Monday, May 16, 2011

eBay: A Vintage Dodger Baseball

Here is a great vintage baseball produced for the Brooklyn Dodgers. The auction description states it came from some stuff belonging to a former equipment manager. I can't verify that, but I will say that it's very likely from Ebbets Field. Even more likely, it was probably an item sold at concession stands at or around the stadium.

It dates from 1938 to 1942 due to the stamped autograph of the teams former General Manager, Larry MacPhail. As you may know, MacPhail was probably one of the most important Baseball executives of the era. His innovations helped change the game and brought it in line with the modern world at the time. Here is a list of some of his accomplishments, via SABR's Biography Project:

  1. First night game in the major leagues
  2. First televised game (August 26, 1939)
  3. First to introduce "Old Timers' Games" to the majors
  4. First to establish pension funds for club employees throughout all levels of baseball
  5. Headed first committee for players' pension funds, the finest in sports
  6. First to use air plane travel for baseball teams
  7. First to shake up New York City by broadcasting all home and road games. (The first radio broadcast of a baseball game in the majors was by Harold Arlen in Pittsburgh in 1921.)
  8. First to introduce yellow baseballs, which were never accepted in baseball but came to the fore in both tennis and golf
  9. First to regularly schedule doubleheaders
  10. First to install a stadium club
  11. First to introduce a season ticket plan
  12. First to develop and introduce protective batting helmets (see McKelvey, The MacPhails)
Check out his biography from SABR's biography project for more about him.

As a testament to the rarity of this Baseball, it sold for a healthy $338.00.