In the upcoming posts I’ll do a comparison of certain players from the current Gypsy Queen set to the tobacco set from 1887. I did this for 2011 Heritage (all in one post), which lent itself to directly compare to the 1962 Topps set – most of the cards in the set correspond to a card in the 1962 set. Gypsy Queen doesn’t lend itself in this way – it is a set from 1887 when trading cards were in their infancy. The set wasn’t numbered, it came out before the American League even existed, and the only cards from the 2nd league at the time – the American Association (AA) – were those of the St. Louis Browns, who had won the 1886 World’s Series. All that notwithstanding, I think I can do some comparisons here.
The Best Player in Baseball
In today’s game – hands down this is first baseman Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals. In the mid-late 1880’s, this could have been one of three players – Dan Brouthers, Roger Connor or Cap Anson. Anson doesn’t have a Gypsy Queen card, and I’ll use Connor for another comparison. Pujols just led his team to a disappointing 2nd place finish in 2011 – the Detroit team for which Brouthers played finished just out of first in the National League in 1886, though they would go on to win the pennant and take the World’s Series over the AA Champion in 1887. Brouthers was a 5-time batting champion who won all 3 triple crown categories at various stages of his career – but never all at once. He briefly held the career HR record. Pujols has also won all 3 triple crown categories over his career, and he could very well hold the career HR record that was once that of Brouthers. Of note: the St. Louis Browns club that won the 1886 World’s Series is the same Cardinals franchise that Pujols plays for today (well, at least for this season).