Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Dodger Correspondence: Ray Thomas

Here is a very simple letter written to and then responded by former Dodger catcher Ray Thomas. Ray had a very short career as he played in only one game in 1938. Fortunately, he recorded one major league hit that lead to him scoring a run. In the letter below he kindly thanks Bill for remembering him. When you work throughout your childhood and young adult life to play Baseball, but only get a "cup of coffee" I imagine you would have a certain amount of gratitude when someone remembers that you once played the game.

What I find really fascinating about this letter is that the sender refers to some postcards he included in the letter to have Ray sign. They were Jim Rowe postcards. This is a name many older collectors will immediately know. Jim Rowe was one of hobbies pioneers.
(He) was and still is best known as a baseball photograph archivist, one who supplied authors, collectors and players (both active and retired) with rarely seen photographic images. Jim was a collector going back as far as 60 years. He was one of the major influences behind the early baseball collectors clubs and shows in the greater Chicago area. In 1973 he became a founding member of the Chicagoland Sports Collectors Association, the first of its kind in the nation. He wrote countless articles on baseball and well as his own book, "Baseball Portraits," in 1951. His ads for baseball postcards were a staple in early hobby publications. Jim Rowe was also an advocate for several players that he had befriended on his journey through life in baseball. One such player was Fred Lindstrom, who Jim helped (by lobbying sportswriters and writing his own articles) to get elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
(click to enlarge)

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