The Hake’s description identifies only a single player: kneeling, second from right, is supposedly Grant “Home Run” Johnson. Unfortunately Grant Johnson didn’t play for the 1905 Cuban X Giants, and he’s not in the photograph. It sold for $5,603.71, and one hopes that the buyer didn’t spend this money solely because of the claim that Johnson is pictured.
Johnson did play for, and captain, the Cuban X Giants in 1903 and 1904, and he continued with E. B. Lamar’s team when they travelled to Cuba in the fall of 1904. But in 1905 he switched, along with pitcher Danny McClellan and utility man Harry Moore, to the X-Giants’ great rivals, the Philadelphia Giants. Veteran first baseman Ray Wilson took over as X-Giants captain, and Lamar made use of his Cuban connections to refurbish his roster, hiring a couple of Cuban players in the course of 1905, pitcher José Muñoz and infielder Rogelio Valdés.
Aside from Hake’s mistakenly placing Johnson on the team and in the photo, there’s been another discussion of the identities of the players here, so I thought I’d chip in with my take on who they are.
STANDING, L to R: unknown, Ray Wilson, Edward B. Lamar, Rogelio Valdés, John Patterson, Clarence Williams
KNEELING, L to R: Frank Grant, Bobby Winston, Johnny Hill, John Nelson, Harry Buckner
I’ll leave aside the unknown player for now. Let’s go through them one by one:
Ray Wilson may be the toughest, as he’s mustached in the 1905 photo, but not elsewhere:
Frank Grant, who was apparently fond of non-standard headwear:
Johnny Hill (the same mustache problem as Ray Wilson):
For the unknown player, then, that leaves the X-Giants’ first baseman, Robert Jordan. I’ve never seen a photo identified as Jordan, so it’s impossible to say now, but based on their roster, it seems likely to be him.
UPDATE 1/19/2013 See also this discussion of the photo.