Vintage Baseball Autographs

Big League Players--1920s thru 1960s

Morris "Red" Badgro  (1902-1998)

St. Louis Browns 1929-30   [143 games, .257 avg, 30 doubles, 2 HR, 45 RBI]

 

Red Badgro sent me an autographed note relating to football in February 1989.

See his grave in Hillcrest Burial Park, Kent, Washington

Walt Bashore  (1909-1984)

Philadelphia Phillies 1936   [10 games, 10 at bats, .200 avg]

This is one of the few autographs that I've purchased, but after learning there was a MLB ballplayer with my surname, I had to have it.  Apparently Wally Bashore was born with the name Walter Franklin, but added the surname Bashore later. In his very brief MLB career he also played at third base.

Hank Bauer  (1922-2007)

New York Yankees 1948-59, Kansas City Athletics 1960-61   [.277 avg, 164 HR, 833 runs, 703 RBI]; Manager—Kansas City Athletics 1961-62, Baltimore Orioles 1964-68, Oakland Athletics 1969

He was an ex-Marine and a World War II hero and one of the toughest guys in baseball.  Or out.  He even looked the part, with a face that somebody once described as looking like a "clenched fist."  He wore his hair in a crew cut and he still does.  The last of the crew cuts.  He looked as tough as he was and he was as tough as he looked.  I knew one thing.  As long as I was with Hank, nobody was going to mess with me.  Hank was a great competitor and a much better player than he was given credit for.  He was underrated because of Stengel platooning him with Gene Woodling. . . .both of them could have been full-time players with any other team.  Not only full-time players, but stars. . . . the toughest and strongest player I ever saw.  He had muscles in his breath.  He was an ex-marine, had fought the Japanese at Guadalcanal, and had a flat face with a nose spread wide.  During batting practice. . . a fan behind home plate called out to Whitey [Ford] and demanded that he find Bauer, explaining they had served together in the marines.  There was no reason to disbelieve him, since he had the same flat face as Hank.  Whitey watched the two of them talking and said, "Hot damn!  What were those Japanese armed with?  Shovels?"
    Mickey Mantle

 

 

Hank Bauer autographed this 1951 Tom Paprocki cartoon.

See a video clip of Bauer getting a timely hit in the opening game of the 1957 World Series.

See his grave in Resurrection Cemetery, Lenexa, Kansas.

Ted Beard  (1921-2011)

Pittsburgh Pirates 1948-52, Chicago White Sox 1957-58   [.198 avg, 6 HR, 80 runs, 107 SO, 474 at bats, 194 games]

 

 

Ted Beard autographed this 1950 Tom Paprocki cartoon. 

Larry Bettencourt  (1905-1978)

Outfield/Third Base—St. Louis Browns 1928,1931-32   [.258 avg, 8 HR, 53 RBI]

 

I purchased this autograph of Larry Bettencourt primarily because he played football with the Green Bay Packers in 1933—two games.

See his grave in Lake Lawn Park Cemetery, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Stanley "Frenchy" Bordagaray  (1910-2000)

Outfield/Third Base—Chicago White Sox 1934, Brooklyn Dodgers 1935-36,1942-45, St. Louis Cardinals 1937-38, Cincinnati Reds 1939, New York Yankees 1941   [.283 avg; 3rd highest all-time single season pinch hitting average .465 (1938)]

He came to spring training in 1936 with a goatee and mustache.  What a fuss it caused!  Today it wouldn’t mean anything, but in 1936 it was really something different.  I remember one day we were playing an exhibition game.  A ball was hit over Frenchy’s head; it wasn’t a matter of him catching it, it was a matter of him running it down.  He wheeled around and started running, and as he ran his cap flew off.  Well, most people would run the ball down first, wouldn’t they?  But Frenchy wasn’t most people.  He went back, got his cap, and then went after the ball.  Stengel stood in the dugout with his arms hanging and his mouth open.  He couldn’t believe what he was seeing.  When Frenchy got back to the bench Stengel asked him what he thought he was doing out there.  “The cap wasn’t going anywhere, Bordagaray,” Casey said, “but the ball was.”  “I forgot,” Frenchy said.  Another time Frenchy got into an argument with an umpire and in the course of it spit in the umpire’s face.  Of course the umpire ran him out of there, even though Frenchy claimed he had simply been talking fast and that you can’t help spraying a little when you do that.  Then the league fined him fifty dollars and when he heard about it, Frenchy said, “That’s more than I expectorated.”  Once Frenchy was on second with two out and we’re down a run.  Stengel was coaching third and he kept yelling at Frenchy not to come over, to stay there.  Sure enough, on the next pitch here he comes, stealing third, with two out.  He slides in and makes it.  Stengel walks over and looks down at him.  “I ought to fine you for that,” Casey says.  “With the lead I had,” Frenchy says, “you ought to fine yourself for not inviting me over.”
    Buddy Hassett

 

 

Frenchy Bordagary autographed this 1935 Art Krenz cartoon. I also have a signed 1935 Jack Sords cartoon.

He is buried in Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Coalinga, California.

Bruce Campbell  (1909-1995)

Chicago White Sox 1930-32, St. Louis Browns 1932-34, Cleveland Indians 1935-39, Detroit Tigers 1940-41, Washington Senators 1942   [.290 avg, 106 HR, 295 doubles]

He enjoyed thirteen seasons in the American League as one of its better hitters with a .290 career average.
    Bob Feller

 

 

This is one of two different 1935 Jack Sords cartoons that Bruce Campbell signed in my collection.

He was cremated.

Ben Chapman  (1908-1993)

New York Yankees 1930-36, Washington Senators 1936-37,1941, Boston Red Sox 1937-38, Cleveland Indians 1939-40, Chicago White Sox 1941, Brooklyn Dodgers 1944-45, Philadelphia Phillies 1945-46; Manager—Philadelphia Phillies 1945-48   [.302 avg, 90 HR, 1144 runs, 977 RBI, 287 stolen bases]

I was a bench jockey.  So was everybody else.  If you could just affect the fellow, get him a little agitated, you were that much ahead. . . .The call a Polish guy a Polack so-and-so, they'd call me a Southern so-and-so, they'd call Greenberg a Jewish so-and-so.  It was accepted practice. . . .What the heck.  That was my job.  It's always been vicious.
    Ben Chapman

 

This is one of three cartoons in my collection signed by Ben Chapman. This is a 1933 Jack Sords and the others are a 1933 Art Krenz and 1931 Laufer.

He is buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Birmingham, Alabama.

Sam Chapman  (1916-2006)

Philadelphia Athletics 1938-41,1945-51, Cleveland Indians 1951   [.266 avg, 180 HR, 754 runs, 773 RBI]

 

Eddie Collins, Jr.  (1916-2000)

Outfield/Second Base—Philadelphia Athletics 1939,1941-42 [.241 avg, 132 games, 274 at bats, 41 runs, 16 RBI]

 

 

Eddie Collins autographed this 1939 Jack Sords cartoon.

See his grave in Union Hill Cemetery, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.

Harry Craft  (1915-1995)

Center Field—Cincinnati Reds 1937-42; Manager—Kansas City Athletics 1957-59, Chicago Cubs 1961, Houston Astros 1962-64  [.253 avg, 44 HR, 267 RBI]

What a center fielder he was.
    Bucky Walters

 

He was cremated.

Roger "Doc" Cramer  (1905-1990)

Center Field—Philadelphia Athletics 1929-35, Boston Red Sox 1936-40, Washington Senators 1941, Detroit Tigers 1942-48 [.296 avg, 37 HR, 9140 at bats, 1357 runs, 396 doubles]

Doc Cramer and Ted Lyons [of the Chicago White Sox] were always squashing eggs on one another.  Cramer was a great agitator himself—all the time making midnight calls to somebody or loading up a suitcase with rocks—and he'd squash an egg on Lyons and Lyons would say, "All right, you bastard, you'd better start dancing the next time you get up there," and sure enough he'd aim one at Cramer's knees and Cramer would have to skip rope.
    Ted Williams

This is one of two Jack Sords cartoons that Doc Cramer signed in my collection. This is a 1939 and the other is a multiple signed cartoon from 1941.

See his grave in Greenwood Cemetery, Cedar Run, New Jersey.

Johnny Dickshot  (1910-1997)

Pittsburgh Pirates 1936-38, New York Giants 1939, Chicago White Sox 1944-45   [.276 avg, 7 HR, 116 RBI]

 

This is a 1944 Sam Davis cartoon signed by Johnny Dickshot.

See his grave in Ascension Catholic Cemetery, Libertyville, Illinois.

Dom "The Little Professor" DiMaggio  (1917-2009)

Boston Red Sox 1940-42,1946-53   [.298 avg, 1046 runs, 100 stolen bases, 57 triples]

I batted .306 that 1937 season with the San Francisco Seals. Then the Boston Red Sox came into my life; they bought my contract from the Seals.  Glasses for major leaguers was a no-no for coming into professional baseball.  There were guys who had played and then resorted to them.  But I don’t actually recall anyone actually coming in off the sandlots into triple-A baseball wearing glasses and then jumping, as I did, to the major leagues.  But that is what happened to me.  The “Little Professor” nickname came out of the blue. Some said it was because of my slight build (5'9" and 168 pounds) and round spectacles.  I think it probably came because I looked more like a student or a teacher.
    Dom DiMaggio

 

 

This is a 1949 Alan Maver cartoon signed by Dom DiMaggio.

He is buried in Newton Cemetery, Newton, Massachusetts.

George “Showboat” Fisher (1899-1994)

Washington Senators 1923-24, St. Louis Cardinals 1930, St. Louis Browns 1932 [.335 avg, 62 runs, 71 RBI]

 

He is buried in St. Benedict's Parish Cemetery, Avon, Minnesota.

Augie “Frenchy” Galan (1912-1993)

Chicago Cubs 1934-40, Brooklyn Dodgers 1941-46, Cincinnati 1947-48, New York Giants 1949, Philadelphia Athletics 1949 [.287 avg, 1004 runs, 830 RBI, 123 SB, 100 HR]

 

He is buried in St. Josephs Cemetery, San Pablo, California.

Ford “Snapper” Garrison (1915-2001)

Boston Red Sox 1943-44, Philadelphia Athletics 1944-46 [.262 avg, 80 runs, 56 RBI, 6 HR]

 

 

Ford Garrison autographed this 1944 Jack Sords cartoon.

He is buried in Memorial Park Cemetery, St. Petersburg, Florida

Jim “Gee-Gee” Gleeson (1912-1996)

Cleveland Indians 1936, Chicago Cub 1939-40, Cincinnati Reds 1941-42 [.263 avg, 195 runs, 154 RBI, 16 HR]

 

This 1936 cartoon is one of two by Jack Sords signed by Jim Gleeson in my collection. The other is from 1941.

He is buried in Calvary Cemetery, Kansas City, Missouri.

Johnny Groth (1926-    )

Detroit Tigers 1946-52,1957-60, St. Louis Browns 1953, Chicago White Sox 1954-55, Washington Senators 1955, Kansas City Athletics 1956-57  [.279 avg, 480 runs, 486 RBI, 60 HR]

 

  

This 1949 Alan Maver cartoon was signed by Johnny Groth. 

Jesse Hill (1907-1993)

New York Yankees 1935, Washington Senators 1936-37, Philadelphia Athletics 1937 [.289 avg, 175 runs, 108 RBI]

 

 

Jess Hill autographed this 1930 Jack Sords. I also have another signed Sords 1930 (entitled "Grid, Track Star Shines on Diamond") and a 1935 signed Sords cartoon.

He is buried in Corona Sunnyslope Cemetery, Corona, California.

Tommy “Kelly” Holmes (1917-2008)

Boston Braves 1942-51; Manager—Boston Braves 1951-52, Brooklyn Dodgers 1952  [.302 avg, 698 runs, 581 RBI, 88 HR]

Nineteen forty-five was a year when everything I tried, everything I did, worked out.  I led the league in home runs, hits, doubles, slugging average, and just missed winning the batting crown by a few points.  Phil Cavaretta edged me out, .355 to .352.  Later on, somebody pointed out something else that I wasn’t aware of:  I was the only man ever to lead the league in home runs and also have the least strikeouts for a regular; I struck out only nine times that year.
    Tommy Holmes

 

 

This 1945 Al Vermeer is one of five cartoons in my collection signed by Tommy Holmes. The others are a 1950 Tom Paprocki, a 1952 Alan Maver, and a 1942 and 1944 Jack Sords.

He is buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens, Pompano Beach, Florida.

Bob Kennedy (1920-2005)

Outfield/Third Base—Chicago White Sox 1939-42,1946-48,1955-56,1957, Cleveland Indians 1948-54, Baltimore Orioles 1954-55, Detroit Tigers 1956, Brooklyn Dodgers 1957; Manager—Chicago Cubs 1963-65, Oakland A’s 1968  [.254 avg, 514 runs, 514 RBI, 63 HR]

 

Bob Kennedy signed a couple of cartoons for me. See the entries for Sibby Sisti (infielder) or Wally Moses (outfielder).

See his grave in Queen of Heaven Cemetery, Mesa, Arizona.

Ernie “Chief” Koy (1909-2007)

Brooklyn Dodgers 1938-40, St. Louis Cardinals 1940-41, Cincinnati Reds 1941-42, Philadelphia Phillies 1942  [.279 avg, 238 runs, 260 RBI, 40 SB]

 

 

This 1941 Tom Paprocki cartoon is one of two in my collection signed by Ernie Koy. The other very similar cartoon is from 1940. In it, Pap used the same drawing, but different text and title. This interchangeability was not that uncommon among cartoonists.

See his grave in Oak Knoll Cemetery, Bellville, Texas.

Mike Kreevich (1908-1994)

Chicago Cubs 1931, Chicago White Sox 1935-41, Philadelphia Athletics 1942, St. Louis Browns 1943-45, Washington Senators 1945 [.283 avg, 676 runs, 514 RBI, 115 SB]

I was traded to the A's in 1942 for outfielder Wally Moses. Then I went to St. Louis in 1943 and was on the Browns' lone pennant-winner in 1944. I closed my career with the Senators in 1945.
    Mike Kreevich

 

Mike Kreevich signed this 1942 Jack Sords cartoon.

See his grave in Union Miners Cemetery, Mount Olive, Illinois.

Hank Leiber  (1911-1993)

New York Giants 1933-38, Chicago Cubs 1939-41, New York Giants 1942   [.288 avg, 101 HR, 518 RBI; Football—Southern California 1930-32]

I had a scare in spring training [in 1937].  I hit a batter in the head—"beaned" him, something I never wanted to do in all the years I played baseball . . . .The player I hit was Hank Leiber of the Giants.  He was an outfielder who played in the National League for ten years.  When I hit him, I prayed I hadn't hurt him or his career.  I guess it was a little of both, because he was forced to miss the first half of the season—but when he came back he was able to pick right up and have a good season and an excellent World Series when the Giants lost to the Yankees in five games.  He hit .293 in 51 games in the second half and then had the second highest average on the Giants, .364, in the Series.
    Bob Feller

 

 

Hank Leiber signed this 1936 Phil Berube cartoon.

He is buried in East Lawn Palms Cemetery, Tucson, Arizona

Danny Litwhiler  (1916-2011)

Philadelphia Phillies 1940-43, St. Louis Cardinals 1943-44,1946, Boston Braves 1946-48, Cincinnati Reds 1948-51   [.281 avg, 107 HR, 451 RBI]

I had a great spring training with the Phillies in 1940, and it looked like I was really going to be a player.  We opened up at New York, the Polo Grounds, and I wasn’t playing.  I couldn’t figure out why.  I couldn’t figure it out.  Then we got back home and we played two games and I still didn’t play.  Finally, we played Brooklyn and I got to pinch-hit against Hugh Casey in the ninth inning.  Two men out, a man on first, and we’re down by one run.  Well, I figured if I can hit a home run or somehow keep the thing going, maybe everything will be fine for me.  I can still see the curveball Hugh Casey hung for me.  It said, “Here, hit me.”  I had a good cut at it, and I popped it up—one of those major league pop-ups—and before it came down, I was sent to Baltimore.
    Danny Litwhiler

 

 

This is a 1942 Jack Sords cartoon, one of two signed by Danny Litwhiler in my collection. The other is from 1941. 

Whitey Lockman  (1926-2009)

New York Giants 1945,1947-56,1957, St. Louis Cardinals 1956, San Francisco Giants 1958, Baltimore Orioles 1959, Cincinnati Reds 1959-60   [.279 avg]

Whitey Lockman . . . just wore me out.  He buried me.
    Rex Barney

 

Dean Look  (1937-    )

Left Field—Chicago White Sox 1961  [3 games, .000 avg, 6 at bats; played 1 game with New York Titans in NFL]

 

 

Dean Look autographed this 1959 Alan Maver cartoon in November 2010.

Barney McCosky  (1917-1996)

Center Field—Detroit Tigers 1939-42,1946, Philadelphia Athletics 1946-48,1950-51, Cincinnati Reds 1951, Cleveland Indians 1951-53   [.312 avg, 24 HR, 4172 at bats, 1301 hits, 664 runs, 397 RBI]

 

 

 

Barney McCosky signed this 1940 Art Krenz cartoon and sent me the autographed 4x6 photo.

He is buried in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Southfield, Michigan.

"Sunny" Jim Mallory  (1918-2001)

Washington Senators 1940, St. Louis Cardinals 1945, New York Giants 1945   [54 games, .268 avg, 149 at bats, 14 RBI]

 

 

Jim Mallory autographed this 1945 Jack Sords cartoon.

He was cremated.

Arthur "Bud" Metheny  (1915-2003)

New York Yankees 1943-46   [.247 avg, 31 HR, 187 runs, 156 RBI]

 

 

Bud Metheny and Bill Johnson autographed this 1943 Willard Mullin cartoon.

He is buried in Colonial Grove Memorial Park, Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Minnie Minoso  (1925-    )

Left Field—New York Cubans (Negro League) 1946-48; Cleveland Indians 1949, 1951, 1958-59, Chicago White Sox 1951-57, 1960-61, 1976, 1980, St. Louis Cardinals 1962, Washington Senators 1963  [.298 avg, 1023 RBI, 186 HR]

I love everybody. South Side, West Side, East Side. I love everyone. Respect each other.

     Minnie Minoso

 

 

This 1951 Tom Paprocki cartoon was autographed by Minnie Minoso in January 2010.

Watch a video clip feature on Minnie Minoso.

Joe "The Gause Ghost" Moore  (1908-2001)

Outfield—New York Giants 1930-41   [.298 avg, 79 HR]

 

 

This 1936 cartoon is one of two Tom Paprocki cartoons signed by Joe Moore in my collection. The other is from 1940. 

Terry Moore  (1912-1995)

St. Louis Cardinals 1935-42,1946-48; Manager—Philadelphia Phillies 1954   [.280 avg, 263 doubles, 80 HR, 719 runs, 513 RBI]

My mother was crazy about baseball.  She'd go to a game and when somebody'd criticize me, she'd have an umbrella, and boy, she'd whack them with it!  She figured they'd better not say anything about me.  She was an Irish gal, a big Irish woman.  She got in trouble a couple times out there and they put her down in back of Sam Breadon's box so that when she'd come to the game she'd stay out of trouble.  She was funny though, and she was really a pistol . . . .I was the highest-paid player before the war and I only made thirteen thousand dollars.

       Terry Moore

 

 

This 1941 cartoon is one of two by Jack Sords that Terry Moore autographed in my collection. The other is from 1943.

See his grave in Holy Cross Lutheran Cemetery, Collinsville, Illinois.

Wally Moses  (1910-1990)

Philadelphia Athletics 1935-41,1949-51, Chicago White Sox 1942-46, Boston Red Sox 1946-48   [.291 avg, 1114 runs, 679 RBI, 435 doubles, 110 triples, 174 stolen bases, 89 HR]

You have to take the bitter with the sweet, don't you?  Like the day Deacon Jones, the umpire, cleaned off the Athletics' bench.  Wally Moses was sitting down there in the corner, and Wally, you know, never said an unkind word to anybody in his life.  So when Deacon Jones started to run them all, Wally just sat there.  "Wally," Deacon says, "you've got to go, too."  Wally jumped up and said, "You know I didn't say anything."  "Well, that's true," Deacon says.  "But you know, when the law raids a house of prostitution, the innocent have got to go with the guilty.  So get going!"
    Spud Chandler

 

 

This 1942 Jack Sords cartoon was autographed by both Wally Moses and Bob Kennedy.

He is buried in Pinecrest Cemetery, Vidalia, Georgia.

Don "Mandrake the Magician" Mueller  (1927-2011)

New York Giants 1948-57, Chicago White Sox 1958-59   [.296 avg]

 

 

Don Mueller autographed this 1950 Tom Paprocki cartoon. 

Pat Mullin  (1917-1999)

Detroit Tigers 1940-41,1946-53   [.271 avg, 87 HR, 381 runs, 385 RBI]

 

 

Pat Mullin signed this 1941 Jack Sords cartoon.

He is buried in LaFayette Memorial Park, Brier Hill, Pennsylvania

Bill "Swish" Nicholson  (1914-1996)

Philadelphia Athletics 1936, Chicago Cubs 1939-48, Philadelphia Phillies 1949-53   [.268 avg, 235 HR, 837 runs, 948 RBI]

I would have tried to be more patient at the plate and more selective. Fans used to yell “swish” every time I would swing and miss.
    Bill Nicholson

 

 

Bill Nicholson signed this 1942 Bob Coyne cartoon three times.

He is buried in St. Paul's Churchyard, Chestertown, Maryland

Jimmy Outlaw  (1913-2006)

Outfield/Third Base—Cincinnati Reds 1937-38, Boston Bees 1939, Detroit Tigers 1943-49   [.268 avg]

He was one of my favorite baseball names.
    Bob Feller

 

Jimmy Outlaw sigmed this 1945 Jack Sords cartoon. I also have a 1937 Jack Sords cartoon that was autographed by both Outlaw and teammate Dee Moore.

He is buried in Trinity Memorial Gardens, Jackson, Alabama.

Andy "Handy Andy" Pafko  (1921-2013)

Chicago Cubs 1943-51, Brooklyn Dodgers 1951-52, Milwaukee Braves 1953-59   [.285 avg, 213 HR]

I came up with 13 games left in the 1943 season and got a base hit off Bill Lee [of the Phillies] my first time up and drove in two runs, then did it again. I thought, “This is a piece of cake.” It wasn't.  I was hoping to be a Cub forever, but before a [1951] Wrigley Field game, Don Newcombe came out of the Dodgers dugout and yelled, “Hey, Pafko, you're going to be a Dodger tomorrow.”  I hadn't heard any rumors, but sure enough the next day I was part of an eight-player trade. I was heartbroken. I packed my bags in the Cubs clubhouse and walked across the field to the Dodgers.  That catch I made for [Carl] Erskine in the ['52] World Series.  Gene Woodling hit the ball.  I put my hand on the right-field barrier in Yankee Stadium and pushed off and jumped as high as I could.  It was a line drive.  A shot.  I got it near the webbing and it knocked me backwards into the stands, and when I'm falling over, I hear 'em shouting, even though it's Yankee Stadium, “Hold the ball.”
    Andy Pafko

 

Andy Pafko autographed this 3x5 card for me in November 1988. 

Ray Pepper  (1905-1996)

St. Louis Cardinals 1932-33, St. Louis Browns 1934-36   [.281 avg]

 

Ray Pepper signed this 1934 Jack Sords cartoon. Rolfe died in 1969, twenty years before I began autograph collecting.

He is buried in Athens City Cemetery, Athens, Alabama

Rip Repulski  (1927-1993)

Center Field—St. Louis Cardinals 1953-56, Philadelphia Phillies 1957-58, Los Angeles Dodgers 1959-60, Boston Red Sox 1960-61  [.269 avg, 106 HR, 416 RBI]

 

 

Rip Repulski autographed this 1953 Murray Olderman cartoon.

He is buried in Trinity Cemetery, Sauk Rapids, Minnesota.

James "Dusty" Rhodes  (1927-2009)

New York Giants 1952-57, San Francisco Giants 1959   [.253 avg]

Dusty Rhodes of the Giants was a character, the most memorable I played with.  He had ice water in his veins, did not believe there was a pitcher living who he could not hit.  “When I found out I’d passed from the second to the third grade,” Dusty said, “I was so nervous, I couldn’t shave.”  There was a time when Dusty and I were playing in the Tri-State League, Dusty with Rock Hill, me with Knoxville.  Once at Rock Hill a fan rode Dusty unmercifully.  Dusty found out this fellow owned a boat dock.  He took a hatchet, chopped the bottom out of the fellow’s boat and got arrested.  The owner of the club bailed him out.  One day, Chuck Churn was pitching for Cincinnati, and he was throwing a spitter, so we kept hollering at the umpire to check the ball, and he wouldn’t do it.  So Dusty Rhodes ran out of the dugout to the mound with a bucket of water and said, “Here it is, dip it.”  Of course, he was something of a clubhouse character, but I guess the thing that I remember most about Dusty was that he had ice water in his veins.  He didn’t think there was a pitcher that ever lived he couldn’t hit.  And in ‘54, plus the World Series, he proved it.
    Gail Harris

 

Dusty Rhodes is one of those players whose autographs I sought because his 1956 card in my collection (I still have it) was one of my favorites. I thought his name was cool.

He is buried in Davis Memorial Park, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Harry Rosenberg  (1909-1997)

New York Giants 1930   [9 games, 5 at bats, .000 avg]

 

 

Harry Rosenberg autographed this 1930 Jack Sords cartoon.

He is buried in Hills of Eternity Memorial Park, Colma, California.

Don Ross  (1914-1996)

Outfield/Infield—Detroit Tigers 1938,1942-45, Brooklyn Dodgers 1940, Cleveland Indians 1945-46   [.262 avg, 12 HR, 162 RBI]

 

 

Don Ross autographed this 1944 Jack Sords cartoon.

He is buried in Resurrection Catholic Cemetery, Montebello, California

Hank Sauer  (1917-2001)

Outfield—Cincinnati Reds 1941-42,1945,1948-49, Chicago Cubs 1949-55, St. Louis Cardinals 1956, New York Giants 1957, San Francisco Giants 1958-59, [.266 avg, 288 HR; National League MVP 1952]

The Reds never gave me a chance. I lived in Pittsburgh where there was no way to stay in shape in the winter, so I always got off to slow starts. They'd say, “You don't have any experience,” and I'd say, “How much more experience do you want?” I was going to quit until they sent me to Chicago. It was the best thing to happen to me in baseball.  I chewed tobacco for years. No one knew then what they know now about cancer and stuff. The left-field fans in Wrigley Field hung (tobacco) pouches down on fishing lines for me. My wife finally made me quit. I guess I'd better thank her.  People thought it was easy to hit there with the wind blowing out a lot, but it really wasn't because the bleachers weren't blocked off then. It was tough seeing the ball come out of the fans' white shirts.  . . .  The Cubs were in Boston for a night game and I was chasing a ball hit by Sid Gordon. I yelled: “I got it!” but the ball landed 20 feet in front of me. I told manager Frankie Frisch I lost the ball in the moon.
    Hank Sauer

 

 

This 1953 Tom Paprocki cartoon was signed by both Hank Sauer and Bobby Shantz.

See his grave in Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery, Colma, California.

Russ Scarritt  (1903-1995)

Left Field—Boston Red Sox 1929-31, Philadelphia Phillies 1932   [.285 avg, 3 HR, 120 RBI]

 

I think I obtained this Russ Scarritt autograph via a trade. It's been too long and my records of the exchange are probably in some pile in my home office.

See his grave in St. John's Catholic Cemetery, Pensacola, Florida.

Roy "Squirrel" Sievers  (1926-    )

Outfield/First Base—St. Louis Browns 1949-53, Washington Senators 1954-59, Chicago White Sox 1960-61, Philadelphia Phillies 1962-64, Washington Senators 1964-65   [.267 avg, 318 HR; American League Rookie of the Year 1949]

 

George "Tuck" Stainback  (1910-1992)

Chicago Cubs 1934-37, St. Louis Cardinals 1938, Philadelphia Phillies 1938, Brooklyn Dodgers 1938-39, Detroit Tigers 1940-41, New York Yankees 1942-45, Philadelphia Athletics 1946   [.259 avg]

This 1945 Jack Sords cartoon is interesting because it misspelled his nickname as "Tut" instead of "Tuck." I also have two other Sords cartoons from 1933 and 1938 autographed by Tuck Stainback.

He was cremated

Evar Swanson  (1902-1973)

Cincinnati Reds 1929-30, Chicago White Sox 1932-34   [.303 avg, 7 HR, 325 runs, 170 RBI]

He is buried in Oak Lawn Memorial Gardens, Galesburg, Illinois.

Bobby Thomson "The Staten Island Scot"  (1923-2010)

New York Giants 1946-53,1957, Milwaukee Braves 1954-57, Chicago Cubs 1958-59, Boston Red Sox 1960, Baltimore Orioles 1960   [.270 avg, 264 HR, 1026 RBI, All-Star 1948-49,1952]

Scottish people are very low-keyed.  I was brought up not to push. That probably hurt me more than anything in my major league career.  I did not have much cockiness.  I guess I should have been more outgoing.  But the way we were brought up was to be seen and not heard—to stay in the background.  That was impossible after October 3, 1951—when I hit what they called “the Shot Heard ‘Round the World,” the home run in the play-offs to beat the Dodgers to put our Giants team into the World Series.
    Bobby Thomson

 

This is one of two Alan Maver cartoons signed by Bobby Thomson in my collection. This is from 1952 and the other is dated 1950. In response to my question asking him which pitcher he would least liked to have faced in a clutch hitting situation, he answered:  "In a spot when I needed a hit, I would just as soon not have to hit against Ewell Blackwell."

Eric "The Red" Tipton  (1915-2001)

Philadelphia Athletics 1939-41, Cincinnati Reds 1942-45   [.270 avg, 212 runs, 151 RBI]

 

Eric Tipton autographed this 1943 Alan Maver cartoon.

He is buried in Williamsburg Memorial Park, Williamsburg, Virginia.

Bill Virdon  (1931-    )

St. Louis Cardinals 1955-56, Pittsburgh Pirates 1956-68; Manager—Pittsburgh Pirates 1972-73, New York Yankees 1974-75, Houston Astros 1975-82, Montreal Expos 1983-84   [.267 avg, 91 HR, 502 RBI]

I was with the Yankees in spring training 1954, working with the outfielders: Mantle, Bauer, Woodling, and others.  We were fielding balls and making throws.  It was my turn; I fielded the ball and threw.  Somehow Case Stengel had moved between me and the relay man, and I proceeded to hit him in the back with my strongest throw.  It knocked the wind out of him, and by the time he got his composure back I had got back amid the other fielders, hoping he wouldn’t know who did it.  Casey’s comment was, “If you guys could throw that accurate in the game, you might throw someone out.”  I was traded later.  I guess he knew.
    Bill Virdon

 

Wally Westlake  (1920-    )

Outfield/Third Base—Pittsburgh Pirates 1947-51, St. Louis Cardinals 1951-52, Cincinnati Reds 1952, Cleveland Indians 1952-55, Baltimore Orioles 1955, Philadelphia Phillies 1956   [.272 avg, 127 HR, 539 RBI ]

A day in 1954 provided one of the most trying periods of my life on the playing field.  I’m with Cleveland and we’re battling the Yankees for the pennant.  We’re playing the Yankees a doubleheader on Sunday, maybe 86,000 people in the ballpark, and I’m playing in the second game.  It’s the last of the eighth inning and we’re behind 2-1.  Tommy Byrne is pitching for the Yankees. There are two outs, runners on second and third, and I hit a double off the left-center-field fence, but I realized I’d missed first base.  Well, I’m dying out there.  Eighty-six thousand people out there—man, I was saying Hail Marys like I never said them before.  I’m on second base with what would be a double to drive in the tying and winning runs, but if they call for the appeal at first base I’m out and we’re still behind 2=1.  But nobody appealed it—once the pitcher makes the pitch, they can’t appeal. . . . Jim Honochick was umpiring first base that day, and when I was on second base, the next hitter—I think it was Larry Doby—popped up.  I went in, got my glove, and when I ran by first base, old Honochick looked at me and he said, “Hey, partner.  Touch that thing next time you come by.”  He knew I missed it.  I got in the outfield and I really took a deep breath.
    Wally Westlake

 

 

This 1950 Alan Maver cartoon is one of two cartoons in my collection signed by Wally Westlake. The other is a 1951 Tom Paprocki.

Gene Woodling  (1922-2001)

Cleveland Indians 1943,1946,1955-57, Pittsburgh Pirates 1947, New York Yankees 1949-54, Baltimore Orioles 1955,1958-60, Washington Senators 1961-62, New York Giants 1962   [.284 avg, 147 HR]

My last four, five years were my best in the big leagues.  I can’t explain why.  Well, I guess you could say I got better with age.  I’d have liked to got better when I was 20.
    Gene Woodling

 

See his grave in Granger Fairview Cemetery, Granger, Ohio

Ab Wright  (1905-1995)

Cleveland Indians 1935, Boston Braves 1944   [138 games, .248 avg, 355 at bats, 9 HR, 53 RBI]

 

Ab Wright autographed this 1940 Jack Sords cartoon.

He is buried in Memorial Park Cemetery, Muskogee, Oklahoma

Joe Zapustas  (1907-2001)

Philadelphia Athletics 1933   [2 games, .200 avg, 5 at bats]

He is buried in St. Mary's Cemetery, Randolph, Massachusetts.

Al "Zeke" Zarilla  (1919-1996)

St. Louis Browns 1943-44,1946-49,1952, Boston Red Sox 1949-50,1952-53, Chicago White Sox 1951-52   [.276 avg, 61 HR, 456 RBI]

If you can’t hit the fastball, you’re not going to be in the big leagues, period.  That’s the name of the game.  I was a first-ball hitter, and the pitchers knew it.  If they threw a fastball close, I’m swinging.  Because that’s my strength, and because I had a hard time hitting the changes, which most everybody does—changes and curveballs.
    Al Zarilla

 

 

Al Zarilla autographed this 1950 Alan Maver cartoon.

Gus "Ozark Ike" Zernial  (1923-2011)

Chicago White Sox 1949-51, Philadelphia Athletics 1951-54, Kansas City Athletics 1955-57, Detroit Tigers 1958-59   [.265 avg, 237 HR]

I was signed by the Cardinals in 1941, then went into the Navy. After the war, I was the property of the Indians. The White Sox claimed me in 1947.  I went to the A's in the Minnie Minoso trade and ended my career with the Tigers in 1959. [My greatest day was] when I hit 29 homers in 1950 to set the White Sox record. And after I was traded to the A's I hit seven homers in four consecutive games. I led the league in homers with 33 in 1951. [Once] I was playing left field for the White Sox and the field was strewn with beer cups. Gil McDougald of the Yankees hit a liner that landed in one of the cups. He circled the bases for a homer while I was searching the beer cups.
    Gus Zernial

 

Zernial was buried in Clovis Cemetery, California.

Watch a Video Clip of:

  • Richie Ashburn (Hall of Fame)
  • Eldon Auker (Pitchers)
  • Hank Bauer (Outfielders)
  • Joe Black (Pitchers)
  • Bobby Bragan (Infielders)
  • Ralph Branca (Pitchers)
  • Lou Brock (Hall of Fame)
  • Tommy Byrne (Pitchers--Southpaws)
  • Jerry Coleman (Infielders)
  • Del Crandall (Catchers)
  • Harry Danning (Catchers)
  • Larry Doby (Hall of Fame)
  • Leo Durocher (Hall of Fame)
  • ElRoy Face (Pitchers)
  • Herman Franks (Catchers)
  • Joe Garagiola (Catchers)
  • Goose Gossage (Hall of Fame)
  • Bob Grim (Pitchers)
  • Dick Groat (Infielders)
  • Billy Johnson (Infielders)
  • Al Kaline (Hall of Fame)
  • Bob Kuzava (Pitchers--Southpaws)
  • Clem Labine (Pitchers)
  • Al Lopez (Hall of Fame)
  • Phil Marchildon (Pitchers)
  • Minnie Minoso (Outfielders)
  • Stan Musial (Hall of Fame)
  • Pee Wee Reese (Hall of Fame)
  • Phil Rizzuto (Hall of Fame)
  • Robin Roberts (Hall of Fame)
  • Nolan Ryan (Hall of Fame)
  • Mike Schmidt (Hall of Fame)
  • Bill "Moose" Skowron (Infielders)
  • Duke Snider (Hall of Fame)
  • Warren Spahn (Hall of Fame)
  • Eddie Stanky (Infielders)