Super masculine baseball cards from 1887

I’m finishing up my Burghy Christmas Gifts List for Pittsburgh Magazine and I have to tell you, I have found some absolutely stunning new Pittsburgh-themed stuff this year. I want them all and I think you all will find something perfect on the list.

That will be up on the magazine site in the next day or two, but I wanted to share a few things I stumbled upon that are awesome in their own way, but didn’t make my official PittGirl-approved list. Click the photos to be whisked away to their purchase pages.

This is a baseball card of Al Maul of the Pittsburgh Alleghenys, the name the Pirates went by in 1887.

I can’t even. My God, I’d pay cold hard pennies to see a Fort McKenry baseball card in this exact pose. He looks like a Price is Right girl presenting a baseball in the Showcase Showdown.

Here’s another. Mr. Fred Dunlap of the Alleghenys in which I think the photographer may have punked him:

That pose I’d like to see on Ryan Doumit … on a bearskin rug … wearing sunglasses. Because his dead black eyes scare the shit out of me.

Here’s Fred again saying, “All this could be yours if … the price is right.”

And here’s Jake Beckley in 1887, trying to shoot fire from his palms:

And for no reason at all, here’s five men and two kids with a tusk they excavated “near Pittsburgh” in 1900:

That kid on the left is all, “Pretty sure that’s a tree branch,” and that kid on the right is all, “I’m wearing a f*#&ing dress.”

Everything I know about Pittsburgh history I learned from

That’s what I’ll have put on my gravestone.


  1. bucdaddy
    November 30, 2011 10:48 am

    a tusk they excavated “near Pittsburgh”

    Um, it says “Pittsburg” on the card, and yeah, I know they spelled it that way for awhile, but it COULD be the one in Kansas.

    Just sayin’.

  2. bucdaddy
    November 30, 2011 10:56 am

    Those cards help explain why the average score of a baseball game in 1887 was 1,402-921.

  3. Butcher's Dog
    November 30, 2011 11:41 am

    @bucdaddy beat me to the spelling correction. Also, scores of ball games would be much higher today if our current players didn’t wear gloves, either. Just sayin’.

  4. bucdaddy
    November 30, 2011 11:46 am


    Well, not if they played with a baseball you couldn’t hit farther than 50 feet when it was new, and used that one ball the entire game, like they did in 1887. If they played with today’s baseballs, all the players would have broken fingers by the third inning.

  5. Kayla
    November 30, 2011 1:37 pm

    Hi Ginny! I can’t say how excited I was that you posted baseball cards from the PIttsburgh Allegheny’s in 1887! My Great Great Great Grandfather was actually the pitcher for Them (James F “Pud” Galvin)!

  6. spoon
    November 30, 2011 1:58 pm

    That’s one helluva break for a tusk. People back there were silly. Everyone knows there’s no such thing as dinosaurs. The aliens ate them.

    @Kayla You have a relative named Pud? That’s freaking awesome!

  7. unsatisfied
    November 30, 2011 5:12 pm

    wonder what hittsburgh (or, would it be hittsburg?) fan apparel would have looked like back in 1887…..

  8. Clementine
    November 30, 2011 10:54 pm

    Picture the dress from that last kid on Mr. Fred Dunlap of the Alleghenys and you’ve got Hittsburg circa 1887.

    Or picture Mr. Fred Dunlap’s soup-strainer on the kid in the dress and you’ve got the Mayor of Munchkinland.

    Either way, super-sexy, no?

    In perusing the internets, there’s an article about that tusk from 1909. It was discovered on the banks of the Allegheny near Claremont (now Blawnox) just sticking out of the ground. Crikey!

  9. Clementine
    November 30, 2011 11:00 pm

    Oops, don’t know why the link doesn’t work, but just copy and paste this phrase into Google and it’s the first result…

    FINDS A MASTODON’S TUSK.; Contractor Picks It Up on the Allegheny’s Banks, Near Pittsburg

  10. JR
    December 1, 2011 9:25 am

    I think that “Pud” is quite possibly the greatest nickname of all time.

  11. bucdaddy
    December 1, 2011 10:49 am

    Pud Galvin is one of only two people in all of history named “Pud.” The other is that kid in the little (terribly uncomic) comic strip “Funnies starring Pud” that used to come wrapped around Bazooka bubble gum. And maybe still does, for all I know. I can’t imagine that in an age of Adam Sandler they’ve gotten any funnier though.

  12. bucdaddy
    December 1, 2011 10:49 am

    Or nicknamed Pud, whatever.

  13. unsatisfied
    December 1, 2011 1:35 pm

    on that wiki page for pud:

    “Galvin was the first baseball player to be widely known for using performance-enhancing drugs. In 1889, over 100 years before the current steroid controversy in Major League Baseball, Galvin openly used the Brown-Séquard elixir, which contained monkey testosterone.[1]”

    barry bonds, eat your heart out.