Von der Ahe wanted Gunning, but held off too long.-[Philadelphia Ledger.] Von der Ahe did not want Gunning, and could have had him for the asking.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, November 20, 1887
There are a few contradictions in the Globe's reporting of the big deal in their issue of November 20th. They had that big article reporting the details of the deal, mentioning everyone who was on the trade block and what Von der Ahe wanted in return. Then, in the next column, they print things like "Bob Caruthers will play with the Browns next season." They mention that Von der Ahe wanted a Philadelphia catcher and the Ledger mentions that Tom Gunning was the guy and then turn around and say that he didn't want Gunning. I guess it's possible that Gunning wasn't one of the players Von der Ahe was interested in but with all the players Von der Ahe was signing and all the talk of a big deal, I don't think they should have been so quick to dismiss the possibility.
Anyway, the real reason I mention this is that, according to Baseball-Reference, the eighth most similar player to Tom Gunning was Tom Nieto. Nieto was the backup catcher on my favorite team of all-time, the 1985 NL Champion St. Louis Cardinals.