John Dillinger, Martinsville Athletics, 1924

Dave Stewart of San Francisco created this card in 1987.

500 were printed by Prescott Printing Co.

Johnny went from stealing bases to robbing banks after being sent to prison. Click image to enlarge.

After being sentenced to the maximum of 10 years for his part in an armed robbery, Dillinger was sent to a work camp prison, where there was no baseball to play. Upon learning from older prisoners that the convicts at the “Big House” in Terra Haute were able to play baseball, Dillinger decided he needed to be sent there. So, he reportedly walked up to his least-favorite corrections officer and punched his lights out! He was charged with assault, placed in solitary, then sent to Terra Haute, where he was by all accounts the best player in the prison. The photo above was apparently taken at the Indiana State Pen.


Walter Johnson, Washington Senators,1924

Alta Loma released 50 serial-numbered cards of the Big Train in 1995.

This was the year the Senators finally won a World Series. (click image to enlarge)

In that era,the Senators were something of a laughing stock. The saying went:
“Washington: First in war, first in peace, and last in the American League.”

The team featured Firpo Marberry, one of the first and best relief aces. Firpo finished 31 games, with 15 saves and an 11-12 3.09 record.

Goose Goslin led the offensive attack, with 12 HRs and 17 triples.  All 12 homers were hit in road games, because nobody could hit home runs in the cavernous Griffith Stadium, except Babe Ruth and Josh Gibson, who both managed to power a few balls over the fences there. Goslin batted .344 and drove in 129 runs.

Although the offense lacked super power, they did have consistency. Every one of the starters could run the bases, all fielded well, and all were up to the job. Steady hands like Sam Rice, Muddy Ruel, Roger Peckinpaugh, Ossie Bluege, Joe Judge, Bucky Harris, and Nemo Leibold. None of them were superstars, but all of them were reliable and consistent big league ballplayers.

.On June 16th, the Senators were 2 games below .500 and in 6th place. Then, things started falling their way. Through the hot summer, they stayed within 3 games of the Tigers and Yankees, as the three teams fought it out. Washington won 15 of their last 20 games to hold off the Yankees, winning the pennant by 2 games.

The World Series against the Giants went the full 7 games. The Giants outscored the Senators, but that wasn’t enough. Pitcher Tom Zachary won both of his starts for Washington, giving up just 4 runs in 17,2 innings. Walter lost both of his starts, but came into game 7 as a reliever and got the win.