There is an old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. If this is true then I get credit for a 10,000 word article. In most instances, when I look through books in my reference library, it is usually focused on looking for something in particular that relates to the project I am working on at the time. I have become fairly well disciplined to only look for things relating to the project at hand. This speeds up the process, but along the way I have certainly passed up other things worth noting. In any number of the references in my collection, there are colored post it notes inserted at various pages. I decided to go back through those and see what had been tabbed and not used or shown before.
Here are 10 such images and why I though they finally deserved to see the light of day.
1. Minor League Uniforms: In most cases, when jerseys are sent down from a parent club to minor league use, they frequently have patches removed, number changes, names removed from the back or team names and logos stripped or changed. This example shows a NY Mets road jersey from 1964 making it to the lowest organization in the Mets food chain remaining in tact. Would be great to hope this jersey is still out there in the same condition it is shown here.
2. Player endorsements. Players sign endorsement contracts and are expected to be seen in the companies apparel or with their equipment. For much of McGwire’s career, he can be seem wearing Nike product shoes. Here are pics of Big Mac wearing Rebook shoes during his time with the Oakland A’s. For the record, I also have pics of him in Rebook cleats during a portion of his time in St. Louis as well.
3. Getting a grip on rare bats. This photo is actually from Edd Roush’s player file at Cooperstown. The grip in question is what I believe to be a cork gripped bat. In looking at the texture close up, it features irregularities and indentations more consistent with cork than tape. Also, the length of the covering appears to be consistent with how cork was affixed to the bat handle.
4. The photo of the Cincinnati Reds from 1971 is worth noting for a couple of reasons. Although it is pre-game shot, you will find some players wearing non-blacked out shoes. The only exceptions to this rule I have seen to date have been in All Star games. In addition, it was interesting to see Bench with a MacGregor product since he was a long time Rawlings endorser and user.
5. Tender hands for the Babe? A couple of pictures of Ruth in spring training with the handle of the bat prepared with either tape or possibly cork. What I liked about the picture with the “Foul Tip” caption is that the knob of the bat is a large “Ruth Style” knob. These pictures are also from Ruth’s player files at Cooperstown.
6. Just plain scary. Not much more I can say about this picture of Dave Kingman in the cage with an aluminum bat.
7. Smoking in the Boys Room. A few years ago, I can recall seeing an Earl Weaver jersey at auction that included a pocket sewn inside the jersey to accommodate Earl’s cigarettes. This photo offers what I think is a very clear outline of that.
8. Ryan and Rawlings. While there may have been a preference for Ryan to wear Goodman and Son’s uniforms while on the mound, these pictures confirm that on at least two occasions he opted to hurl in Rawlings garb. These pictures, particularly the road shot, are likely to be from spring training.
9. Nothing new. A few years back, it seemed the rage to have multiple colors of leather used in mitt/glove construction. Typically this is seen in differences between the body and the web of the glove. It appears that as far back as the 1950s, this may have been stylish.
10. What’s in Name? Over time, player’s names will change on their bats. This is one I had not noticed before. I have seen early bats of Jr with Ken Griffey Jr on the barrel, but how about just Griffey Jr?
Not a true 10,000 word article as the old adage would lead us to believe, but some shots worth sharing.
As always, collect what you enjoy and enjoy what you collect.
MEARS Auth, LLC
For questions or comments on this article, please feel free to drop me a line at DaveGrob1@aol.com