It seems I spend most of time researching and writing about things that are in other people’s collections. While this article is shorter than what I normally provide, it is no less important or enjoyable to me. A few years back, I began to sell off my Reds stuff in order to obtain flannels from other clubs. I did this to support my look at flannels in general, but I also had a bit of a collecting goal in mind. I wanted to obtain at least one home and one road flannel for every club that wore flannels in they city they played in. As a point of illustration, this means I would be looking for flannels of the Boston Braves, Milwaukee Braves, and Atlanta Braves.
In looking for jerseys, by and large I have picked up coaches and common players since they are priced better than stars. A couple of years ago, I picked up a great Boston Braves road managers jerseys from Kim Stigall at Ball Park Heroes. The condition was incredible and it was priced right. Turns out the shirt was from 1950 and the manager was Billy Southworth…The shirt is now on loan and on display at Cooperstown as part of Southworth’s new Hall of Famer exhibit. Recently, Kim was the source of my Boston Braves home, a 1952 Bob Keely coaches jersey…once again great price and the shirt is wonderful condition.
I thought it was neat to have a jersey from the Braves last year in Boston, but after doing some thinking, is it also from the Braves first year in Milwaukee? The Braves went into spring training of 1953 still a Boston Club. The 1952 Brave’s jerseys (manufactured by Horace Partridge) jerseys did not feature a number on the front. The 1953 Brave’s jerseys (also manufactured by Horace Partridge) did feature a number on the front.
Images from spring training 1953 show Braves players wearing Boston Braves caps and uniforms with no numbers. Teams wearing previous seasons uniforms in spring training is not uncommon and any number of clubs from 1952 (Pirates, Giants, Cubs, Dodgers, Red Sox) can be found wearing their 1951 jerseys identified by the NL 75th Anniversary Patch or the AL 50th Anniversary Patch. In doing some reading on the Braves at this time, it seems that when the team was gathered together to get a picture of the new Braves for the Milwaukee Sentinel, that “there weren’t enough caps with an “M” on them and that several players wore caps with the more familiar “B” on them.
Although die hard Milwaukee Braves fans like Dave Klug may not agree with me, it would appear that the last uniforms worn by the Boston Braves and the first uniforms worn by the Milwaukee Braves may very likely have been one in the same.
Boston Braves Jersey? Milwaukee Braves Jersey? Maybe both? My point is you don’t have to spend a ton of money on a jersey in your collection to have a neat story to go along with it…just spend the time learning about what you have beyond the LOA or LOO.
As always, collect what you enjoy and enjoy what you collect. I know I do.
MEARS Auth, LLC
For questions or comments on this article, please feel free to drop me a line at DaveGrob1@aol.com