Thursday, November 7, 2019

Nadjy's Legs and Skinny Arms - Why Cleveland Became the Spiders



The Cleveland Indians of the American League of American baseball retired their longtime mascot, Chief Wahoo, from on-field use before the 2019 season.  The decision came after a years-long, protracted debate about the “political correctness” of the image and of the nickname itself.  For now, the team continues to be known as the Indians, a name they’ve used officially since 1915.  But with the passing of Chief Wahoo, the nickname’s days may be numbered.

In the event of a change, Cleveland’s fans do not have to look far for a less controversial alternative with even deeper roots in Cleveland – the “Spiders,” a name first applied to Cleveland’s National League team in 1889 and occasionally used with respect to the current American League team during the early years of the franchise.

The name, “Spiders,” referred to team’s spindly look in their new black, tight-fitting “Nadjy”-style uniforms at the start of the 1889 season.[i]  The name persisted even after they changed uniforms, and the team enjoyed great success under that name throughout most of the 1890s, including competing in two post-season Temple Cup Series, winning once in 1895. 

A later uniform change, to a deep red or “cardinal” hue, just before the team’s wholesale transfer to St. Louis in 1899, seems to have played a role in the naming of St. Louis’ National League team, the St. Louis Cardinals.  For more details on that name, see my earlier post on “How the St. Louis Browns Became the Cardinals.”

The remnants of the old St. Louis Browns played out the 1899 season in Cleveland as the “Spiders” before folding its tents.  So when Cleveland fielded a team in the upstart American League, the name was a natural fit.  Sportswriters occasionally referred to the new American League team as the “Spiders,” mixing it in with other informal nicknames, the “Blues,” “Bluebirds,” “Lake Shores,” and even the “Bronchos.”

Beginning in 1904 and lasting for nearly a decade, Cleveland’s American League team was most commonly known as the “Naps,” in honor of Napoleon “Nap” Lajoie who assumed the position of manager in 1904.  When he left the team before the 1915 season, the “Naps” needed a new nickname.

But for a little known quirk of fate involving the minor league Toledo Mudhens of the American Association, the Cleveland Indians might just as easily have been renamed the “Spiders” and not the “Indians” in 1915.  The Toledo Mudhens moved from Toledo to Cleveland in 1914 where they were commonly referred to as the “Spiders.” 

At pre-season meeting before the 1915 season, a group of club officials (the Naps and Spiders were under common ownership) and sportswriters decreed that the erstwhile Mudhens would remain the Cleveland “Spiders” and the American League team would become the “Indians.”

The “Spiders” moved back to Toledo in 1916 and reclaimed their traditional name, the “Mudhens,” a name still in use in Toledo to this day.  The Indians stayed in Cleveland and kept the new name.  Who knows what might have happened if the Mudhens had just stayed in Toledo.  The name “Spiders” might have been available, and they might have been given that name instead of “Indians.” 

It’s not a certainty, however, as Cleveland’s American League team had been occasionally referred to as “Indians” even during its years as the “Naps,” and even the original Cleveland Spiders had been regularly referred to as Indians during the 1890s, even before they famously signed Louis Sockalexis, the talented Penobscot Indian phenom from Maine and Holy Cross College, whose star shone brightly and briefly, until he succumbed to the debilitating effects of alcoholism.

But that’s a whole ‘nuther story.  For more details on the early use of “Indians” as a baseball nickname in Cleveland, see my earlier post, The Cleveland Spiders and "Tebeau's Indians" - why Cleveland's Baseball Team are the "Indians".

As for the origin of the name “Spiders,” it is a reference to how the team looked in their new, tight-fitting black uniforms that season.  The name may also have resonated with, or have been reinforced by several earlier associations between and among Cleveland, spiders and baseball.

Earlier Cleveland Spiders

Puck, Volume 73, 1913 (precise date unknow).
 

“Will you walk into my parlor?” said the spider to the fly;
    “Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you did spy.
The way into my parlor is up a winding stair,
    And I have many pretty things to show you when you are there.”
“Oh no, no,” said the little fly, “To ask me is in vain,
    For who goes up your winding stair can ne’er come down again.”

The first stanza of, The Spider and the Fly: A Fable, Mary Howitt (1827)


The Spider and the Fly

References to Mary Howitt’s poem, The Spider and the Fly: a Fable (1827) were common in American political discourse of the late-1800s, with one politician or the other cast in the role of the dangerous fly, seducing an unsuspecting fly into their web with promises or flattery, only to devour them in the end.  One such prominent politician who got the spider-and-the-fly treatment was Grover Cleveland, who defeated Republican James Blaine in 1884 and was defeated by Benjamin Harrison in 1888.

In one such ditty, Grover Cleveland was the “Cleveland Spider” to a fly named “Benjamin,” presumably Benjamin Butler (not Harrison), the Greenback Party nominee for President in 1884.  Butler had been elected Governor of Massachusetts with Democratic support, and Cleveland is said to have tempted him to cross over to his side with promises of some cabinet post.
 
“Will you walk into my parlor, Ben?”
    The Cleveland spider said;
“You shall have a piece of white house cake
    As large as your dear head.”

“Oh, no!” said the artful Benjamin,
    With a soft and subtle smile,
“I’m a fly that never takes a piece,
    When I can scoop the pile.”

The Richmond Item (Richmond, Indiana), August 21, 1884, page 4.

Years later, at a time after Cleveland’s baseball team was already known as the Spiders, similar imagery was used with respect to their efforts to ensnare the league pennant.

The Cleveland Spiders may not catch that “fly,” but they are weaving a large-sized cobweb around the pennant.

Cincinnati Enquirer, August 4, 1889, page 13.

Boston Globe, May 10, 1892, page 9.

If flies were in season those living would have cause to remember yesterday until their dying hour as the occasion on which their natural enemies, the Spiders, received the greatest throw-down in history.

Housewives may have swept down webs and killed off the insects by the score, but the job that was done yesterday was the most complete and finished slaughter that has ever overtaken the spider family.  They were smashed, squeezed, bruised, beaten, slugged, mopped up, banged, bunged, kicked, swatted and pounded until at the close they resembled a band of bedbugs after a hard tussle with a can of insect powder.  In fact, they dropped so low in the insect scale that a mess of kitchen cockroaches wouldn’t be caught speaking to them.  A daddy longlegs would have died rather than recognize them, and a “thousand-legger” would have given up a few hundred feet to get out of their way.

The far-famed Spiders will hereafter be found in the midget or gnat class, and may hope some time to rise to the dignity of mosquitoes.  The 17,000 “rooters” for the [Cincinnati] Reds, who stood up yesterday at the end of the ninth inning to send aloft a victorious shout, can now appreciate exactly how Napoleon Bonaparte looked after the battle of Waterloo.

Cincinnati Enquirer, April 22, 1895, page 2. 


Sports

The sporting press in Cleveland, Ohio would have been familiar with the name, “Cleveland Spider,” during the year and months before the baseball team became known by that name in May 1889.

In 1886, an Irish-born featherweight boxer named Ike Weir burst onto the American boxing scene.  By 1889, he claimed the featherweight championship of the world.  Ike Weir was widely known by his colorful nickname, the “Belfast Spider.” 

Minneapolis Star Tribune, January 29, 1928, page 22.

The name conjured images of the boxer’s wiry, featherweight arms flailing about as his slender legs danced about the ring.  Seventy-five years before Cassius Clay (and later Muhammed Ali) famously shuffled his feet and floated like a butterfly in the ring, the “Belfast Spider” was known to dance Irish jigs during his fights.

Minneapolis Star Tribune, January 29, 1928, page 22.


In 1888, presumably in imitation of Weir, a local Cleveland featherweight named Sam Eaton fought under the name, the “Cleveland Spider.”

 
Sam Eaton, the “Cleveland Spider” wants to fight either Ridge or Kelly, of this city.  Eaton defeated Jay Fay, of Indianapolis in a 10-round glove contest at Cleveland on Tuesday night.

Pittsburgh Daily Post (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), January 26, 1888, page 6.

Eaton would become the featherweight champion of Ohio, but his professional career did not live up to his namesake.  The final reference to him by that name appeared nine months after the first, and about eight months before the baseball team adopted the name. 

On April 21st of this year . . . [Jack Smith] fought “Sam” Eaton, the “Cleveland Spider” to a draw in twenty-five rounds . . . .

Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, New York), September 2, 1888, page 7.


Baseball Jokes
 

“You should be a baseball player,” said the beetle to the spider.
“Why so?” inquired the latter.
“You’re so good at catching flies.”
“True, but I’d fall a victim to the fowls.”
And he went behind the bat.

Life, Volume 12, Number 289, July 12, 1888, page 26.

This joke appeared in print dozens of times in newspapers throughout the country in the weeks and months after its initial appearance in Life Magazine in July of 1888. 

More than a year later, after Cleveland had become the “Spiders,” variants of the joke occasionally referred to the team.

The Cleveland “Spiders” don’t seem to be able to catch any Boston “flies.”

Harrisburg Telegraph (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania), October 2, 1889, page 1.
                                                                                              
The original joke was not specifically related to Cleveland, but it does suggest a thematic connection between spiders and baseball which may explain how and why the name stuck to Cleveland, even though the more direct source of the name was more embarrassing than flattering, and not at all related to baseball. 


Nadjy

The great actress, Lillian Russell, as Etelka in a revival of Nadjy at the Casino in New York City in 1889.[ii]

The opera or operetta, Nadjy, had its New York premier on May 14, 1888.  Princess Etelka is the  ward of the Emperor of Austria.  The Emperor plots her marriage to Count Rosen, but her heart belongs to Rakoczy and the Count loves Nadjy, a dancer with the Vienna Opera.  Before the final curtain drops, Etelka marries the Count (technically fulfilling her guardian’s wishes), gets an annulment, elopes with Rakoczy and is proclaimed Queen of Hungary. 

But while the score and libretto were roundly criticized, the exposed legs in black tights received rave reviews.

[T]he gem of the opera is undoubtedly the dance at the end of the second act, which alone would make “Nadjy” worth seeing.  Miss Jansen appeared in a short black net ballet dress, with pretty black silk stockings – if you will pardon me – and sweet little black boots. . . .  First she bent one dimpled elbow to touch her head, and then the other.  At that moment one black-clad foot threw the gauzy blackness of her dress in clouds around her, just as she had brought the other from a similar pursuit to repose.  At last, casting measured steps to the winds, she broke into a wildly vivacious dance, carrying all before her, seemingly inspiring the coryph√©es beside her to do likewise, and bringing down the curtain with a storm of applause.

The Evening World, May 15, 1888, page 3.
 
Marie Jansen as Nadjy, a ballet dancer of the Vienna Opera House, in Nadjy. Chicago Tribune, November 11, 1888, page 26.

[T]o behold Marie Jansen in ballet skirts, and black ballet skirts, too – this, this, by all that dudedom holds sacred, is a surprise indeed.

Chicago Tribune, November 11, 1888, page 26.

Marie Jansen as Nadjy.

The theater invited a convention of Methodist ministers to attend a performance free of charge.  There’s no indication that they accepted, but one reviewer imagined the scene what might have happened if they had.

Fancy a couple of hundred clerical gentlemen in sober mien entering the gaudy portals of the Casino just as Marie Jansen bowled on the stage as the ballet premier, robed in a suit of black tights, black abbreviated skirts and a brief black bodice!

Evening Star (Washington DC), May 26, 1888, page 2.

Marie Jansen as Nadjy.



Another reviewer described the costumes in terms that might have scared the ministers away.

The black ballet costume, made notorious by much comment, which Jansen wears in the second act, is certainly unique of its kind, suggestive of his satanic Majesty disguised in feminine flesh, black tights and tulle.

The Indianapolis Journal, November 25, 1888, page 12.

The legs dominated the attention of reviewers, to the dismay of Isabelle Urqhart who played the role of Princess Etelka in the original New York production of Nadjy.  The character of Etelka was not a dancer, but she did masquerade as a man, giving her the chance to flaunt her legs in high boots and a Hungarian soldier’s tight pants.

I made my appearance in “Nadjy” after considerable careful preparation.  I am very ambitious to get on in my profession, so I studied the part earnestly, though out the business and attended laboriously to every detail. . . .

Well, the first night of “Nadjy” came.  And the next morning came, too, and with the next morning came the papers.  What did the papers say about my performance?  Did they say anything about my acting?  Did they recognize that I had done any hard preparatory work at all?  Did they give me one word of encouragement?  Not a word.  The sum and substance of their criticism was this:

“Look at Urquhart’s legs!”

The St. Paul Globe, July 29, 1888, page 13.

Isabella Urquhart as Etelka, in the original New York production of Nadjy. St. Paul Globe, July 29, 1888, page 13.



But as racy as Nadjy was for its day, it didn’t keep the new First Lady or the Korean ambassador away when it came to Washington DC a year later.




In the second act Nadjy comes out in the startling costume of a ballet dancer, her dress, or rather lack of it, being those famous black tights, black skirts and black bodice, which have caused such comment all over the country.

Mrs. Harrison evidently knew what was coming and discreetly withdrew to a less conspicuous place, from where she watched Marie Jansen’s graceful dancing with evident pleasure.

In the adjoining box were the members of the Corean legation and the wives of the minister and the first secretary, the first appearance of these ladies at a public entertainment.

Between the acts the curtains dividing the boxes were thrown back and the Coreans held a conversation with the presidential party.

Boston Globe, March 16, 1889, page 2.


Nadjy Uniforms

A “Nadjy” uniform on Oakland’s 1892 team.  San Francisco Examiner, August 15, 1892, page 4.

About two months after Nadjy’s premier, the New York Giants donned new uniforms of a radical new style – all black, with white belts and tight, form-fitting pants.  The new style may not have been specifically inspired by the opera, but they immediately called to mind the look of the tights worn in Nadjy. 

The new uniform style quickly caught on, and everywhere it appeared, it was called a “Nadjy.”

Next week [the New York Giants] will blaze forth in a uniform that Jim Mutrie says will knock the town silly.  It will consist of black jersey shirts and knee pants [(other descriptions referred to them as “tights”[iii])].  The words “New York” will appear on the shirt in white letters.  A black cap and belt will complete the rig.  The suit has already been christened “The Nadjy” uniform.  Johnnie Ward says that hereafter the team will be called “The Happy Hottentots,” instead of the time-worn appellation of the Giants. 

The Times (Philadelphia), July 22, 1888, page 16.

A member of the New York Giants in “Nadjy” uniform for these images published in 1892. [iv]

Illustrated American, Volume 11, June 25, 1892, pages 268 and 270.

Not everyone liked the “despised” Nadjys, but the players liked them because they brought them luck.  The New York Giants won their first-ever National League pennant and World Series in 1888, their first season in Nadjys.  They would repeat the feat in 1889.

It is a singular fact that success and the maroon color never traveled in the same base-ball teams. . . .  New York wore the maroon season after season and never won the championship until it dropped the color and selected the despised black Nadjys.

Kansas City Gazette, June 21, 1889, page 4.

The Giants’ players liked the uniforms enough to bring them with them when most of the team abandoned the National League to play in the player-owned Players’ League in its only year of existence in 1890.  They broke out the Nadjys in mid-season and they worked their magic.  But not everyone looked good in the tight uniforms, as reported by a very literate sportswriter who threw in references to Hamlet, King Arthur, fatted calves, Lillian Russell and the dancing chorus girls of “Nadjy,” all while tossing around big fat words like avoirdupois and adipose. 

But, ooh, that John Ewing, he was a looker!!!

The black “Nadjys” are a success.  Out of the most mournful-looking fabric which it is possible for the human mind to conceive Keefe & Becannon have manufactured a mascot[v] that has lifted the Giants up another rung on the ladder of fame.  When the boys came out on the field this afternoon they looked like nine Hamlets, or better still, like a squad of those dark ghosts which rowed the dying King Arthur over the mystic sea from Camelot.

They were Hamlets without Hamlet’s mental warp.  They were ghosts in everything but arvoirdupois.  They moved like spirits over the green face of nature, but every one of them would have made a penny weighing-machine shriek with agony.  But stay – there was one among them who looked like an airy, fairy Lillian in disguise. 

Did anybody ever see John Ewing in a Nadjy uniform?  If not it is well worth a journey out into the wild, wooly West to see him sporting round, far from his native heath, in all the abandon of a skirt dancer without the skirts.  From the sausage-like fullness of Crane’s fatted calves to the graceful contour of John’s Nadjy loins is a range of adipose tissue that fills the gamut of human physique. 

New York World, July 22, 1890, page 2.

Many other professional, semi-professional and amateur teams adopted the “Nadjy” style over the next few years, and some of them looked good in them.  The Oakland Colonels of the California League, for example, looked good in their Nadjys in 1892.  But they didn’t bring the same kind of luck – Oakland lost the game 10-3.

A “Nadjy” on right-fielder, “Big” Bill Brown of the Oakland Colonels of the California League.
 
The friends from across the water looked very pretty in their Nadjy uniforms, but their appearance, although it delighted the occupants of the bleacheries, did not cut any figure in the score.

San Francisco Examiner, August 15, 1892, page 4.


Cleveland’s new National League team donned the Nadjys in their first season in the league.  They looked “peculiar” – and a new nickname was born.


The Cleveland “Spiders”

The New York Giants may have looked silly in their tight, black uniforms because of too much “adipose tissue,” but the Cleveland Spiders looked “peculiar” in theirs for the opposite reason – not enough.


Harry Clay Palmer, Athletic Sports in America, England and Australia, Philadelphia, Hubbard Brothers, page 62.

The earliest-known example of the name, “Cleveland Spiders,” in print explains the genesis of the name.  Coincidentally, and perhaps prophetically, the same headline refers to a team from another city (Indianapolis) as the “Indians.”

THE “SPIDERS.”

What League Teams Need Expect from the “Baby”[vi] – Radford’s Proverbial Luck – The Indians’ Dirty Ball – Loftus’ Sage Conclusion, Etc.

Cleveland, O., May 18. – Editor Sporting Life: - The Cleveland Spiders – so called on account of their peculiar appearance in their suits of black and blue – are in the East fighting their way along as well as ever a new team fought.

Sporting Life, Volume 13, Number 7, May 22, 1889, page 5.

A later explanation revealed what was so “peculiar” about the uniforms. 

When Cleveland selected the Nadjy a few years ago there were several slims in the team and they were called “The Spiders.” 

Topeka Daily Capital, August 16, 1891, page 11.

The name was not an immediate hit.  Some local sportswriters apparently proposed a different nickname, the “Blues,” a revival of a name used by earlier Cleveland teams in the 1870s.

It was an appellation that made the aesthetic residents of the Forest City squirm, and they rebelled against it.  Cleveland journals raised their hands in boycott, and nowadays “Patsy Boliver’s Blues”[vii] comes nearer to filling the bill.

Topeka Daily Capital, August 16, 1891, page 11.

But despite their efforts, the name stuck – as if caught in a web. 

A “Spider” catching a fly?[viii]

The name may have stuck, but the team didn't last.  In 1899, the team’s owner traded nearly the entire team to St. Louis for entire roster of the underperforming St. Louis Browns.  He could do it because he owned both franchises; he needed a good team in St. Louis where baseball was profitable, and his bad team in Cleveland, where earnings were low despite the team’s success, in part due to local resistance to playing on Sundays and selling beer at the stadium. 

The downgraded Spiders spent the 1899 season setting records for futility that still stand today, before folding at the end of the season.

With the old Spiders out of the way, and since baseball abhors a vacuum, a new team came to town in 1900 with a new-old name and a new league.


Cleveland Blues/Naps

Between the 1899 and 1900 seasons, the minor league Western League rebranded itself as the American League.  At about the same time, the Grand Rapids Rustlers of that league moved to Cleveland, donned blue uniforms and rebranded themselves the “Blues” or sometimes the “Lake Shores.”  In 1905, under new manager Napoleon Lajoie, the team became most widely known as the “Naps” for the next decade.

For fifteen seasons, despite one dominant name or the other, older, alternate nicknames kept cropping up for year.

Sometimes they were the “Lake Shores,” although mostly only during their first season in Cleveland.

Inter Ocean (Chicago), July 27, 1900, page 8.


 Sometimes the “Indians.”


Boston, June 15. – By a curious reversal of form the Champions turned about yesterday and administered a defeat to the Cleveland Indians in a pretty contest, by the score of two to one . . .

The Barre Daily Times (Barre, Vermont), June 15, 1905, page 2.

In 1905, Boston had an “off day” and the Cleveland “Indians” took both ends of a double-header from them, 5-1 and 9-0.  A Boston cartoonist imagined an early forerunner of Chief Wahoo whooping “Whoo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oop” – not “Wahoo.”  For more background on the history of Chief Wahoo, see my earlier piece, “Patent Medicine and Baseball – Wahoo’s Deep Roots in Cleveland.”





“It’s bad enough to kill a gent and scalp him – jumping on the remains is pure Indian diabolism.”

Boston Globe, July 21, 1904, page 5.


Sometimes the “Spiders.”

Washington Times, August 5, 1902, page 4.

Cleveland’s spiders worked hard yesterday but “Cy” Young’s crooked throws and two fast double plays gave the honors to Captain Collins and his company [Boston].

Minneapolis Journal, June 26, 1901, page 12.


Sometimes the “Blues.”
 
News-Leader (Springfield, Missouri), June 24, 1914, page 5.



Sometimes the “Blue Birds.”

The Cleveland Blue Birds of the American League, won in easy fashion from the Reds yesterday afternoon.

Dayton Herald (Dayton, Ohio), April 9, 1907, page 12.

And sometimes two different names at once.



The Orioles had the game well in hand today up to the eighth inning when the Spiders found Lawson, the McGraw young twirler, and touched him up for five runs, enough to win.

Washington Times, June 1, 1902, page 10.

In 1914, the Toledo Mudhens of the minor league American Association moved to Cleveland, abandoned their old, Toledo-specific nickname and took on a well-known Cleveland baseball nickname, the “Spiders.” 

“Spiders” Start South Tomorrow.

CLEVELAND, Ohio, March 3. – The “Spiders,” Cleveland’s new American Association team, erstwhile Toledo Mudhens, were congregating in Cincinnati today, enroute to Americus, Ga., for spring training.

The Daily Gate City (Keokuk, Iowa), March 3, 1914, page 9.

Cleveland Spiders, erstwhile Mudhens. Wichita Beacon (Kansas), August 4, 1914, page 4.

Interestingly, the same man, Charles Somer, owned both teams.  He even coordinated the home schedules of both teams so that they never played at home on the same day and Cleveland would have as many baseball days as possible.[ix]

They played in Cleveland under that name for just two seasons, but it was at a time that may have played a role in the town’s American League team becoming the “Indians.”

Cleveland’s long-time manager Napoleon “Nap” Lajoie left the team after the 1914 season, leaving the Cleveland “Naps” in need of a new nickname. If not for the erstwhile Mudhens in town already using the name of the beloved, old “Spiders” of the 1890s, who’s to say what might have happened.  But after a meeting of sportswriters and team executives, it was decreed that the American League team would be “Indians” and the American Association team would remain the “Spiders.”
  
Cleveland “Indians.”

Cleveland, January 17. – The Cleveland American league baseball team will hereafter be known as the “Indians,” it was decided yesterday afternoon at a meeting of club officals and baseball writers.  The nMe "Naps" became obsoltet when Napoleon Lajoie went to the Athletics.  It was also decided at the meeting to agree on “Spiders” as a name for the Cleveland American association team.

Altoona Tribune (Pennsylvania), January 18, 1915, page 6.

No one explained the reason for choosing the name, but Cleveland’s National League team had been known on occasion as the Indians at least as early as 1885 (two seasons before signing Native-American phenom Louis Sockalexis), and writers had continued referring to the team as “Indians” throughout the early years of Cleveland’s American League team.  It’s purely speculation, but the fact that the National League’s Boston Braves had just won the World Series in 1914 could have played a role in the decision.

But whatever the reason, it is impossible to say what they would have been named if “Nap” Lajoie had left the team earlier or the Mudhens had simply stayed in Toledo.

And who’s to say what name the Cleveland Indians might adopt if public sentiment ever prompts another name change – Spiders? Blues? Any clues?  



[i] Craig Brown’s website, threadsofourgame.com, maintains a vast database of uniform information, descriptions, sketches and references to source material for dozens of baseball teams in the second-half of the 19th Century.
[ii] Billy Rose Theatre Division, The New York Public Library. "Lillian Russell in Nadjy" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed November 7, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/8ed11546-5516-cfe1-e040-e00a180667c9.
[iii] Evening World (New York), August 9, 1888, page 1.
[iv] The images in the were not identified.  However, the first letter of the club name on the front of the jersey shown in the “long throw” image appears to be an “N” – suggesting that the images are of the New York Giants.  The stadium seen in some images are consistent with known images of their stadium, the Polo Grounds.  The profile of the throwers head appears similar to images of Mike Tiernan who played for the Giants from 1887 through 1899.
[v] At the time, “mascot” referred to anything believed to bring good luck – the opposite of a “Jonah” or “hoodoo.”
[vi] “Baby” refers to Cleveland, the new team in the League.
[vii] “Patsy Boliver” is a reference to their manager, Oliver “Patsy” Tebeau, sometimes referred to as “Patsy Bolivar,” a pop-culture reference to a character of that name who was the butt of jokes in a well-known, old-timey comic routine.  In one version of the skit, Patsy Bolivar was an intellectually challenged student whom other students blamed whenever anything bad happened in class.  His name came up so frequently that when the teacher asks the class, “who discovered America?” the class clown says, “Patsy Bolivar!”
[viii] Illustrated American, Volume 11, June 25, 1892, page 270.  This image is most likely of Mike Tiernan in a “Nadjy” uniform for the New York Giants, but with his slender limbs he may look more-or-less like the Cleveland Spiders did when they debuted their own “Nadjy”-style uniforms in 1889.
[ix] Indianapolis News, March 9, 1914, page 10 (“The schedule is said to have been so dovetailed with the American League dates that the two Cleveland teams will play continuous ball in that city without conflicting dates.  Both teams belong to Charles Somers.”).