First Base—Cincinnati Reds 1950-52, Milwaukee Braves 1953-62, Cleveland Indians 1963, Los Angeles Angels 1964, California Angels 1965-66 [.277 avg, 336 HR; hit 4 home runs and double in a 9-inning game in 1954]
Joe Adcock was a big, strong guy that looked for pitches and when he guessed right, he was dynamite. And he was great on thrown balls. He wasn't that great as a fielder on ground balls.
Joe Adcock autographed this 3x5 card for me in November 1988.
He is buried in Holly Springs Cemetery, Coushatta, Louisiana.
Chuck Aleno (1917-2003)
George Archie (1914-2001)
First Base/Third Base—Detroit Tigers 1938, Washington Senators 1941, St. Louis Browns 1941,1946 [.273 avg, 53 RBI, 121 games]
George Archie, Sid Hudson, and Roger "Doc" Cramer autographed this 1941 Jack Sords cartoon.
He is buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Nashville, Tennessee.
Louis "Boze" Berger (1910-1992)
Second Base/Shortstop—Cleveland Indians 1932,1935-36, Chicago White Sox 1937-38, Boston Red Sox 1939 [.236 avg]
Boze Berger autographed this 1936 Jack Sords cartoon.
See his grave marker in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.
J. Howard "Nig" Berry, Jr. (1894-1976)
Second Base—New York Giants 1921-22 [15 games, .333 avg, 6 at bats, 2 RBI]
I purchased this autograph of Howard "Nig" Berry principally because he was a pro football player in the 1920s.
He is buried in West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania.
Infield—Cleveland Indians 1948-53, Detroit Tigers 1953-58, Chicago White Sox 1958-59, Kansas City Athletics 1959, Milwaukee Braves 1959-60, Boston Red Sox 1960 [.275 avg, 151 HR, 737 RBI]
He was a great ballplayer. . . but unfortunately he came up at a time when he was required to take Lou Boudreau's position at shortstop. Here he was replacing one of the most popular ballplayers in the history of the Cleveland Indians, and he put a lot of pressure on himself. He wasn't quite that good a fielder, but he could have been if they gave him time. The fans started to get on him, and he didn't play up to his capabilities, so finally I traded him to Detroit. . . .he played third base for them and had five marvelous seasons.
He was cremated.
Shortstop/Catcher—Philadelphia Phillies 1940-42, Brooklyn Dodgers 1943-44,1947-48; Manager—Pittsburgh Pirates 1956-57, Cleveland Indians 1958, Milwaukee Braves 1963-65, Atlanta Braves 1966 [.240 avg, 15 HR, 172 RBI]
After the 1942 season I was traded from the Philadelphia Phillies to the Dodgers, and I was ecstatic about it. I was going from a last-place team and penny-pinching outfit to a first-class operation with a team that would contend for the pennant. I felt certain that my new team would want to give me a nice raise, but Mr. Rickey said that no, the Dodgers would pay me the same thing Philadelphia had because I was going to sit on the bench in Brooklyn and back up all the star players the Dodgers had. Well, when the 1943 season started, I was the first-string catcher and caught something like 50 of the first 52 games. In my mind this was grounds for renegotiating, since Mr. Rickey’s refusal to give me a raise had been based on his prediction that I’d be a benchwarmer. I went up to Mr. Rickey’s office at Ebbets Field, but his secretary said that he wasn’t in and that I should come back tomorrow. The next day I did return, and as soon as I entered his office Mr. Rickey said, “Bobby, my secretary told me that you came to see me yesterday. I stayed up most of the night worrying and trying to figure out what it is you want to see me about. And I prayed to God that you were not coming here to request more money, because either you’re the kind of man who can live up to a contract or you’re not. Isn’t that right, Bobby?” “You’re exactly right, Mr. Rickey,” I said. “I just came by to say hello, that’s all.”
This 1940 Tom Paprocki cartoon is one of two autographed by Bobby Bragan in my collection. The other is a 1942 Alan Maver.
See a video clip of Manager Bobby Bragan discussing the Milwaukee Braves' 1965 season.
First Base—Chicago Cubs 1933-34, Philadelphia Phillies 1934-37, Brooklyn Dodgers 1938-43, Boston Braves 1945 [.277 avg, 239 HR]
Camilli is a better player than the figures indicate. He's a good team man and a gentleman.
First Base—Chicago White Sox 1958-59, Detroit Tigers 1960-74 [.271 avg, 377 HR]
I owe my success to expansion pitching, a short right field fence, and my hollow bats.
Norm Cash autographed this game program on June 29, 1963. The game program was given to me by a man from Detroit in late 1969 or 1970.
See his grave in Pine Lake Cemetery, Bloomfield, Michigan.
First Base/Outfield—Chicago Cubs 1934-53, Chicago White Sox 1954-55; Manager—Chicago Cubs 1951-53 [.293 avg, 95 HR, 920 RBI]
I'd get up there [to bat] and I'd hear it—"you dirty dago" and "wop" and things like that. With an Italian, if they call you a dirty dago that's pretty heavy. This upsets you.
Herman "Flea" Clifton (1909-1997)
Third Base—Detroit Tigers 1934-37 [87 games, .200 avg, 27 runs, 13 RBI]
Flea Clifton autographed this cartoon from a 1935 Tigers publication.
He is buried in Bridgetown Cemetery, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Second Base/Shortstop—New York Yankees 1949-57; Manager—San Diego Padres 1980 [.263 avg]
My first major league game was April 20, 1949. We were playing the Washington Senators. The first batter hit a ground ball to me, and it went right through my legs. The next guy up was Sherry Robertson. He hit a one-hop shot at me. I caught it, turned it into a double play, and the day was saved. That’s how I began with the Yankees. The way we were indoctrinated . . . the Yankees were not our team, they were our religion. That was what we lived for. It wasn’t money then, it was winning or losing. If you came in second place—you lost. It was the glory of winning and the ring.
Jerry Coleman autographed this 1951 Alan Maver cartoon.
See a video clip of Coleman getting a timely hit in the opening game of the 1957 World Series.
Pete Coscarart (1913-2002)
Shortstop/Second Base—Brooklyn Dodgers 1938-41, Pittsburgh Pirates 1942-46 [.243 avg, 28 HR, 399 runs, 361 RBI, 129 doubles]
Pete's a grand second baseman, but I guess the hawks [explanation for lack of hitting] have got him.
Pete Coscarart and Hank Gornicki autographed this 1942 Jack Sords cartoon. Coscarart wrote that "Barrett and Butcher have passed away some time ago."
He is buried in Oak Hill Memorial Park, Escondido, California.
Shortstop—New York Yankees 1932-48 [.245 avg]
I think one of the things Lou [Gehrig] liked about me was that I wasn't a pop-off. He sorta looked after me all the time we were with the Yanks. . . .When I came up to the Yankees they were all very nice to me. Bill Dickey and Lou Gehrig were like big brothers to me and I looked up to them.
This 1940 cartoon is one of five Jack Sords cartoons that Frank Crosetti autographed in my collection. I have two other different ones from 1940, a 1931, and a 1944.
See his grave in Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery, Colma, California.
Al Cuccinello (1914-2004)
Second Base—New York Giants 1935 [165 at bats, .248 avg]
Al Cuccinello autographed this 1935 Art Krenz cartoon and named Dizzy Dean as the toughest pitcher to face.
He is buried in Cemetery of the Holy Rood, Westbury, New York.
Babe Dahlgren (1912-1996)
First Base—Boston Red Sox 1935-36, New York Yankees 1937-40, Boston Braves 1941, Chicago Cubs 1941,1942, Brooklyn Dodgers 1942, St. Louis Browns 1942,1946, Philadelphia Phillies 1943, Pittsburgh Pirates 1944-45 [.261 avg, 82 HR, 569 RBI]
He's a nice boy, but where would you get with nine Dahlgrens on your club?
He was buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California.
Alvin "Blackie" Dark (1922- )
Shortstop—Boston Braves 1946,1948-49, New York Giants 1950-56, St. Louis Cardinals 1956-58, Chicago Cubs 1958-59, Philadelphia Phillies 1960, Milwaukee Braves 1960; Manager—San Francisco Giants 1961-64, Kansas City Athletics 1966-67, Cleveland Indians 1968-71, Oakland Athletics 1974-75, San Diego Padres 1977 [.289 avg, 126 HR]
Al Dark autographed this 1949 Alan Maver cartoon.
Eddie Delker (1906-1997)
Second Base—St. Louis Cardinals 1929-32, Philadelphia Phillies 1932-33 [.155 avg., 187 at bats, 19 runs, 15 RBI]
Eddie Delker sent me this 3.5x5.5 autographed photograph and 3x5 card.
He is buried in Odd Fellows Cemetery, St. Clair, Pennsylvania.
First Base—Boston Red Sox 1949-52, Detroit Tigers 1952-54, Chicago White Sox 1955-58, Cincinnati Reds 1958-59, Baltimore Orioles 1959-61 [.270 avg, 704 RBI, 152 HR; American League Rookie of the Year 1950; 12 consecutive hits 1952]
[In 1950] I got off to a great start. The pitchers continued trying to challenge me, even guys like Reynolds and Raschi. They were testing me to see if I could hit the fastball. I just kept hitting the ball, blasting away.
Third Base/Shortstop—Chicago Cubs 1927-36, Brooklyn Dodgers 1937-38 [.286 avg, 801 runs, 422 RBI]
This Jack Sords cartoon autographed by Woody English appeared in newspapers in 1931. Note the misspelled given name.
He is buried in Fredonia Cemetery, Fredonia, Ohio.
First Base—Philadelphia Phillies 1947-52, Chicago White Sox 1953-54, Detroit Tigers 1955, Cleveland Indians 1955 [.290 avg, 595 runs, 570 RBI, 48 HR]
It was actually blisters that turned my career around. Going to spring training in 1951 I’d never hit .300 in the big leagues. But I got bad blisters on my hands. Rather than lose my turn in the batting cage, I choked up on the bat like you would do in pepper, 3-4 inches, and just tried making contact with the ball. All of a sudden, I started hitting line drives wherever I wanted to. I thought, “What the heck? What happened?” All of a sudden I had become a credible hitter. It was sheer luck, how it came about, but now I had complete control of the bat; the bat didn’t control me. I could put the bat just where I wanted to, not like the big hitters who hold it on the end and can’t get any consistency. Consistency is the name of the game; it turned my career around. I thought, “Well, as long as this is working, I’ll stay with it.” I hit .344 that year and led the league.
This 1951 Tom Paprocki cartoon was autographed for me by Ferris Fain.
He is buried at Georgetown Cemetery, Georgetown, California.
First Base—Boston Bees 1934-35,1937-39, Pittsburgh Pirates 1939-43,1946-47, Boston Braves 1948 [.271 avg, 723 runs, 616 RBI]
Pepper Martin was with the Cardinals . . . . We were in Boston one time and Frisch had him playing third. Pepper didn’t like to play third because he hated to field bunts. Casey Stengel was managing the Braves then and before the game Pepper went up to Casey and said, “You’d better tell your guys not to bunt on me, because if they do I’m gonna hurt ‘em.” So naturally they started bunting. After a while Pepper got so mad that when he charged in and picked up the ball he’d throw it at the runner going down the line instead of to first base. He was zinging that ball right over their heads. He figured that was the best way to stop them. Then Elbie Fletcher dropped one down the line that Pepper got a good jump on and when Elbie saw how quick Pepper had got that ball and saw him winding up with it, Elbie cut away from the line and ran straight for the Cardinal dugout, ducking his head between his shoulders. I tell you, that ball came like a bullet right over the button of his cap and smack into the dugout and damn near cleared our bench. That ended the bunting.
This is one of two cartoons autographed by Elbie Fletcher in my collection. The other is a 1937 Jack Sords cartoon.
He is buried in Milton Cemetery, Milton, Massachusetts.
Second Base—Brooklyn Dodgers 1933-36, Chicago Cubs 1937,1947, Cincinnati Reds 1938-43,1946, New York Yankees 1947-48, New York Giants 1948 [.269 avg, 848 runs, 549 RBI, 105 SB]
In a typical game, Bill Werber, our third baseman [with the Yankees], might single or walk to lead off an inning. I’d come up next and move him over with a sacrifice or by hitting a ground ball somewhere. Maybe dunk a single. Then one of our big guys, Goodman, Lombardi, or Frank McCormick, would hit a double and we were on our way.
Lonny Frey autographed this 1934 Jack Sords cartoon. Warneke died in 1976, more than a decade before I began collecting.
Second Base—Philadelphia Phillies 1949-51, St. Louis Browns 1951-52 [.225 avg, 87 runs, 99 RBI, 20 HR]
Mike Goliat autographed this 1950 Tom Paprocki cartoon.
He is buried in Holy Spirit Byzantine Church Cemetery, Parma, Ohio.
Third Base—St. Louis Cardinals 1954-56, Cincinnati Reds 1956-58, St. Louis Cardinals 1956-62, Chicago Cubs 1962-63; Manager—Pittsburgh Pirates 1969, Milwaukee Brewers 1976-77 [.247 avg, 163 RBI, 236 runs]
Shortstop—Pittsburgh Pirates 1952,1955-62, St. Louis Cardinals 1963-65 [.286 avg, 829 runs, 707 RBI, 39 HR]
See Dick Groat in a video clip of the 1964 All Star game.
Third Base/Second Base—St. Louis Cardinals 1936-40, St. Louis Browns 1942-45, Boston Red Sox 1946-47, Pittsburgh Pirates 1948; Manager—Chicago White Sox 1969-70 [.256 avg, 586 runs, 391 RBI, 39 HR]
During the depression, we were thankful for anything we got. Men who had good-paying jobs came to our back door begging for food, and we'd give them what we could. We played with a ball wrapped in tape, and my cousin had the only glove. We'd throw the ball up and hit it for hours. There were no organized sports or anything like that. My second day with the Cardinals , I got six hits in a doubleheader at Pittsburgh, including an inside-the-park homer, and stole home twice. I never had a day like that again.
Don Gutteridge autographed this 1942 Jack Sords cartoon.
He is buried in Garden of Memories Cemetery, Pittsburg, Kansas.
Second Base—Philadelphia Athletics 1943-46 [.261 avg, 178 runs, 168 RBI]
Irv Hall has the reputation of being a difficult signature to obtain. He autographed this 1944 Sam Davis cartoon.
Hall is buried in Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens, Timonium, Maryland.
First Base/Outfield—Brooklyn Dodgers 1936-38, Boston Bees 1939-40, Boston Braves 1941, New York Yankees 1942 [.292 avg, 469 runs, 343 RBI, 12 HR]
I got started playing ball right on the sidewalks of New York, in the 1920's. Played a lot of semipro ball around the city. Semipro was a big thing in those days. We’d pass the hat during the game and this was how we helped the team going. If there was some rain during the game the manager would hand me a megaphone and I’d sing “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” and other songs to the fans, to keep them entertained until the rain passed. I always had a pretty good voice. I was attending Manhattan College when Paul Krichell, the old Yankee scout, had a look and decided he liked what he saw. Upon graduation in 1933 I signed a contract with the Yankees, and they sent me down to Wheeling in the Middle-Atlantic League. I had a good year, then had a couple more good years, at Norfolk and Columbus, where I played on option. I hit .332, .360, and .337, but I wasn’t any closer to playing first base for the Yankees than I was on the day I started. They had a roadblock up there named Lou Gehrig . . . . so I asked to be traded and they accommodated me.
Buddy Hassett autographed this 1936 Tom Paprocki cartoon.
See his grave in Garden of Memories Cemetery, Washington Township, New Jersey.
Second Base—New York Giants 1944-45,1949 [.268 avg, 173 runs, 78 RBI, 3 HR]
George Hausmann autographed this 1944 Jack Sords cartoon.
He is buried in Boerne Cemetery, Boerne, Texas.
First Base—Philadelphia Athletics 1935 [.227 avg, 4 runs, 4 RBI, 44 at bats]
Alex Hooks autographed this 1935 Jack Sords cartoon.
He is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Edgewood, Texas.
First Base—St. Louis Cardinals 1939-45, Boston Braves 1946-47, Pittsburgh Pirates 1948-49,1949-50, Brooklyn Dodgers 1949, New York Yankees 1950-52, Detroit Tigers 1952 [.296 avg, 698 runs, 458 RBI, 46 HR]
This 1941 cartoon autographed by Johnny Hopp has all the earmarks of Willard Mullin's artwork except it is lacking his signature. I also have a Hopp-signed 1941 Jim Green and a 1943 Sam Davis cartoon.
He is buried at Parkview Cemetery, Hastings, Nebraska.
Second Base/Third Base/Shortstop—Cleveland Indians 1935-37, St. Louis Browns 1938-39, Philadelphia Phillies 1939-40,1946, Chicago Cubs 1944-45 [.2773 avg, 396 runs, 205 RBI]
Roy Hughes autographed this 1944 Jack Sords cartoon.
He is buried in Guardian Angel Cemetery, Mount Washington, Ohio.
Third Base—New York Yankees 1943,1946-51, St. Louis Cardinals 1951-53 [.271 avg, 419 runs, 487 RBI, 61 HR]
This cartoon appeared in newspapers in 1943. I also have cartoons of Jack Sords from 1943 and 1946 and Sam Davis from 1943 autographed by Billy Johnson.
Johnson is buried in Westover Memorial Park Cemetery, Augusta, Georgia.
First Base—New York Giants 1927,1929, Washington Senators 1931, Boston Bees 1932-37, Cincinnati Reds 1937-38, Philadelphia Phillies 1938 [.299 avg, 396 runs, 281 RBI, 17 HR]
This cartoon appeared in a 1935 publication. I also have cartoons autographed by Baxter Jordan drawn by Jack Sords in 1932 and Tom Paprocki in 1936.
See his grave in Chestnut Hill Cemetery, Salisbury, North Carolina.
Shortstop/Third Base—Chicago Cubs 1931-38,1946-47, New York Giants 1939-45; Manager—Boston Red Sox 1959-60 [.258 avg, 721 runs, 656 RBI, 43 HR]
The Cubs bought my contract for $5,000 in 1927 after I was scouted by Jack Doyle while playing for Manchester, N.H. I was traded to the Giants in 1939 and came back to the Cubs in 1946 and 1947. Charles Drake, one of the Cubs vice presidents, drove up to my house in his big limousine. He held a contract, offering me the job of Cubs manager in 1938. I should have signed but turned it down, thinking I wasn't ready. It would have turned my whole career around.
Bill Jurges autographed this 1935 Art Krenz cartoon. I also have a signed 1940 Jack Sords cartoon.
He was cremated.
Second Base—Cincinnati Reds 1934-38, New York Giants 1938-39, Brooklyn Dodgers 1941-43, Washington Senators 1943 [.243 avg, 272 runs, 284 RBI, 45 HR]
Alex Kampouris autographed this 1941 Jack Sords cartoon. Knickerbocker died in 1963, more than 25 years before I began collecting. Kampouris also sent me the signed xeroxed photo when he played for Brooklyn.
He is buried in St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery, Sacramento, California.
Third Base—Cleveland Indians 1937-44,1946-49, Boston Red Sox 1950 [.276 avg, 737 runs, 852 RBI, 163 HR]
Ken Keltner autographed this 1937 Jack Sords cartoon. Unfortunately it was late in my collecting that I began touching up the cartoons to erase lines and scratches. This cartoon could have used some serious touch-up.
He is buried in Wisconsin Memorial Park, Brookfield, Wisconsin.
Infielder—Detroit Tigers 1923-24, Chicago White Sox 1929-31, Washington Senators 1932-34 [.266 avg, 172 runs, 145 RBI, 6 HR]
He is buried in All Souls Cemetery, Long Beach, California.
First Base—New York Yankees 1949, Detroit Tigers 1950-51, St. Louis Browns 1952-53, Baltimore Orioles 1954, Kansas City Athletics 1955 [.265 avg, 203 runs, 231 RBI, 45 HR]
Dick Kryhoski autographed this 1950 Tom Paprocki cartoon.
He was cremated.
Third Base—St. Louis Cardinals 1941-49 [.286 avg, 518 runs, 529 RBI, 106 HR]
Whitey Kurowski autographed this 1942 Bob Coyne cartoon. He also sent me the insignia.
See his grave in Gethsemane Cemetery, Laureldale, Pennsylvania.
Third Base/Outfield—Washington Senators 1935-41,1945-47,1949 [.297 avg, 71 HR, 830 runs, 607 RBI]
I’ll tell you another great man with that bat — Buddy Lewis of the old Washington Senators. Talk about bat control, he was an artist. I used to drool watching Buddy Lewis handle a ball bat. He could hit a pitch just about anywhere he wanted.
Buddy Lewis autographed this 1945 Jack Sords cartoon.
He was cremated.
Shortstop—Philadelphia Athletics 1939-40 [.244 avg, 225 at bats, 30 runs, 22 RBI, 80 games]
He is buried in Santa Barbara Cemetery, Santa Barbara, California.
Infield/Pitcher—Chicago Cubs 1936,1939, St. Louis Cardinals 1940 [3 W, 6 L; 7.09 ERA, 33 SO; .182 avg, 44 at bats, 2 RBI, 44 games]
In 1930, my father took the entire family to Wrigley Field in Los Angeles for a game. During infield practice my father asked me if I thought I would ever be at third base where Fred Haney was. I didn’t think so, but in 1932 after I signed with L.A. and had been farmed out to Wichita, I was recalled the latter part of the season and Fred Haney was released so that I could play third base. Quite a coincidence!
This 1939 cartoon autographed by Gene Lillard was also signed by his younger brother, Bill. Gene's handwriting is exquisite, hands down the most beautiful signature in my collection.
He is buried in Goleta Cemetery, Goleta, California.
Shortstop—Detroit Tigers 1942,1946,1948-52, Boston Red Sox 1952-53, St. Louis Browns 1953, Cincinnati Reds 1954 [.259 avg, 351 runs, 266 RBI]; Manager—Cleveland Indians 1971
Johnny Lipon autographed this 1950 Alan Maver cartoon.
He is buried in Memorial Oaks Cemetery, Houston, Texas.
Third Base/Second Base—Philadelphia Athletics 1938-40, Chicago White Sox 1941-42,1946 [.260 avg, 16 HR, 156 RBI]
Dario Lodigiani autographed this 1941 Tom Paprocki cartoon.
First Base—Boston Red Sox 1940,1942-43, Philadelphia Phillies 1944-45, Chicago White Sox 1948 [.268 avg, 57 stolen bases, 230 RBI, 285 runs, 18 HR]
Somebody said to me, "You replaced [Jimmie] Foxx." I said, "Never use that word. No one can replace Foxx." And following him was a tremendous burden. I got caught in the same situation that Babe Dahlgren did in New York following Lou Gehrig. To follow a star is just impossible. Jesus, it's a disaster to follow a guy who can hit that ball over that left-field fence. So it was a tough struggle.
This 1942 Jack Sords cartoon is one of three cartoons autographed by Tony Lupien in my collection. The others are a 1942 Jack Sords (also signed by catcher Bill Conroy) and a 1942 cartoon from the Sporting News.
He is buried in Hillside Cemetery, Norwich, Vermont.
Second Base—Detroit Tigers 1938-39, Philadelphia Athletics 1940-41 [.269 avg, 52 doubles, 18 triples, 16 HR, 182 runs, 156 RBI]
Benny McCoy autographed this 1940 Sporting News cartoon by Bob Brixby.
Infield—New York Yankees 1951-60 [.276 avg, 112 HR, 187 doubles, 51 triples, 697 runs, 576 RBI]
Gil had this real funny batting stance. He kind of held the bat almost parallel to the ground. Later, they changed his stance and got him to hold the bat straight up, but he still looked funny, kind of like a right-handed Stan Musial. But funny stance or not, Gil could hit.
This 1951 Alan Maver cartoon autographed by Gil McDougald is one of three in my collection. The others are a 1951 Tom Paprocki and 1952 Ev Thorpe cartoon (also signed by Larry Jansen).
Third Base—New York Giants 1922 [.286 avg, 2 games, 7 at bats, 2 runs]
I purchased a number of autographs of baseball players because they also played in the NFL. This was one of them. Waddy McPhee was a back on the 1926 Providence Steam Roller in the NFL. He had a longer career in the NFL than he did in the MLB--he played in nine games for the Steam Roller. There is a note on the reverse side that mentions that the collector (bless him!) received this card in the mail on 4 Dec. 1975.
He was cremated.
Second Base—St. Louis Cardinals 1936-40, Pittsburgh Pirates 1941-42, Chicago Cubs 1943 [.268 avg]
Martin was a pesky hitter who didn’t strike out much.
Stu Martin autographed this Tom Paprocki cartoon.
He is buried in Severn Cemetery, Severn, North Carolina.
Third Base—Philadelphia Phillies 1939-43 [.275 avg, 4 HR, 102 doubles, 215 RBI]
This Willard Mullin cartoon appeared in newspapers in 1940. I also have a 1939 Jack Sords cartoon autographed by Merrill "Pinky" May.
He is buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery, Corydon, Indiana.
Shortstop—Cincinnati Reds 1936-37,1943-47, Boston Bees 1939-40, Boston Braves 1941-42, Philadelphia Phillies 1948-49, St. Louis Cardinals 1950 [.238 avg, 263 doubles, 539 runs, 640 RBI]
This 1942 Jack Sords cartoon autographed by Eddie Miller is one of three in my collection. The others are a 1940 Art Krenz and a different 1942 Jack Sords ("Moves over to Reds").
See his grave in Union Dale Cemetery, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Infield—Brooklyn Dodgers 1950,1952-53, Philadelphia Phillies 1954-56,1957, St. Louis Cardinals 1956, Chicago Cubs 1957-58 [.233 avg, 286 runs, 217 RBI, 53 HR]
Bob Morgan autographed this 1950 Tom Paprocki cartoon.
Shortstop—Cincinnati Reds 1935-40, Chicago Cubs 1941 [.257 avg, 45 HR, 319 runs]
Billy Myers autographed this 1935 Art Krenz cartoon.
He is buried in Rolling Green Memorial Park, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania.
Second Base—Pittsburgh Pirates 1953,1955-58, St. Louis Cardinals 1958, Milwaukee Braves 1959 [.250 avg, 4 HR, 90 runs, 59 RBI]
Infield—Philadelphia Athletics 1937-38 [.179 avg., 2HR]
This 1941 Tom Paprocki cartoon is unique for this football hall of famer. To see a football cartoon of Ace Parker, go to my vintage football website by clicking on its link on the links page on this site.
Shortstop/Third Base—Boston Red Sox 1942,1946-52, Detroit Tigers 1952-54, Washington Senators 1954; Manager—Boston Red Sox 1963-64,1980 [.307 avg]
I was nineteen years old when I signed with the Red Sox and just out of high school. I didn't go to college, I went to the Red Sox. I was given $500 to sign. This was late thirties, early forties. There was no money around, so that was good money. My first major league game was April 14, 1942. My first hit in the big leagues was a single off Phil Marchildon, a pitcher with the Athletics who won seventeen games that year. That rookie season of 1942 I finished one-two with Ted Williams in the batting title race. But no contest there. He was such a great hitter. I hit .331. He hit .356. I wasn’t even close, even though it was still one-two. I led the American League in hits with 205—the first of three straight years that I did that. The guys called me “Needlenose.” They said that was an affectionate nickname. They could have called me whatever they wanted. It was just wonderful being in the majors.
Johnny Pesky autographed this 1942 Jack Sords cartoon.
Second Base—New York Yankees 1930-31, St. Louis Cardinals 1932 [.278 avg]
This 1930 cartoon is one of two Jack Sords cartoons that Jimmy Reese autographed in my collection. The other is from 1931. He also sent me this hand-signed 1986 team-issued postcard dating from when he coached with the Angels.
He is buried in Westwood Memorial Park, Los Angeles, California.
Infield—Washington Senators 1926-28, Boston Red Sox 1929-31 [.252 avg]
This 1929 cartoon by Laufer autographed by Bobby Reeves is one of the earliest signed baseball cartoons in my collection.
He is buried in Chattanooga National Cemetery, Chattanooga, Tennessee.
First Base—Cleveland Indians 1943-46 [.258 avg, 1721 at bats, 30 HR, 219 runs, 186 RBI]
This 1944 cartoon is one of two drawn by Jack Sords signed by Mickey Rocco in my collection. The other is from 1943.
He is buried in Roselawn Cemetery, Roseville, Minnesota.
Third Base—Cleveland Indians 1947-56 [.285 avg, 192 HR, 603 runs, 717 RBI; American League MVP 1953]
In 1949 I had just taken over as general manager in Cleveland and Al Rosen was playing third base for our Triple A club in Oklahoma City. I decided to bring him up. Ken Keltner, our regular third baseman, was getting old; he couldn't play anymore in my opinion. All Keltner could do was drink and smoke with the rest of the boys, like Joe Gordon and Lou Boudreau. He had no discipline whatsoever. But Keltner had been popular in Cleveland and he had hit 31 home runs the year before. The fans got on me for bring up a Jew against a nice Catholic boy. They rode me terribly, and they rode Al even worse. But Rosen had guts. By the end of the 1950 season he had 37 home runs and 116 runs batted in, and in 1953 he was named most valuable player in the league. Later on Rosen wanted more money than I could afford to pay him, so we got into a beef and he quit. He still blames me, but I can't help that. When he came up I told him not to pay any attention to the bigots, just play to the best of his ability and ignore the bums. Al had a terrible temper; he used to want to go into the stands and murder somebody when they'd taunt him about being a Jew, but he learned to control himself pretty well. On the whole, he did a great job.
This 1952 Tom Paprocki cartoon autographed by Al Rosen is one of two Pap cartoons in my collection. The other from 1950 is entitled "Indians' Clubber." I also have a signed 1950 Alan Maver cartoon.
Second Base/Outfield—Boston Bees 1939-40, Boston Braves 1941,1946-47, Philadelphia Phillies 1948 [.275 avg, 19 HR, 217 RBI]
In 1947 Ewell Blackwell won 16 in a row with Cincinnati. He’s in that streak, he’s pitching on a clear night in Cincinnati, and they had a packed house, a full house, and the Braves are playing the Reds. Well, the whole night he just had it. He’d just throw the ball—it was a cool, clear night, a silent night, almost—and when he’d throw the ball, you’d hear his fingers snap and you’d hear the ball—ptt-choo, boom!—into the glove. You could just hear the whole thing. And in doing it, he shut us out, and he threw a no-hitter. The only guy who hit that night was Bama Rowell. He hit the ball every time he was up. I mean, he blasted the ball. But they’re making great catches on him. Now there’s two men out in the ninth inning and a no-hitter on the line, and up comes Bama Rowell. All the fans know he’s been hitting the ball, and Blackie knows he’s hitting the ball, and Bama knew he’s hitting the ball, so the chances are that he might get a good base hit. So he’s up there and the fans are cheering, and he’s bouncing around and Blackwell throws the ball, and he hit a shot right down by Ted Kluszewski. Ted makes a grab for it, but he doesn’t get his glove on it. Had he got his glove on it, it would have been a base hit, I think. You couldn’t have given him an error, the way it was hit. But he didn’t touch it, and as it went by his glove, it just went foul by about three or four inches on the grass in the outfield behind first base. And, of course, the fans are “ohh, yea!”—they’ve got it going again. Well, the count is finally 3-and-2, and he blasts another one; and this time it’s gone, it’s a home run all the way. It just looked like a home run. And the farther it went, the more it seemed to curve. It went foul by about one foot. And, of course, the fans were cheering now because it’s still 3-and-2, and Blackie’s got him, so Blackie uncorked a fastball. I mean, he really threw a ball right by him. Bama comes in and he said, “That ball done riz. It did, it done riz.”
Interestingly, Bama Rowell signed this 1941 Bob Coyne cartoon five times.
See his grave in New Home Baptist Church Cemetery, Citronelle, Alabama.
Second Base—New York Giants 1942, Boston Braves 1943-44,1946-50, Cincinnati Reds 1950-51,1954, Philadelphia Phillies 1952-53, Chicago White Sox 1953 [.248 avg, 56 HR, 535 runs, 381 RBI]
Connie Ryan autographed this 1952 Tom Paprocki cartoon.
He is buried in Metairie Cemetery, New Orleans, Louisiana.
Shortstop—Boston Red Sox 1914-21, New York Yankees 1922-25, Washington Senators 1925, Chicago White Sox 1926, Cincinnati Reds 1926 [.249 avg; #3 all-time consecutive games (1307)—behind Lou Gehrig and Cal Ripkin, Jr.]
The lively ball ended my string [of consecutive games], not bad legs.
I obtained this autograph of Everett Scott in a trade almost twenty years ago. I no longer own it, but traded it to a collector in June 2013.
He is buried in Elm Grove Cemetery, Bluffton, Indiana.
First Base/Outfield—St. Louis Cardinals 1946-47,1952-53, Philadelphia Phillies 1948-51, Cincinnati Reds 1952 ; Manager—Cincinnati Reds 1964-65 [.276 avg, 55 HR, 360 RBI]
Sisler was a good hitter if you got the ball away from him . . . . Keep the ball in on him, and he doesn’t hurt you.
Dick Sisler autographed this 1939 Jack Sords cartoon. I also have a signed 1950 Alan Maver cartoon.
See his grave in Woodlawn Memorial Park, Nashville, Tennessee.
Infield—Boston Bees 1939-40, Boston Braves 1941-52, Milwaukee Braves 1953-54 [.244 avg, 27 HR, 401 runs, 2999 at bats]
Braves Field was a tough park because the Charles River was in back of the left-field stands and there was a double fence, and the wind invariably blew in from left field. So home run hitters always had a tough time hitting home runs there because the wind would hold the ball up. I heard some brutal language playing second base, because a guy would hit a shot out there and the ball would just hang up and just come back down and the outfielder would catch it. The batter who hit it would think he had one against the fence or over, and by the time he rounded first, he would be cussing to beat the band. It was a tough park to hit in.
This 1940 Sam Davis cartoon autographed by Sibby Sisti was also signed by Bob Sturgeon and Bob Kennedy. I also have a Sisti-signed 1942 Bob Coyne cartoon.
See his grave in Mount Calvary Cemetery, Cheektowaga, New York.
First Base—New York Yankees 1954-62, Los Angeles Dodgers 1963, Washington Senators 1964, Chicago White Sox 1964-67, California Angels 1967 [211 HR, .282 avg]
I got my nickname during World War II as a kid growing up in Chicago. My grandfather started calling me Mussolini because he thought I looked like him. The kids changed it to Moose. I didn't mind it. My brother they called Hitler.
Bill "Moose" Skowron
See Bill Skowron in a video clip of the October 4, 1955 final game of the World Series in which the Brooklyn Dodgers beat the New York Yankees.
Second Base—Chicago Cubs 1943-44, Brooklyn Dodgers 1944-47, Boston Braves 1948-49, New York Giants 1950-51, St. Louis Cardinals 1952-53 ; Manager—St. Louis Cardinals 1952-55, Chicago White Sox 1966-68, Texas Rangers 1977 [.268 avg, 811 runs, 996 walks]
Eddie was a tough little man in uniform, but he has always been a complete gentleman off the field . . . .Eddie was a tremendous competitor for us. I remember one night when the Toledo catcher came into second and spiked Eddie so badly that he ripped the sock completely off his foot. Eddie didn't so much as stoop over to rub it.
Stanky sought payment for his autograph when I requested, but printed his surname on the return address.
See his grave in Catholic Cemetery, Mobile, Alabama.
See a video clip of Eddie Stanky yelling at an umpire and throwing his hat in the dirt in frustration during the sixth game of the 1947 World Series. See a video clip of Cardinal manager Stanky at spring training in 1955.
Shortstop—St. Louis Browns 1934-35,1940-42, Washington Senators 1935 [.223 avg, 93 runs, 89 RBI]
Alan Strange autographed this 1940 Jack Sords cartoon.
He is buried in Calvary Cemetery, Seattle, Washington.
Second Base—Chicago Cubs 1941-42,1946, Boston Red Sox 1948-50 [.242 avg, 19 HR, 148 runs, 122 RBI, 409 games]
Lou Stringer autographed this 1941 Jack Sords cartoon.
He is buried in Ascension Cemetery, Lake Forest, California.
First Base—Pittsburgh Pirates 1958-62, Boston Red Sox 1963-64, Philadelphia Phillies 1965, New York Mets 1966, Los Angeles Dodgers 1966, California Angels 1969 [.264 avg, 228 HR, 743 RBI]
Dick Stuart was not a predictable person.
He was cremated.
Shortstop/Second Base—Chicago Cubs 1940-42,1946-47, Boston Braves 1948 [.257 avg, 106 runs, 80 RBI]
When Jackie [Robinson] first came up, I was with the Cubs, and I remember Bobby Sturgeon was playing short for us. Sturgeon was not a great ballplayer, he was a utility infielder really, and when Jackie first came up, Sturgeon said, “I’ll get the son of a bitch.” So Jackie got on in the third inning, and they put the hit-and-run on, and the ball was hit to the second baseman, Don Johnson, and Johnson made a quick relay, and Sturgeon didn’t even try for the double play. He threw the ball right into Jackie’s chest. Jackie didn’t say a word. He just got up and ran off the field. About six weeks later, we came back to Brooklyn, and almost the identical situation came up. Jackie got on base, and on the first pitch, he takes off, and Sturgeon was playing short, and Jackie didn’t slide. He threw a block at Sturgeon and knocked him halfway into left field. Busted two of his ribs. Jackie didn’t say a word, and neither did Sturgeon. That was a ballplayer retaliating in his own way.
Bobby Sturgeon autographed this 1941 Tom Paprocki cartoon.
He is buried in Westminster Memorial Park, Westminster, California.
First Base—New York Yankees 1941 [.239 avg, 524 at bats, 58 runs, 36 RBI, 3 HR]
Johnny was a good guy and a fine fielder, but when you say he was absolutely the worst-hitting first baseman in Yankee history, well, you’re right about that. The only reason Johnny was playing first is because Joe McCarthy’s experiment didn’t work. Nineteen forty-one was the year Gerry Priddy joined us with Phil Rizzuto from Kansas City. They had been a great double-play combination in the minors, so Joe McCarthy was going to play Priddy at second and move Joe Gordon to first base. Gordon was such a great athlete you figured he could play anywhere. But Priddy was taking it in the neck, you know, choking a bit in exhibition games; you could see he wasn’t sure of himself yet. McCarthy had to move Gordon back to second and stick Sturm at first. That was a lot of offense to give up at a power position, yet we still won easily. All because of Joe [Dimaggio] and the streak.
This 1941 Jack Sords cartoon autographed by John Sturm is one of two signed Sords cartoons from that year in my collection. The other is entitled "Yanks to See Changes in 1941" and mistakenly identified him as "Jim Sturm." Sturm asked me, "Where did they get Jim?
See his grave in Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Cemetery, St. Louis, Missouri.
Second Base/Infield—Philadelphia Athletics 1941-43,1946-54, Kansas City Athletics 1955 [.249 avg, 49 HR, 541 RBI, 210 doubles]
Pete Suder autographed this 1949 Alan Maver cartoon.
He is buried in Saint Elijah Serbian Cemetery, Aliquippa, Pennsylvania.
First Base—Pittsburgh Pirates 1930-39, Philadelphia Phillies 1939-40 [.279 avg, #9 all-time consecutive games (822)]
He was a good boy.
Gus Suhr autographed this 1938 Jack Sords cartoon. I also have two signed Tom Paprocki cartoons from 1936 and 1937.
He is buried in Olivet Memorial Park, Colma, California.
Second Base—Chicago Cubs 1949-51, Brooklyn Dodgers 1951, Washington Senators 1953-54, New York Giants 1955-56, Kansas City Athletics 1959-60 [.240 avg]
Shortstop—Detroit Tigers 1977-96 [.285 avg, 1231 runs, 1003 RBI, All-Star 1980,1984-85,1987-88]
Shortstop/Third Base—Washington Senators 1933-41,1945-47 [.314 avg, 665 runs, 266 doubles, 27 HR, All-Star 1938,1940-41]
Travis was an exceptional hitter . . . .After hitting at least .302 in eight of his nine seasons, including that .359 in '41 and other years of .335 and .344, he went into the service like most of us, developed frozen feet in the Battle of the Bulge, and was never the same after the war . . . .Those frozen feet from the Battle of the Bulge in Europe in December 1944 slowed Travis down so much that the Senators had to move him from shortstop to third base. He simply did not have the range and quickness to play short, where he had been an All-Star before the war. Then they found out he was even too slow to play third. He never again was a full-time player, and he retired in 1947 at the age of 34.
Cecil Travis autographed this 1941 Jim Berryman cartoon from the Sporting News.
He is buried in Crestlawn Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia.
Third Base—New York Giants 1931-34, Philadelphia Phillies 1935-36, St. Louis Cardinals 1936 [.255 avg, 52 HR, 303 stolen bases, 114 doubles]
This is one of two very similar Jack Sords cartoon autographed by Johnny Vergez in my collection. This one is from 1934 and the other (entitled "Little Giant") is from 1933. Sords used the same head drawing in each.
He was cremated.
First Base—Washington Senators 1939-43,1946-48,1950-55, Cleveland Indians 1949-50,1958, Boston Red Sox 1956-57, Milwaukee Braves 1959, Pittsburgh Pirates 1960; Manager—Washington Senators 1961-63 [.286 avg, 172 HR, 490 doubles, 1311 RBI]
He was a good ballplayer.
He is buried in Lawn Croft Cemetery, Linwood, Pennsylvania.
Third Base—New York Yankees 1930,1933, Boston Red Sox 1933-36, Philadelphia Athletics 1937-38, Cincinnati Reds 1939-41, New York Giants 1942 [.271 avg, 215 stolen bases, 875 runs]
I came up to the Yankees as a shortstop in 1930 when I was twenty-two. In the four games I played, I hit .286 and did everything right in the field. You think that meant anything? They didn’t bring me up again for two more seasons. When Joe McCarthy took me to spring training in 1933, I was competing with Lyn Lary and Frank Crosetti at short. . . . I was certain that I had that starting shortstop job sewed up. I was starting every game, hitting about .350. The Red Sox were looking for a shortstop and they had Jack McAuliffe, their scout, following us. But I didn’t think I was going anywhere but New York. Joe McCarthy began playing Crosetti so McAuliffe could see what Frankie could do. That’s who the Yankees were going to trade to Boston. But Crosetti looked good in those games he started—so good, in fact, New York traded me to Boston instead. Frankie was a good player and we all knew what Lyn could do. But, even as a rookie, in my heart I wasn’t impressed by either of them. I figured I was just as good as they were if not better, the only thing they had over me was experience. Maybe that was my mistake, overconfidence. But you had to think that way with all those good players competing against you or you were beaten before you started.
Bill Werber autographed this 1934 Art Krenz cartoon. I also have signed 1934 and 1935 Jack Sords cartoons. All were signed on 22 Feb. 1990. He also sent the hand-signed TCMA postcard.
He was cremated.
Second Base—St. Louis Cardinals 1933-35, New York Giants 1936-41, Pittsburgh Pirates 1946 [.266 avg, 100 doubles, 17 HR, 415 runs]
Do you remember Burgess Whitehead? Well, he and Dean roomed together in the minors. Later on Whitehead was traded to the Giants. Diz [Dean], being the kind of guy he was, would let Whitehead get a few hits off of him whenever he pitched against the Giants. He would say, “Hey, little bitty buddy, I’m throwin’ it right over, so you get your hits. You got to get your hits off of Ol’ Diz.” One day in St. Louis he did that and Whitehead whacked a line drive, it hit Diz right between the eyes. Diz got up and looked over at Whitehead and said, “Little bitty buddy, you got to start pullin’ that ball.”
Whitey Whitehead autographed this 1940 Willard Mullin cartoon.
Second Base—Brooklyn Dodgers 1938, Cincinnati Reds 1943-45 [.250 avg, 133 runs, 79 RBI]
Woody Williams autographed this 1944 Sam Davis cartoon.
See his grave in Pamplin Cemetery, Pamplin, Virginia.