We are very pleased to be able to offer a few incredible items from the collection of Brooklyn Dodger mainstay, George “ Shotgun” Shuba. I had the pleasure to meet George while at a show in Cleveland near his hometown of Youngstown Ohio. He was there with his son Mike , signing copies of George’s book entitled “My Memories as a Brooklyn Dodger” He was so pleasant talking to the many fans that had stopped by to say hello and it didn’t matter to him if you bought a book or not, he was just as gracious to anyone who stopped by. I decided to purchase a few books and have them personalized to some of my friends and better clients. During the ensuing better part of an hour, George recounted many Brooklyn Dodger stories and given the era in which he played for Brooklyn (1948-55) an era that included one World Championship (1955) and two National League Championships (1952-53), there are probably more great stories20than any one book could hold.
In fact, it was his association with Jackie Robinson which began with a moment referred to as the handshake that broke the color barrier. This was the moment a young Dodger recruit, in his first ever game with Montreal, hit a home run while then rival and soon to be team mate, George Shuba put out his hand to congratulate the young soon to be star. This hand shake was photographed and seen the world over (the original of which that was given to George is in this auction) as the first Black – White professional baseball handshake with the first ever Black to play in the major leagues. George was also the first player in National League history to hit a pinch hit home run in a World Series (1953).
In this auction, we have the Pee Wee Reese bat that Pee Wee had especially held out for the series due to his particular fondness for this bat, a bat that was serving him splendidly during the series when George asked to borrow it, next hitting that said home run with Pee Wee’s Lucky Bat. Included with the bat is a Look magazine in which Pee Wee relates how his favorite 1953 World Serie s bat was eventually broken on purpose by Phil Rizzuto which served to continue the Dodger vs. Yankee curse. In addition to the hand shake photo and the Reese bat, there is an autographed 1953 stamped George Shuba World Series bat (would make a killer companion piece to the 1953 Reese bat and Life magazine), his personal 1954 and 1955 autographed team balls and a gem mint in the box George Shuba signature model Denkert glove and the only example I have ever seen in any condition let alone mint in box, autographed on back strap and originating directly from George himself.
Every Brooklyn fan should be excited to add one or more of these player direct items into their collection and every Dodger fan should make a point of going to the next show in which George is doing a signing, you will not meet a more pleasant individual. And as a bonus for every winning bidder, we are going to get a signed and personalized 8×10 photo from George to you congratulating you on your purchase by name (i.e. my original Pee Wee Reese game used bat borrowed by me from Reese to hit the first ever World Series pinch hit home run), just an added piece to put with your new cherished acquisition. My thanks to Mike for making this happen and to introducing me to his dad, a class act in anybodies book.
POST SCRIPT: George has remained active in the game as well as he was the man behind the idea of invention of the Kwik Mit, a device to help fans snag those foul and home run balls at the ball park. This device can be seen at www.Kwik-Mit.com