I don’t have many “Favorite Sellers” on E-bay, but one of them is Jon Richmond out of San Antonio, Texas. Jon’s E-Bay Seller ID is Jonstats. His selection often features items that support both my research and collecting themes. Jon recently had a nice offering of a publication I heard about, but had never seen. The lot was for seven issues of “The Rawlings Roundup” spanning 1952-1956.
With a low opening bid of under $10.00, I threw in a max bid and ended up winning the lot for $11.61 as there was only one other bidder. I was hoping for information on gloves, and while there was very little in these issues on them, I could not have been more happy or surprised in what I found.
Volume No. 4 1952
Featured in this edition is a great article on the “New Hall of Fame Baseball Flannel”. It goes on to identify the Albany Felt Company as the principle fabric supplier and describes the new fabric as being 45% wool and 55% Dacron. The fabric is also listed as being 1.5 oz lighter than the current baseball flannel fabric. Also mentioned is that in “Early May four of baseball’s brightest stars will begin wearing uniforms made of “Hall of Fame” flannel in major league games. Four test uniforms have been made for Enos Slaughter and Gerald Staley of the St. Louis Cardinals, and Jim Rivera and Clint Courtney of the St. Louis Browns, and these stars are currently wearing them at home and on the road.” This is interesting as I have seen the Rawlings “Hall of Fame” manufacturers label in uniforms as early as the 1953-1954 time frame and did not know until now what the reason for that label change was.
This edition also features a nice 3 page article on how Rawlings manufacturers football uniforms and discusses the various fabrics used in their construction.
Volume No. 6 1953
Great cover shot of clear plastic Rawlings “Safe-T-View” football mask and article about them on the back cover. It appears the strongest selling point is that “Parents who have spent $500-$600 straightening their boy’s teeth like very much as well.”
Volume No 6. 1955
Best feature is a 3 page article called “Synthetic Fibers Have Made Athletic Clothing Stronger and Brighter.” This article identifies William Skinner & Sons as developing “a silk-faced cotton-backed satin used in making the football pants worn by the Fighting Irish of Norte Dame in 1929.” It mentions that this fabric was too expensive for most other teams, so a rayon-faced satin fabric was developed. A few years later Rawlings was asked to develop a fabric that was better abrasion resistant than satin, but with many of the same qualities…the result was sturdy fabric with rich luster…Tackle Twill. The article goes on to mention a fabric shiny lightweight fabric that become slippery when wet, Combat Cloth which was used to make both football and basketball pants.
The back cover of this edition also features a picture of the 22nd Annual North-South Football squads with the caption including “ For the eight consecutive year the teams wore Rawlings uniforms and helmets.” Nice to see Rawlings did not get left out as Wilson was supplying the uniforms for the College-Pro All Star Game Series held in Chicago.
Volume No.1 1956
Pretty interesting 3 page article on the evolution of the football that includes dimensions over time that could be of some help in dating old footballs in your collection. In addition, the article provides information on dating footballs by color, the number of leather panels, and the use of both metal and rubber inflation valves.
Volume No.2 1956
Sort of the runt of the litter with respect to content in my opinion.
Volume No. 5 1956
For you CFL collectors out there, the back page features a photo with the caption “Completely Outfitted With Rawlings Equipment” and it refers to the Montreal Alouettes.
Volume No. 6 1956
This edition has an interesting 2 page article on the evolution of football and baseball shoes. The baseball shoe portion contains what I felt was hidden nugget of information with respect to dating older Rawlings baseball spikes. It says that “A new feature on Rawlings top baseball shoes for 1957 will be the split spike arrangement of the sole plate. The split spike will free sole plate from the mud that often clings to shoe plates.”
As I hope you will agree, this was not a bad bit of information obtained for a very small price. If you have any other editions of the Rawlings Roundup, I would be more than happy to swap copies of what I have with you. For collectors that don’t, but still may have questions about the information contained in these editions I have listed, please feel free to drop me a line. Of course I realize that I may have created a greater demand for these, thus making them a bit more pricey for me to pick up in the future, but I felt it was good information to share. It also allowed me to say thanks to Jon Richmond for offering the types of items I most enjoy and at very reasonable prices and with great service.
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