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Alston, Walter Emmons (01 December 1911–01 October 1984), baseball manager, was born on a farm near Venice, Ohio, the son of William Emmons Alston and Lenora Neanover. After losing his farm in bankruptcy in 1923, the elder Alston took a job at a Ford Motor Company plant, moving the family to Darrtown, Ohio. Alston’s interest in sports was encouraged by his father, with whom he played semipro baseball. Nicknamed “Smokey,” Alston enrolled at Miami University in Ohio in 1929, but he dropped out the following year to marry his high school sweetheart, Lela Vaughn Alexander. A daughter was born of this union. Returning to Miami University in 1932, Alston worked his way through college, starring in baseball and basketball, and graduated in 1935 with a degree in education....

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Anderson, Sparky (22 February 1934–04 November 2010), baseball manager, was born George Lee Anderson in Bridgewater, South Dakota, the son of Shirley and LeRoy Anderson, a barn and silo painter. His father told him to “be nice to people,” advice the lad followed all his life. When he was eight years old the family moved to Los Angeles and bought a home near the University of Southern California, where George served as a batboy for six years under the legendary coach Rod Dedeaux. George’s Dorsey High School baseball team was a powerhouse, and in 1951 his American Legion team won the national championship....

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Anson, Cap (17 April 1852–14 April 1922), professional baseball player and manager, was born Adrian Constantine Anson in Marshalltown, Iowa, the son of Henry Anson, a land developer, town founder, and mayor, and Jeannette Rice. By his young adult years, Anson was tall and well built at 6′ and 227 pounds. He often was referred to as “the Swede” because of his square shoulders and wavy blonde hair, but, in fact, his parents were of English-Irish extraction. Anson was taught to play baseball and invited to join his father and older brother who formed the nucleus of the Marshalltown team, an amateur club of great repute. While in his teens, he attracted attention as an outstanding hitter and all-around athlete. Local residents dubbed him the “Marshalltown Infant.”...

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Cap Anson. "Goodwin Champions" baseball card, 1888. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LOT 13163-08, no. 2).

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Bamberger, George (01 August 1925–04 April 2004), baseball player, coach, and manager, was born George Irvin Bamberger in Staten Island, New York. After Bamberger's death, a daughter said he had actually been born in 1923 but claimed the later birth date so he would not seem too old as a baseball prospect. Bamberger served in the army during World War II, then he signed with the New York Giants and in 1946 began pitching his way up through the minor leagues. With class C Erie, he compiled a 13-3 won-lost record with a league-leading 1.35 earned run average (ERA), winning him a promotion to class B Manchester in 1947, where he went 12-11, 3.49. He spent 1948 and 1949 with Jersey City, the Giants' top farm club, but his 16-13 record over 2 years and his control problems--he led the International League in wild pitches in 1949 with 11--did not much impress the Giants. In 1950 Bamberger joined Oakland in the Pacific Coast League (PCL), where he spent most of his career as a pitcher. He wound up 17-13 with a 4.23 ERA but walked 112 and led his new league with 13 wild pitches. That year he also married Wilma, with whom he had three daughters....

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Bancroft, David James (20 April 1892–09 October 1972), baseball player, coach, and manager, was born in Sioux City, Iowa, the son of Frank Bancroft, a Milwaukee Railroad news vendor and truck farmer, and Ella Gearhart. From 1907 to 1909 Bancroft attended Sioux City Central High School, where he played baseball. After moving to Superior, Wisconsin, at age seventeen, he married Edna H. Gisin in 1910. They had no children....

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Bauer, Hank (31 July 1922–09 February 2007), baseball player and manager, was born Henry Albert Bauer in East St. Louis, Illinois, the ninth and last child of Austrian immigrant bartender John Bauer and his wife, Mary. He played baseball and basketball at East St. Louis Central Catholic High School, where an opponent's elbow broke his nose, disfiguring him to the point that columnist Jim Murray likened his face to a clenched fist. A brother said Hank was “a real dead-end kid who was always going around with a bloody nose.” ( ...

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Bender, Chief (05 May 1884–22 May 1954), baseball player and manager, was born Charles Albert Bender at Partridge Lake, Crow Wing County, Minnesota, the son of Albertus Bliss Bender and Mary Razor, farmers. His father was of German-American descent, and his mother, whose tribal name was Pay shaw de o quay, was a half-white member of the Mississippi band of the Ojibwa (Chippewa). The family moved to Brainerd, Minnesota, on White Earth Indian Reservation during the 1880s, but at age seven Bender was placed in the Educational Home in Philadelphia, an Episcopal school for white and Indian orphan and destitute children. Although he returned to Minnesota in mid-1896, he soon ran away and enrolled at the Indian School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where he played baseball and football under the legendary coach Glenn Warner. After leaving Carlisle in February 1902, he pitched for nearby Dickinson College. That summer he played for the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Athletic Club, using the surname Albert to protect his college eligibility. There, he pitched a 3–1 win over the Chicago Cubs. Jess Frisinger, a scout for ...

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Chief Bender. American Tobacco Co. baseball card, c. 1909–1911. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LOT 13163-18, no. 329).

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Roger Bresnahan. American Tobacco Co. baseball card, 1909. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LOT 13163-17, no. 26).

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Bresnahan, Roger Philip (11 June 1879–04 December 1944), baseball player, coach, and manager, was born in Toledo, Ohio, the son of Michael Bresnahan and Mary O’Donahue, immigrants from Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland. As a youth, Bresnahan played baseball on amateur teams in Toledo, and at age sixteen he earned money playing on a club in Manistee, Michigan. In 1896, while with Lima in the Ohio State League, he impressed scouts with his strong arm, quickness of foot, and all-around ability. The next year he made his major league debut as a pitcher for the Washington Senators of the National League and hurled a shutout in his first game (28 Aug. 1897), finishing the season with a 4–0 mark. The following spring he got into a salary dispute with the Senators and refused to sign. As a result, he played in only a handful of minor league games in 1898 and 1899, and in 1900 he appeared in just one major league contest, as a member of the Chicago club in the National League....

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Frank Chance. American Tobacco Co. baseball card, 1911. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZC4-5772).

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Chance, Frank Leroy (09 September 1877–15 September 1924), baseball player and manager, was born in Fresno, California, the son of a bank president. His parents’ names and details of his early life are unknown. He played on the Fresno High School baseball team in 1893 and subsequently played for Washington College in Irvington, California, where he studied dentistry....

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Charleston, Oscar McKinley (12 October 1896–06 October 1954), African-American baseball player and manager, was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, to Tom Charleston, a construction worker, and Mary Thomas. The seventh of 11 children, Charleston served as a batboy for a local professional team before enlisting in the army at age 15. While stationed in the Philippines with the black 24th Infantry, Charleston honed his athletic skills in track and baseball, becoming the only African-American player in the Manila baseball league in 1914. Following his army discharge a year later, he joined the Indianapolis ABCs at a salary of $50 per month. The American Brewing Company sponsored the ABCs, but ...

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Fred Clarke. American Tobacco Co. baseball card, 1911. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LOT 13163-25, no. 89).

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Clarke, Fred Clifford (03 October 1872–14 August 1960), baseball player and manager, was born in Winterset, Iowa, the son of William D. Clarke and Lucy Cutler, farmers. His brother was the major league outfielder Joshua Clarke. He attended Dickenson, Iowa, public schools and played left field for the Des Moines Stars and Mascots in the Newsboys League and in 1891 for the Carroll, Iowa, semipro club. His professional baseball career began in 1892 with Hastings of the Nebraska State League, continued in 1893 with St. Joseph, Missouri, of the Western Association and Montgomery, Alabama, of the Southern League, and in 1894 with Savannah of the Southern League....

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Cobb, Ty (18 December 1886–17 July 1961), baseball player and manager, was born Tyrus Raymond Cobb in Banks County in northeastern Georgia, the son of William Herschel Cobb and Amanda Chitwood. When Cobb was about six years old, his father, an itinerant schoolmaster, moved the family to Royston in Franklin County. There, William Herschel Cobb served not only as school principal but as editor of the town newspaper, county school superintendent, and, for one term, state senator. Meanwhile, young Tyrus grew up under the demands of being “Professor Cobb’s boy,” with little enthusiasm for schoolwork but a developing passion for baseball....

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Ty Cobb Left, with Shoeless Joe Jackson, 1913. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-97880).

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Cochrane, Mickey (06 April 1903–28 June 1962), baseball player and manager, was born Gordon Stanley Cochrane in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, the son of Scots-Irish immigrants John Cochrane, a caretaker, coachman, and movie theater owner, and Sarah Campbell. Known as “Kid” at Boston University (1921–1924), “Mike,” or “Black Mike” (for his thick raven hair and black mood when his team lost a game), Cochrane endures as “Mickey,” a name pinned on him when scout Tom Turner sent word that he was signing a “Mick” from Boston....

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Collins, Eddie (02 May 1887–25 March 1951), baseball player, coach, and executive, was born Edward Trowbridge Collins in Millerton, New York, the son of John Rossman Collins, a railroad freight agent, and Mary Meade Trowbridge. Collins spent his first years in Millerton before the family moved to Tarrytown, New York, where he attended school. He enrolled at Columbia University in 1903....