adventures in baseball archeology: the negro leagues, latin american baseball, j-ball, the minors, the 19th century, and other hidden, overlooked, or unknown corners of baseball history...with occasional forays into other sports
Brian Campf has been trying to identify the players on this postcard showing the 1908 Chicago Union Giants at Wheatfield, Illinois, on August 17, postmarked at Wheatfield, August 25, 1908. Todd Peterson, who would be the real expert here, identifies the player standing third from right as outfielder Joe Green, which looks right to me. This would be the summer before he tried to score on a broken leg against the Cubs.
Todd has also made educated guesses that the guy standing third from left is catcher Tom Washington, and that first on the left stands infielder James Smith. Based on box scores for the Union Giants around this time, the other players probably include (in no particular order) “diminutive” catcher/oufielder William Primm; infielders Albert Toney, Frank Young, and Wesley Pryor; outfielder Bob Ramsey; and first baseman Robinson (possibly Al or James?).
Brian would welcome input from anybody who has any more precise ideas or information about who’s who in this photo.
“Bill Irwin is actually Alex Irwin; Clarence Lyttle is Clarence Lytle; and that is ‘Topeka’ Jack Johnson and not ‘Chappie’ Johnson leaning second from right. Eight of the ten men pictured played for the St. Paul Gophers or Minneapolis Keystones (or both) at one point or another.”
So the Union Giants in the photo are, L to R: Alex Irwin, Willis Jones, Fred Roberts, Haywood Rose, Tom Washington, Harry Hyde, Clarence Lytle, George Hopkins, Topeka Jack Johnson, and George Taylor.
Todd also sent along photos of Alex Irwin and Topeka Jack Johnson:
I probably don’t have to tell readers of this blog that these aren’t the American Giants. Rather, they’re the Chicago Union Giants, as you can tell from the logo on their jerseys.
According to Black Baseball in Chicago, by Larry Lester, Sammy J. Miller, and Dick Clark, these are the 1905 Union Giants, managed by William Peters, and the players are, from left to right: Bill Irwin, Willis Jones, Fred Roberts, Haywood Rose, Tom Washington, Harry Hyde, Clarence Lyttle, George Hopkins, Chappie Johnson, and George Taylor.
UPDATE 5/6/2011New information from Todd Peterson on the Union Giants players in this photo.