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Old 11-12-2020, 10:25 AM
bgar3 bgar3 is offline
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Default Archie Bush—Amateur Era Superstar

This is a short version of a much longer piece I did to amuse myself during this time period. Questions or cites etc available if you want them. Images at the end.

I recently acquired a cdv of Archie Bush, CivilWar vet and star of the Albany Knickerbockers, Phillips Andover Academy and Harvard University (1865-1871). During that time he was featured in a Leslie’s Illustrated article with woodcut, started baseball at Phillips, captained the Harvard teams that regularly played and beat the top professional teams, led them on their famous 1870 tour, was elected President of the National Association of Amateur Ball Players-in 1867 while still a student and is credited by John Thorn and Peter Morris with teaching Spalding his “slow raise” to use as the first change of pace. However, he is best known today as the reason Candy Cummings first used his curve ball. (See Mark Pestana SABR article).
My interest was piqued when I acquired Warren images of the 1869 and 1870 Harvard teams as part of my 1869-70 Cincinnati Red Stockings collection. Harvard played them once in 1869, and twice in 1870, all losses. But, they were within 2 outs of becoming the first team to ever beat Cincinnati at their home field, Union Park. They were leading 17-12 when their pitcher (Godwin) was stuck by a line drive and needed to be removed. Cincinnati then scored 8 runs to remain undefeated at home.
After graduating, Bush worked for his father in Troy NY, (Gilbert, How Baseball Happened), got married and died on his honeymoon cruise to Europe in 1877.
In 1912, Sam Crane, former player and “perhaps the most esteemed sportswriter of his time”(Baseball Reference), named Bush, surprisingly, #7 on his list of the Fifty Greatest Ball Players. Although he has a SABR page, it is limited to basic birth/death info. This cdv, formerly owned by Mark Rucker, has appeared in at least 3 major auctions and the cover of a SABR publication without identification. Bush is on the left and his cousin, James McClure is on the right. (check out his belt). The stamp on the reverse is from 1864-66.
In addition to the cdv I am attaching images of Bush in civil war uniform and his Leslie’s woodcut from the internet. Then there are the 1869 and 1870 Harvard teams and a page with games and scores of the 1870 tour.
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Old 11-12-2020, 11:48 AM
bgar3 bgar3 is offline
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A better image of the cdv.
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File Type: jpg EA3EE15B-563A-4A9D-9151-353D23A63342.jpg (9.8 KB, 116 views)
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Old 11-12-2020, 12:04 PM
Bill Rayburn Bill Rayburn is offline
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Bruce, thanks for posting. Great research and a very interesting story. I will pass on further comment about his death on the honeymoon.
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Old 11-12-2020, 12:58 PM
bgar3 bgar3 is offline
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Thanks Bill, and I should have noted his death was due to pneumonia.
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Old 11-12-2020, 03:22 PM
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GaryPassamonte GaryPassamonte is offline
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Great work, Bruce. I once owned a copy of the Bush/McClure cdv. What team was Bush on when this was taken? McClure was on the Nationals of Albany.
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Last edited by GaryPassamonte; 11-12-2020 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 11-12-2020, 03:50 PM
bgar3 bgar3 is offline
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Gary, even though Bush also played for the Nationals and Knickerbockers with McClure, he entered Phillips Andover a year ahead of his cousin James. Bush played for Phillips from 1865-66, and James played in 1866. I believe that Bush is in the Phillips Andover uniform in the cdv. In the auctions McClure was correctly identified, but Bush was id’d as Phillips, due to a pencil marking on the back. That was a misinterpretation as I think Phillips referred to the Academy.
The Id of Bush comes directly from a 1923 Phillips Academy history., and from a more recent, 1983 book on athletics at Phillips. I have a longer version of this that is just handwritten, but I am too lazy to type it all and I hate typing.
I am looking for the 1867 Harvard team which I know you once had and the 1871 team and any other Bush related things or images.
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Old 11-12-2020, 06:37 PM
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Bruce- I had the 1866 Harvard team cdv. Here is a scan of the reverse. It doesn't list Bush as one of the players. The 1867 Harvard team cdv is the cover photograph for Mark Rucker's cdv book. Bush is not identified in that image in Mark's book either?
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File Type: jpg 1866 harvardr.jpg (48.2 KB, 94 views)

Last edited by GaryPassamonte; 11-12-2020 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 11-12-2020, 06:52 PM
bgar3 bgar3 is offline
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Gary, he started in 1867 and played that fall. In fact it was October 1867 that Cummings used his first curve against Bush. I like the 1867 image, but you are right, he won’t appear in the team photo until 1868 photo. I have an 1875 book that contains a large number of box scores from 1865 to 1874 , including against professional teams. Bush’s stats are amazing, mostly from the catcher’s position.
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Old 11-12-2020, 07:36 PM
68Hawk 68Hawk is offline
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Cool historical post!
Make a great story line to write a fictional novel from...

Last edited by 68Hawk; 11-12-2020 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 11-13-2020, 05:13 PM
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Bruce- I found this online. It's a new one for me. It came out too small. Maybe someone here can resize it. Bush is top right, 1868. I think this is from a Sporting Life magazine from 1908, but I'm not sure.
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Last edited by GaryPassamonte; 11-13-2020 at 05:15 PM.
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Old 11-13-2020, 08:01 PM
bgar3 bgar3 is offline
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Gary,
Thanks, I was not aware of that article, but the book he is talking about is one of the better books about early baseball called Old Boston Boys and the Games They Played. There are several edition from a limited edition in 1906 and later ones to 1908. The book is by James d’wolf Lovett, pitcher for the famous Lowell teams of the 1860’s. The baseball section is illustrated by several beautiful photos of the Lowell and Harvard teams, and a few of the individual players, including a great one of George Wright from early in his career. Well worth finding.
The 1867 and 1868 Harvard teams are in there, and I believe your Lowell team, but we are spoiled and prefer originals.
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Old 11-22-2020, 08:33 PM
pedodds pedodds is offline
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Default Archie Bush

Great post Bruce!
Thanks for sharing! Killer collection and great research! I think you have the market cornered on Archie Bush memorabilia!
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  #13  
Old 11-23-2020, 11:55 AM
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Default Harvard baseball team

Hey Bruce,

What is the year that the Harvard baseball team is posed in front of the back of the dugout or the chicken coop?
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Old 11-23-2020, 12:54 PM
bgar3 bgar3 is offline
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John,
I believe that is the 1870 team. There were a couple other players who played from time to time, but best guess is 1870, no later than 1871, but I think 1880.
I have seen a similar backdrop and thought it was described as part of the field.
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