Jersey City

 




Skeeters

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

   Joe Gerhardt


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

   Hanford


1911  T201  Mecca Double Folders

   Abstein/Butler


1912  E254  Red Borders

   Hanford, Waller


1912  C46  Imperial Tobacco

   Justis, Butler, Doescher, Wheeler, Jones, Wells, Kissinger, Abstein, Breen


1912-13  T215  Red Cross Tobacco

   Billy Purtell


1912-13  T215  Pirate Back

   Billy Purtell


1913  E270  Tin Tops

   Hanford, Kelly, Purtell, Viebahn


1914  T213-2  Coupon Cigarettes

   Wiltse (pitching), Wiltse (portrait)


1915  T214  Victory Cigarettes

   Wiltse


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.

The Teams


     

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

 

  


The Cards


         


     


     

  


     


     


     


   


   


 

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