the kind of “secret details” I like to include, just in case…
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This week’s story is Number 35 in a series of collectible booklets.
Each of the hand-numbered and signed 4 ¼” x 5 1/2″ booklets feature an 8 to 24 page story along with a colored art card attached to the inside back cover. These mini-books can be bought individually, thematically or collected as a never-ending set. In addition to the individual booklets, I envision there being themed sets, such as the series I did on Minor League Home Run Champions. You can order a Subscription to Season 3 as well. A year subscription includes a guaranteed regular 12 issues at a discounted price, plus at least one extra Subscriber Special Issue. Each subscription will begin with Booklet Number 030 and will be active through December of 2021. Booklets 1-29 can be purchased as a group, too.