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1905 Cuban X Giants Players to be Identified

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  • 1905 Cuban X Giants Players to be Identified

    This photo appeared in Sol White's History of Colored Base Ball. It was identified only 1905 Cuban X Giants. The photo was actually taken Sept 29, 1905 at a ballgame in upstate NY. I have a list of the players from the box score and I am looking for help in matching the names to the faces. The line-up was: Pat Patterson LF, Danger Talbert 3B, Bobby Winston CF, Ray Wilson 1B, Frank Grant 2B, Harry Buckner RF, Clarence Williams C, John Hill SS, John Nelson P, Robert Jordon Sub. and E.B. Lamar Mgr/Owner.

    Lamar is easy, he's in the suit. Clarence Williams is standing far right, Frank Grant is kneeling far left. John Nelson is kneeling 2nd from the right, and I think Ray Wilson is standing next to Clarence (2nd from left). I would appreciate any help with the match-up, and confirmation of my id's as well.

    I'm happy to share some information regarding the game. Bob Mayer (845-528-0726) ([email protected])
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  • #2
    Hi, Bob
    Do you have an original Sol White's Guide? In the U Nebraska edition this photo is almost worthless (p36). That edition includes 1905 Philadelphia Giants as frontpiece and 1905 Cuban Giants as endpiece, both credited to the Negro Leagues Museum.

    Let's number them 1 to 6 and 7 to 11 in two rows left to right.

    Harry Buckner may be #6, your Clarence Williams.
    John Hill may be #7, your Frank Grant.

    I refer to the U Nebraska edition thruout. Its copies of photos are cheap; for all but head shots another edition may be much superior. If you have an edition that does not include all of those I cite, that is itself something to know.

    The windup pose of Buckner (p88) looks similar to #6, a round face like Foster. Only #8 seems to be a plausible alternative.

    The full-length pose of Hill (p43) looks very much like #7.

    The full-length pose of Ray Wilson, Capt., with face in shadow of his cap (p41) --argh!-- looks more lean and angular and lighter colored, perhaps #2 or #5.
    (no mustache. captain 1905?; if so would captain stand beside manager?)

    See also Sol White's portraits of Clarence Williams (p17), John Nelson (p42), John W. "Pat" Patterson (p97), and Frank Grant (#103).
    Nelson must be #10.
    The Williams is a formal portrait, excellent quality, but presumably from the 1880s. He looks to me more like #8 than #6.

    I believe I have seen at least one other of Patterson. I don't know where but it seems to me the most likely places beside Sol White's must be John Holway's Complete Book and James Riley's Biographical Encyc, because I haven't used many candidate books.

    There is a small portrait photo of Grant with his entry in Nineteenth Century Stars, SABR 1989 (p54).

    In the given photo two players are out of uniform, #6 and #10 whom I call likely to be Buckner and Nelson. The former seems to be wearing "C A", right?
    Last edited by Paul Wendt; 02-01-2009, 02:26 PM.


    • #3

      I am fairly certain that Clarence Williams is the player standing on the far right. He was 37 years old in 1905 and was described as very overweight back in the 1890's. His father weighed 300 pounds. None of the other players in the photo could be him. The photo in Sol White's book was of a young guy in his late teens or early 20's.

      I think the player kneeling on the bottom left is Frank Grant. And John Nelson is the player kneeling second from the right. Sorry I can't be a bigger help to you.
      "He's tougher than a railroad sandwich."
      "You'se Got The Eye Of An Eagle."


      • #4
        John Hill, Robert Jordan, and Ray Wilson were also on the 1903 Cuban X-Giants. Clark and Lester's Negro Leagues Book has a photo of the 1903 X-Giants team. Player #9 kneeling down in the middle is either Hill, Jordan, or Wilson. The #2 player standing second from the left can also be either Hill, Jordan, or Wilson. The #11 player kneeling on the far right may also be either Hill, Jordan, or Wilson. #7 kneeling second from left appears to be Harry Buckner judging from his photo on the 1911 Lincoln Giants.
        "He's tougher than a railroad sandwich."
        "You'se Got The Eye Of An Eagle."


        • #5
          All Frank Grant bios that I have read have him ending his playing career in 1903. How about Charles Grant, also a second baseman of that 1900's era?


          • #6
            I have Frank Grant on the 1904 Cuban Giants for at least two games and 1905 on the Cuban X-Giants, number of games unknown. Is he listed in the 1905 boxscore as Grant, or F. Grant?
            "He's tougher than a railroad sandwich."
            "You'se Got The Eye Of An Eagle."


            • #7
              I'm currently working on an illustration project depicting the career of John "Pete" Hill and I don't think he is in that picture.
              See My Baseball Card Project:

              See My Vintage Sports Posters:


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