I am sure this piece may seem incomplete. There is a very logical reason for this. That being because it remains a project in the works as there are still things I would like to know about the subject. That being said, a while back it was suggested to me by Warren Humphrey that I spend some time writing about the history of the lesser known manufacturers of uniforms such as McAuliffe, Spanjian, etc. I decided on McAuliffe for a couple of reasons. First of all, the McAuliffe name has a much richer history within the sport that I research and secondly, to shed light on a point of clarification on the various business entities associated with McAuliffe. It is also worth clarifying McAuliffe’s role as a supplier as opposed to a true manufacturer.
To start with, it appears that the McAuliffe brand name begins to show up in the early 1940s and can be found in these offerings:
1940 Boston Red Sox Road Jersey: Jim Tabor featuring duel tagging of both Spalding and McAuliffe tags.
1941 Boston Red Sox Road Jersey: Ted Williams featuring duel tagging of both Spalding and McAuliffe tags.
1946 Boston Red Sox Home Jersey: Bobby Doer featuring duel tagging of both Wilson and McAuliffe tags.
1948 Boston Red Sox Road Jersey: Billy Hitchcock featuring duel tagging of both Wilson and McAuliffe tags.
1949 Boston Red Sox Home Jersey: Ellis Kinder featuring duel tagging of both Wilson and McAuliffe tags.
1950 Boston Red Sox Home Jersey: Billy Goodman featuring duel tagging of both Wilson and McAuliffe tags.
Throughout this same period, you can also find Red Sox uniforms with only Wilson or Spalding tags as well. This duel tagging seems to disappear starting around 1952. The early 1950s is also roughly about time you begin to see the McAuliffe name associated with other team’s uniforms as well.
While uniforms are important,by contemporary accounts McAuliffe appears to have initially established a name and market for himself in the form of caps.
Wisconsin State Journal; March 17th 1952
Baseball Caps Prove Big Item. Clubs Spend $2,000 a Year for Headgear
By WHITNEY MARTIN, BRADENTON, Fla.
Baseball’s top man is Ford Frick, but you’d have to admit the head man is Tim McAuliffe. He sells caps to 12 of the 16 major league clubs, thus making their overhead his business. We discovered him in the Boston Braves’ clubhouse, where he was deftly slipping a steel tape measure around a player’s noggin and jotting down the mileage it showed.
The article goes on to state that the NY Giants and Boston Red Sox are the largest customers, each ordering about 600 caps a year.
The Lowell Sun; October 1st 1952
“The Yankees have a new set of hats for the series and they come from Tim McAuliffe, the Boston Hat Man.”
The Morning Herald, Hagerstown, MD; January 29th 1954.
“McAuliffe’s thriving Boston firm handles everything in the sports line from shoestrings to a complete gymnasium setup, but baseball caps are the apples of his business eyes. His latest diamond creation is the headwear for Baltimore’s new American League entry, the transplanted St. Louis Browns, now known as the Orioles.”
The article goes on to note that, “The average major league player, he (McAuliffe) explains, wears out or loses an average of 10 caps per season, but the members of the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers use 15 caps per head per year. They apparently are within easier reach of fans who grab player’s caps.”
Around this same, another company or brand appears to become linked to McAuliffe, that being the KM Pro Company. According to records at the U.S. Patent Office, the Pro KM Cap logo was first commercially used on July 13th, 1953. Filing date for the registered trademark took place on February 4th 1954 and became registered on November 2nd 1954. The applicant was a Mr. Jacob I. Kaufman, filed under DBA (Doing Business As) The Leslie Company & Leslie Individual, 76 Essex Street, Boston MA.
Based on previous information, we know Tim McAuliffe had already been providing product to the major leagues, so it may be possible that the naming convention for KM may have been for Kaufman-McAuliffe. The patent number shown in the cap insert (2,740,567; part of the McAuliffe graphic) was for the insert itself. Kaufman filed for this on April 17th 1954 and a patient was granted on April 3rd 1956. A further search of Trademark data shows the McAuliffe name as a registered trademark was abandoned for athletic uniforms, sports jerseys and athletic apparel by McAuliffe Uniforms, LLC LTD LIAB CO MASSACHUSETTS 136 East Main Street Westborough MASSACHUSETTS 01581 on November 15th 2007.
Getting back to other business associations and McAuliffe not truly being a manufacturer of uniforms, the Newport Daily News of March 6-7 2007 seems to shed some light on this subject and indicates it was likely the Stall and Dean Company who provided the actual uniforms. The obituary of Richard G. Stall Jr was carried by the Daily News. In this tribute, Mr. Stall is described as being proud “was proud of his many years making uniforms for several Major League teams, including his beloved Boston Red Sox.” In addition in mentions Mr. Stall as being a “Brockington native and resident of Hanover for the last 37 years, Mr. Stall owned and operated Stall & Dean Company and the McAuliffe Uniform Corporation. Stall and Dean Co. , a family-run business was established in 1898. Before he sold the business in 1996, Mr. Stall spent his spring times measuring, tailoring, and manufacturing the uniforms worn by many of Baseball’s Hall of Famer’s, including such greats as Ted Williams and Willie Mays.”
This information makes sense, especially with what we know about the relationship of both the Red Sox (Ted Williams) and the Giants (Willie Mays). A 37 year association with the McAuliffe name from 2007 would take us back to 1970. This also happens to be roughly the time (1969-1970) that the naming convention for McAuliffe products changes from Tim McAuliffe Inc at 24 Lincoln Street, Boston, MA to the McAuliffe Uniform Company at 126 Montello Street, Brockton, MA. Stall and Dean may likely have been manufacturing the McAuliffe line of uniforms before 1970 as they certainly had both the history and capacity to do so, but there is little doubt that they were after this time frame. It is also interesting to note, that it appears caps with only the KM Pro logo and not the ones featuring a Tim McAuliffe tag begin to show up around 1970 as well.
So what does all this information tell or do for us?
– It provides some insight to how many caps a major league player may have gone through per season and tells us just how rare caps are, not as a function of how many were produced, but by how many seem to have survived.
– It provides some time lines for McAuliffe as well as the various other business entities he was associated with, what they were and when they occurred.
– It provides some dating information on caps as it applies to the presence of the Pro KM cap logo as well as offering a theory behind the naming convention of KM Pro.
– It provides insight and clarification on the role of Tim McAuliffe as a supplier and not necessarily a manufacturer.
Lastly and most importantly, I hope it helps answer some of the questions Warren had. I thank him for his patience and I hope it was somehow worth the wait.
I would still like to know more about Tim McAuliffe prior to 1940 and more specifics about the period of time around 1970. I have not been able to locate an obituary on Tim McAuliffe as of yet. I am curious if his passing coincided with the other events around this same time frame.
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