Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, March 23, 2003, pg. 2
One of Albion’s historical celebrated persons was major league ball player James T. “Deacon” McGuire (1863-1935), who is interred in Riverside Cemetery. McGuire began his career in 1883 with the Cleveland Nationals, and caught professionally for a record-setting 26 years from 1883 to 1909. He played for several teams during his career. “Deacon” McGuire held the major-league catching record of 132 entire consecutive games during the 1895 season when he was with the Washington Nationals. He played for the Detroit Nationals in 1885, and for the Detroit Tigers in 1902 and 1903. He also managed the Boston Red Sox in 1907 and 1908, and the Cleveland Indians from 1909 to 1912.
McGuire caught virtually bare-handed with a fingerless glove. This was quite evident by his gnarled, broken, bent, split, and crooked fingers. His wife May (Huxford) McGuire once remarked, “The only precaution I ever saw Jim take, was to put a piece of beefsteak in the glove when he caught the powerful pitcher Hank O’Day. At game’s end it would be hamburger.”
We’ve featured “Deacon” McGuire and the saloon he and his brother George ran in Albion in previous articles in this column. Collectible items issued by the McGuires via their tavern include several saloon tokens, and advertising “mirrors.” This week however we are focusing on a very special collectible item concerning Albion’s celebrated major league catcher: An 1887 McGuire baseball card!
This card was posted on the www.findagrave.com web site under McGuire’s name in the Riverside Cemetery burials section after yours truly included McGuire’s name and biography on the site. The owner of the card is Frank Russo (firstname.lastname@example.org) a New Jersey radio announcer who owns the largest independent baseball website entitled “The Deadball Era,” dedicated to deceased major league players. The site is located at: www.thedeadballera.com. Russo apparently has a fantastic baseball card collection, and the McGuire card is one prize that we are featuring this week.
From our Historical Notebook we present the McGuire baseball card. It shows “Deacon” with his hands out, and a ball coming his way ready to be caught. The top legend reads, “Old Judge’ Cigarettes.” Below is stated “McGuire, C., Phila,” meaning, McGuire, Catcher, Philadelphia.” In small print reads, “Copyrighted by Goodwin & Co., 1887.” In larger letters appears “Goodwin & Co., New York.”
Do any of our readers have one of these cards in their collection? I wonder what the catalog number might be and the listed value?
McGuire Baseball Card, 1887
All text copyright, 2013 © all rights reserved Frank Passic