My very first prewar card that I ever got was a T206 Jack Hannifan, Jersey City. I was hooked on prewar the minute I got that card in the mail. Then I learned there were three other Jersey City players in the T206 set so I set out to get those as well. Part of the appeal for Jersey City cards was the fact that I grew up in New Jersey and I never knew there was an old Jersey City ball club. I started looking for more Jersey City cards and anything else I could find related to the team.
This page is dedicated to anything Jersey City Skeeters. First is my checklist of all Jersey City cards that I know of at this time. All the cards I already own are in Green but I left them on the list as a reference. All cards in Black are ones I still need, and many of those I will likely never find let alone own.
Many of the images are items that are currently in my collection but not everything.
Checklist of Known Cards
All cards in Green are cards I HAVE. I need all others.
1889 N173 Old Judge Cabinets
1889 N172 Old Judge (these are all 1889 team change variations)
Joe Gerhardt, Bill Holbert, Tom O'Rourke
1909 D380-1 Clement Bros
Butler (wearing Jersey City uniform in image)
1909-11 E254 Colgan's Chips
Abstein, Hanford, Merritt, Waller, Manser
1909-11 T206 White Borders
Hannifan, Merritt, Moeller, Milligan
1911 T205 Gold Borders
1911 T201 Mecca Double Folders
1912 E254 Red Borders
1912 C46 Imperial Tobacco
Justis, Butler, Doescher, Wheeler, Jones, Wells, Kissinger, Abstein, Breen
1912-13 T215 Red Cross Tobacco
1912-13 T215 Pirate Back
1913 E270 Tin Tops
Hanford, Kelly, Purtell, Viebahn
1914 T213-2 Coupon Cigarettes
Wiltse (pitching), Wiltse (portrait)
1915 T214 Victory Cigarettes
Baseball in Jersey City
Baseball in Jersey City began in the 1860's when the sport's popularity was spilling out of New York City. By 1870 the Jersey City Skeeters joined the National Association of Base Ball Players. Through the rest of the 19th century the city's ball club came and went many times, joining several leagues, dropping out of leagues, sometimes not finishing a season.
The Skeeters, so named after the incessant mosquitos of the area, joined the Eastern League in 1885, dropped out before the end of the season and rejoined the following year. The International League hosted the team in 1887 and they dropped down to the Central League, which was a lower level league, in 1888. The next year the team was in the Atlantic Association but disbanded during the season. They followed up the next season in the same league and experienced the same fate. In 1900, they joined the Atlantic League but dropped out just ten days before the entire league folded. A couple years later things would change for the city's popular ball club.
In 1902 the club joined the Eastern League and the city built them a new stadium called Skeeter's Park. Also known as the West Side Park as it was located on the west side of the city near the Jersey Central Railroad Station. It was thought to be the best stadium in the Eastern League, seating 8,500.
Pictured at left is the 1902 Jersey City Skeeters team.
The team finished third in their inaugural season back in the Eastern League. Not bad for sure, but they would leave no doubt of their dominance the following year.
Harry "Moose" McCormick Russ Ford at Skeeters Park 1909 1888 Jersey City Ball Club Supplement to the Sporting News
The 1903 season started out with Jersey City winning its first 16 games. Then in August, the Skeeters won 24 more games in a row. They ended the season with a 92-33 record; a .736 average. The team led the league in runs scored with 759 and came in second in team batting with a .281 average. This was all good enough to rank the 1903 team number 7 on the MiLB.com top 100 Teams list. The Skeeters continued in the Eastern League until 1912 when the league became the International League. Then in 1915 the owner of the team, Jack Dunn, moved them to Baltimore.
All the information above, and much more about the Skeeters, came from an article by baseball historians Bill Weiss & Marshall Wright. You can read the entire article by clicking HERE.
1903 Team Photo
1904 Team Composite
1904 Team Composite
1906 Team Composite
1907 Team Composite
1908 Team Composite
1909 Team Composite
1909 Team Composite
1911 Team Composite
1912 Team Composite
1913 Team Composite