Thursday, January 31, 2013

Heritage: Some Vintage Dodgers Memorabilia Including a Pre-Integration Letter from Campy to Rickey

Yesterday, I posted a brief rundown of some great vintage Baseball memorabilia available at Heritage's current auction.  Today, I wanted to focus on the just the Dodgers.  Fortunately, there are a couple of great items worth mentioning.

Featured below is a 1900 Brooklyn Superbas National League Champions Photographic Composite.  It features Hall of Famer Ned Hanlon, our coach at the time, and the team owner Charles Ebbets.  Also included are future Hall members Joe Kelley, Hughie Jennings and Wee Willie Keeler.  BTW, in 1900 Keeler struck out only 4 times in 619 plate appearances.  Click on the pic to embiggen.
(auction link)

With it being Jackie Robinson's birthday today, I thought the next item was very appropriate.  Featured below is a 1946 handwritten letter by Roy Campanella to Dodgers GM Branch Rickey.  In it, Roy discusses many other prospects in the Negro Leagues that the team should be scouting.  Keep in mind, this letter predates Jackie breaking the color barrier by several months, so it's fascinating to know the kind of communication the team was already having in the run-up to integrating the game.  Below is an excerpt.
"As far as colored base ball players, for definite prospects, Monty (sic) Irvin and Larry Doby are tops at present. I've seen a lot of them, but none as great as these two. They have good habits on and off the field.
I'd like for you to get in touch with Larry Doby, because scouts for the Cleveland Indians and Phila. Phillies have talked to him already."
Imagine if we were able to sign those two future Hall of Famers. 
(auction link)

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