Since my weekly regular column featuring an update on Adirondack player model bats from the 1950s and 1960s has been reserved for MEARS Members only (posted directly to the Archived News Section), I thought I would at least take this opportunity to share a neat image I recently came across.
Last year I spent a number of weeks covering early 20th Century bats. The articles were:
Sam Crawford as a Bat Manufacturer… ? by MEARS
A Look at Zinn Beck Bats in the Major Leagues by MEARS
Early 20th Century Reach Professional Bats by MEARS
A Look at Early 20th Century Player Bat Endorsement Contracts by MEARS
Pre-1920 Spalding Bats by MEARS
Ty Cobb Bats and the Use of Imagery Analysis by MEARS
Collectors have asked if I am still looking at these topics and the answer is yes, but not with any particular focus area in mind. I too am a collector and I like to spend my time looking at things I actually collect. In looking at vintage uniforms, I recently came across this picture of Johnny Evers on page 439 of “The Annotated Baseball Stories of Ring W. Lardner: 1914-1919”; Edited by George W. Hilton. The source of the photo is listed as the National Baseball Library, Cooperstown, NY. The photo may be one contained in Evers player photograph file.
What this image appears to show (clarity is better under magnification than when scanned) is Evers with a Spalding Johnny Evers Autograph model bat. It is clearly not an H&B, Reach, or Zinn Beck product. Remember that Evers was not a contract holder with H&B. And even if he was, players appear to have played it fast and loose with some of the endorsement agreements in the early part of the 20th Century as well (see above article).
I actually plan to get up to Cooperstown this year, if nothing else to see my 1950 Billy Southworth Boston Braves road jersey that is on display as part of the Class of 2008 exhibits. In all my time up there, I have never focused on looking at bats, but this year will be an exception.
As always, collect what you enjoy and enjoy what you collect.
MEARS Auth, LLC
For questions or comments about this article, please feel free to drop me a line at DaveGrob1@aol.com