The Infinite Baseball Card Set is a never-ending card set of baseball’s forgotten heroes: Negro League legends, barnstorming mercenaries, semi-pro sluggers, blacklisted bums, foreign phenoms, bush league oddballs, and the famous before they were famous.

Victory Faust: The Prophet

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New York Giants manager John McGraw had been around the game long enough to know he had to find that elusive “it” to get his team over the hump and win the pennant – he just had to find it. Instead, “it” found him. […]

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Marie L’Overture: For my friend Will

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  A long, long time ago, I was an 18 year-old art student spending my summer not like all my well-to-do classmates backpacking across Europe or sailing in the Caribbean, but in a sweltering garment factory in Passaic, New Jersey earning the cash for my second year of school. One afternoon on my lunch break […]

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Fran Boniar: The greatest hitter you never heard of

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Of the 15 players who recorded the highest single-season batting averages in the minors, more than half made it to the majors, and only one name appears twice – yet, he is not one of the players who got the call to The Show…
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Rupe Mills: The One Man Ballclub

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In early June, Rupe Mills was leading the Federal League in batting, home runs, fielding percentage, pitching wins – in fact, Mills was leading in EVERY category because he was the ONLY player in the league that year. […]

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Len Koenecke: Trains, Planes and Fire Extinguishers

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It seemed like some crazed pulp magazine story, but it was really happening. The co-pilot was no match for the crazed passenger who now hammered on his body with ham-sized fists until he slumped to the cabin floor. Now nothing stood between him and the pilot. […]

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Nick Cullop: Triumph & Tragedy in Atlanta

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Anyone who’s done their share of baseball research by culling through old newspapers knows how easy it is to get sidetracked by an interesting article totally unrelated to the thing you’re looking for. That’s what happened when I was going through a 1925 Dallas sports page and stumbled on an Associated Press article that caused me to abandon what I was originally searching for and set my artistic sights on an obscure outfielder whose major league career totaled just 173 games spread over 5 mediocre seasons with 5 different teams. […]

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Lee Smith: Meet you under the bleachers…

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Back in the spring of 2016 I was asked to create 16 portraits of Chicago Cubs greats that would be placed on permanent display in the famous Bleacher Section of Wrigley Field. I can’t tell you how much of an honor this is, to be a part of a ballpark as special as Wrigley Field. […]

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José Méndez: Beating the Reds Black and Blue

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When the Cincinnati Reds arrived in Havana in November 1908 for a 15-game exhibition tour, they last thing they expected was to be beaten black and blue by the Almendares Azules and their young pitching ace, José Méndez. […]

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A Very Limited Edition Card Set(s)

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When doing my annual studio cleaning, I came upon the box of art cards I did years ago. I had made up 25 sets of cards, some of which I gave or sold off. I spent the weekend sorting through the remaining cards and was able to put together 20 sets of 90 cards plus […]

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A Note to the Booklet Series Subscribers…

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Dear Subscribers, I hope you have been enjoying the inaugural season of the Infinite Baseball Card Set Booklets Series. There are three more booklets left in this first series, and I am hoping to have the final one mailed out in August. From there I will be beginning SEASON 2 which will also have 12 […]

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Jake Batterton: A major tragedy in the minor leagues

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Somewhere enroute to Dallas, Branch Rickey stopped long enough to send a telegram which went something like this: “Am on my way with a hot potato. Batterton looks great and is great.” […]

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Sam Kau: A Story for Memorial Day 2019

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Memorial Day, 2019. When you’re outside today, and hear the sweet “slap” of a ball hitting the well-worn leather of a glove, give a little silent thanks to Sam Kau and all the other Americans who gave their lives over the past 243 years to keep this nation safe and secure. […]

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Joe Schlabotnik: My Favorite Player

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In the first Guest Author piece on the new website, Dr. Charles H. Brown ruminates on his favorite ballplayer and the trials and tribulations of sticking by his childhood hero long after the cheering stopped. […]

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Adolfo Arguijo: The General

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Despite having won three straight pennants and a World Series, the 1924 Yankees pitching staff was in need of a major rebuilding. Among all the spring training hopefuls was a tall, mysterious Mexican nicknamed “The General.” […]

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Opening Day, My Pop, and Warren Spahn

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And just like that, another Opening Day has arrived. I know New Year’s Day is supposed to be the start of a new year, but to me, that day is baseball’s Opening Day. With the 2019 season about to dawn, I got to thinking about my Pop, and how we formed a friendship around the game of baseball, and how important that relationship was to me. […]

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Jimmy Horio: Relentless Pursuit of a Dream

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From Maui to Hiroshima, Los Angeles to Sioux Fall and Sacramento to Kobe, Jimmy Horio stopped at nothing in a relentless pursuit of his dream: becoming the first Japanese-American to play in the major leagues. […]

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Shags Horan: Challenging Ty Cobb, and living to tell the story

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The rest of the Yankees were content with baiting Ty Cobb from their dugout – all except a 29 year-old rookie named Shags Horan. The big, gold-toothed Irishman scooped up a handful of Navin Field turf and threw it in Cobb’s face. Both teams braced themselves for Cobb’s retaliation… […]

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Jesse Baker: The Kid Who Got Cobbed

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Of all the one-and-done players in the Baseball Encyclopedia, no one, not even Moonlight Graham, has as good a story as Jesse Baker. Underworld prizefight connections, Hollywood stunt doubles and Ty Cobb – Baker’s tale has it all! […]

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Carl DeRose: Absolutely Perfect

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After blowing out his arm, doctors told Carl DeRose that his baseball career was finished. Undaunted, the pitcher begged for one last chance to prove himself. On June 26, 1947 he did, and in doing so made baseball history. […]

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Alta Weiss: The Wonder Girl

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In 1907, a teenage girl defied the standards of the day by pitching for a men’s baseball team. A year later she was barnstorming across the Midwest, with 3,000 fans filling Cleveland’s League Park to see “The Girl Wonder” play ball. […]

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George H.W. Bush: Farewell to Yale’s “Fancy Dan”

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The freshman who tried out for the Yale baseball team in the Spring of 1947 wasn’t your typical college kid. The 22 year-old just left the U.S. Navy where he spent the last 3 years on an aircraft carrier flying torpedo bombers against the Japanese. Upon his discharge, he married his long-time girlfriend Barbara and entered Yale University. […]

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A Paul Gillespie Signature Model Louisville Slugger

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One of my best friends is a nephew of Paul Gillespie, catcher for the 1942-45 Chicago Cubs. Though he had a short career due to war service and then injury in the ’45 Series, Gillespie has his own special place in baseball history as one of just 2 players to hit home runs in their first AND last career at bats. And speaking of bats, look at what just came in the mail today… […]

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Coming Attractions

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I just wanted to say that I know it has been a month since I have posted a brand new story. It’s not that I have run out of material, or have gotten bored with The Infinite Baseball Card Set – both of those things are very, very far from the truth. The reason behind […]

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Ralph Branca: Because he was strong enough.

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No other moment in sports history comes close to that single game in October, 1951. Countless non-fiction books have been written about the ’51 pennant race, the game, what happened to the home run ball, and the players after the cheering died down. Thomson’s home run has been employed as a plot device for shelves of fiction novels and TV shows, and hardly an autobiography of a person alive in 1951 could escape mentioning where they were on that day. […]

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Cy Malis: The best friend we dope fiends have

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Cy’s single game for the 1934 Phillies earned him place in baseball history, but it is the rest of his story that makes him so much more interesting – navy veteran of World War II, survivor of an accident that almost rendered him paralyzed for life, Hollywood bit actor and, most intriguingly, a man who was affectionately called “the best friend we dope fiends have.” […]

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Walt Malmquist: Correcting a Baseball Record

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Since 1913, the name Walter Malmquist has sat atop the list of highest single-season batting averages. His .477 has become one of baseball’s iconic numbers as well as a record that has never been topped. But did he really hit .477? […]

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In the On Deck Circle…

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I’m just putting the finishing touches on my next story and illustration – a new look at Walt Malmquist’s 1913 Nebraska State League season. Who the heck is Malmquist and why should you care about his season in an obscure and defunct bush league? Well, for more than a century Walt Malmquist’s .477 has been touted as the highest recorded single-season batting average in professional baseball. Problem is, Walt Malmquist didn’t hit .477. […]

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Leon Day: The 1945 G.I. World Series

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Back in the late 1980’s, I was fortunate to make the acquaintance of Leon Day. The old Negro Leaguer lived nearby me in Baltimore, and I would spend afternoons in his little second floor baseball room listening to his stories. I once asked him what was the best game he ever pitched, and instead of naming his Opening Day no-hitter or one of his record-setting strikeout games, Day told me about his Game 2 masterpiece in the 1945 G.I. World Series… […]

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Benny Kauff: Stealing Bases and Automobiles

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It was the week before Christmas, 1919.
Three men were cruising the neighborhood looking for a Caddy. It was, as the stockier one of the three had proclaimed earlier that evening, a “good night for stealing autos.” […]

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In the On-Deck Circle…

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I’ve been working on a new project lately, and it’s just about out of the prototype stage and into production. […]

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Stan Musial: Stan The Sailor Man

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The Brooklyn fans didn’t know who the guy was, but it seemed that every time “that man” came to the plate, he tore Dodger pitching apart. Eventually, as more and more singles, doubles and homers flew off the end of his bat, “that man” evolved into a more reverent “The Man” – the name Stan Musial was forever known by. […]

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Bobo Revolinsky: The Miracle 1937 Salisbury Indians

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Everyone loves a good story about miraculous underdogs and winning despite the odds – but there is no more incredible comeback story than than of the 1937 Salisbury Indians – when guys named Blackie, Jorge and Bobo came together to overcome an 0-26 record and win the pennant. […]

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Lefty Grove: The Best Pitcher a Fence Can Buy

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Just about 98 years ago today, a tall, lanky nineteen-year-old stepped onto the train platform at Baltimore’s Camden Station. The kid’s name was Robert Groves, though everyone back home in Lonaconing, Maryland called him Bob, and here was in Charm City to join the Baltimore Orioles. […]

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Smoke Justis: The Harder They Hit – The Harder I Threw

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With his trademark mane of wavy, dark hair, the Indiana native was well known for his many eccentricities, such as practicing his sliding in hotel hallways and wearing ladies silk stockings under his uniform for luck. But for all his flakiness, Smoke holds the record for most no-hitters in one season – FOUR – set in 1908. […]

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Bill Niemeyer: A Place Called Hill 378

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The area they were clearing of enemy troops looked a lot like familiar places in the northeast and Midwest United States, and many of the boys of G Company thought back to the little places they left behind called Sussex County, Washington Courthouse, Mechanicsburg or Crescent Springs.

To the officers of G Company, this place was just called Hill 378. […]

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Tomás Romañach: Afraid of being what the Americanos call “the lemon”

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In the spring of 1913, Cincinnati Reds fans, players and management were finally confident their club was turning a corner. Two years earlier, in what was thinking outside the box for the time, the Reds signed Cubans Armando Marsans and Rafael Almeida to fill holes in their roster. Now they were awaiting the arrival of another Cuban import to solve their shortstop problem… […]

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Memo Luna: The Story Behind Card 222

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One can almost hear the voices of 10 year-old boys repeating the name “MEMO LUNA!” as they expectantly thumbed through a freshly opened pack of the new 1954 Bowman bubble gum cards. While coming across a Ray Katt, Gil Coan or Mel Hoderlein would have merited merely a grunt or groan, even the most jaded 10 year-old boy had to admit that “Memo Luna” had an alluring ring to it. […]

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Stella Friss: Babe Ruth in Bloomers

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Over the years many women ballplayers were given the title of “the female Babe Ruth”, but Stella Friss may be the only one that came close to living up to it. […]

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Lou Gehrig: Uncovering the Mysterious “Lou Long”

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In the spring of 1922 a strapping young man stepped off the Manhattan train and into the streets of Morristown, New Jersey. The city-slicker shouldered his bag of baseball equipment and headed to Collinsville Oval where he was hired to play for the local ball club. In the scorecard he would be called “Lou Long” – in reality he was Lou Gehrig, and for the second summer in a row he was violating college rules by playing ball for money… […]

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Dick Sipek: The Deafening Roar of the Crowd

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When Dick Sipek took the field for the Cincinnati Reds in 1945, he was living the dream of many American kids before and since – with one major exception. Instead of hearing the roar of the crowd, the PA announcer heralding his first at bat or the umpire calling balls and strikes, all Dick Sipek hear was silence. See, Dick Sipek was completely deaf… […]

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Overton Tremper: Putting One Over on John McGraw

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Today, there is no other avenue for a baseball player besides organized baseball: the major and minor leagues are the only game in town. But one hundred years ago, a guy could make a decent living playing baseball without suiting up for a professional ball club. And that’s just what Overton Tremper chose to do. […]

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Claro Duany: The Giant

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Mexico City, July 25, 1946.
Mickey Owen, former catcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers, warily watched the big Cuban standing 90 feet away on third base. Before putting his mask back on he wiped the sweat from his forehead and eyeballed the man they called “El Gigante” – “The Giant”. […]

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“Wing” Maddox: The One-Armed Batting Champ

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For many decades blackball historians were baffled by Maddox’s nickname of “One Wing” until the new breed of researchers uncovered contemporary newspaper articles that verified the pitcher-outfielder’s lack of a left arm. This revelation came as a surprise to many, more so when it was found that the one-armed ballplayer was the 1920 Negro Southern League batting champ! […]

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Max Manning: The Honor & Integrity of Dr. Cyclopse

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Even after the majors were integrated there were precious few slots open to the black players and many men of doubtless talent were left languishing in the minors or never received the call they hoped for. Max Manning is one who received that longed-for call – the problem was, if he took it, his honor and integrity were also on the line. […]

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Bunny Brief: The Long Story

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I figured of all the players in my Minor League Home Run Champions Series, Bunny Brief would be the easiest to research. Since the guy is co-owner of the record for most minor league home run crowns in a career (8), I had assumed that someone would have written a book, or a chapter in a book, or for God’s sake at least an extensive article on the guy – but sadly, no one has – until now. […]

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Mose Solomon: The Rabbi of Swat

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Mose Solomon’s popularity with baseball historians stems not just for his tremendous 1923 season with Hutchinson in which he belted 49 homers, but also from his being one of the first baseball stars who openly acknowledged his Jewish faith. This combination of power and religion earned him the unforgettable nickname of “The Rabbi of Swat.” […]

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Jack Kloza: Home Runs, Mosquitos, Hats and the Rockford Peaches

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Like so many of the players I write about, I found Jack Kloza while searching for something else. And, like so many of the outsiders I write about, what at first just seemed like a marginal career highlighted by a brief cup of coffee in the majors, turned out to be a very interesting tale on so many levels. I was drawn to this fella because the grainy 1936 newspaper article I found showed a guy who looked remarkably like a young Charles Bronson. […]

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Buzz Arlett: Another Babe Ruth of the Minor Leagues

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Today there would never be a “Babe Ruth of the Minor Leagues.” Once a player starts making headlines in AA or AAA he’s called up before the ink dries on the sports page. However, back in the 1920’s and 30’s, it was a different game and many guys like Buzz Arlett were doomed to spend their career just shy of the big time, remembered only as another “The Babe Ruth of the Minor Leagues.” […]

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Ollie Carnegie: The Bambino of Buffalo

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A late start to his career and appendicitis kept Ollie Carnegie firmly entrenched in the minor leagues. Accepting that he’d never be a big leaguer, Carnegie finished in the top five in home runs four out his first five seasons in Buffalo, cementing his reputation as “The Bambino of Buffalo.” […]

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Big Boy Kraft: Fifty-Five and Out

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Clarence “Big Boy” Kraft was the power behind the 1919-1924 Fort Worth Panthers, one of the finest minor league teams of the pre-war era. His 55 homers in 1924 was the highest recorded in the minors up to that time and only second to Babe Ruth’s major league record of 59 he set in 1921. As could be expected, after that 1924 season, everyone wanted a piece of Big Boy… […]

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Tony LaZerre: Joosta Like Babe-A-Da Ruth

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Tony Lazzeri – you know him, right? Victim of Grover Cleveland Alexander’s big strikeout in Game 7 of the ’26 World Series, charter member of the Yankees’ Murderer’s Row and first superstar ballplayer of Italian heritage – well, back before he was with the Yanks, he made baseball history under a different name… […]

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Moose Clabaugh: A Home Run Every Other Game

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On the day Moose Clabaugh hit home run number 62, the Brooklyn Robins announced they had purchased the slugger, delivery due ASAP. As soon as that news hit the wires, no less than three other teams claimed they had the rights to Moose. After the legal dust settled, Clabaugh was on the next train east – destination Ebbets Field. […]

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Joe Hauser: Leave him alone, he’s Our Joe!

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In the five and a half decades after he retired in 1942, Joe Hauser was the go-to man for “what if”, “hard-luck” and “where is he now” baseball stories. Hauser’s career stretched from the Deadball Era of Ty Cobb through the Roarin’ Twenties of Babe Ruth and on into the hardscrabble Depression Era 1930’s. That he lived to be 98 years old made him one of the most interviewed ballplayers and a direct and priceless link back to the game’s Golden Age. […]

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Bob Crues: Chamberlined

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For Bob Crues, his shot at having his own place in history came down to one night in Amarillo back in 1948. For 138 games, “Home Run Bob” had ripped apart West Texas-New Mexico League pitching. With one last game to play, Crues’ home run tally stood at 69. One more and he would break the record set by Joe Hauser in 1933. […]

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Joe Bauman: Seventy-Two Steroid-Free Big Ones

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Back in the summer of 1954, Joe Bauman was living a double life. By day he’d put in a full day’s work pumping gas at one of the Texaco service stations he and his wife Dorothy owned. Then at 5 he’d clock out and spend the evening chasing baseball’s most elusive offensive record. […]

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