This is an 1888 Goodwin Old Judge baseball card featuring NY Giant 3rd baseman Art Whitney and an unnamed, yet adorable shaggy haired dog. The dog stares expectantly into Whitney’s eyes, just begging to fetch. I like to think that just after this picture was taken Art Whitney and the dog(I’ll call him Rascal, because he looks like a rascal) had a nice little game of fetch.
The story behind this card is centered around Art Whitney’s propensity to jump from team to team during his 11 year career. Even during a time when players frequently moved from team to team, Whitney was an extremist. He played in 3 major leagues; the National League, Players League, and the American Association. He debuted with the Worcester Ruby Legs in 1880, then moved to the Detroit Wolverines in 1881, to the Providence Grays and back to the Wolverines in 1882. He stayed 3 seasons with the Pittsburgh Alleghenys of the American Association, moved to Pittsburgh in the National League, then to the Giants, then back to the American Association Giants, then finishing up with Cincinnati and St. Louis of the American Association in 1891. That’s 10 team changes in 11 years. His .223 lifetime average makes me think he didn’t want to stick around long enough for the teams to realize he wasn’t such a great player.
The inside joke with the card is the fact that he’s posing with a dog(Rascal ?) the most loyal of creatures, as opposed to Art Whitney, the not so loyal.
Art Whitney did play fairly well in the 1888 World Series while playing for the Giants. He hit .324 with 12 rbis to help the Giants beat the St. Louis Browns.
This card recently sold at auction for over $12,000. Not bad for a shaggy haired dog named Rascal.