Friday, December 07, 2018

A 1951 Brooklyn Daily Eagle Vintage Printing Press Plate of Tommy Brown

About a decade ago I came across a bunch of auctions on eBay featuring what was purported to be original vintage Brooklyn Daily Eagle printing press plates of various old-tyme Dodger players. As an avid oddball collector I was immediately smitten, and dutifully spent some time trying to track down an archive of the paper to verify their legitimacy. Thankfully, the printing plates themselves include dates on the reverse (as you can see on the right), so the research was easy to accomplish. As I came to realize, many of them were in fact actually used, so I made a bunch of bids and eventually came away with a healthy collection -- well over ten of them.

For whatever reason I hadn't bothered to shares them here, but that changes now. Over the coming weeks and months I'll be sure to post up my collection, along with a copy of the original newspaper page they were used in.

As you can see, my first printing plate is of Dodger infielder/outfielder Tommy Brown and it was used on February 11, 1951. You can check out the newspaper here. The caption under the photo says:
Comes to Terms -- Tommy Brown, the Belting Kid from the Parade Grounds, who figures prominently in the Dodgers' plans this season, has signed his contract for 1951.
Best yet, there's an accompanying news article that I thought was done. Check out what I mean below (here's an excerpt):
The strong-armed Mr. Brown, a product of the Ty Cobbs of the Kiwanis League of the Parade Grounds, the same club that gave catcher Steve Lembo to major league livery in Flatbush, has already spent parts of six seasons with Brooklyn.
Brown, frequently tabbed "Little Joe DiMaggio" by his mates -- he even wears No. 5 -- is one of the finest looking young players in the game today and was the subject of much trade talk all Winter on the part of the opposition owners.
Dressen can't understand why such a fine prospect as the Brooklyn boy hasn't ticked by now and he is going to find out why. It is no secret that Dressen wants Tommy's explosive bat in the lineup every day and hopes to have him developed into a polished fly hawk by the time the team returns home to start the pennant drive in 1951.
As you certainly know, Tommy didn't exactly become the big star many had hoped. He did, on the other hand, set a Major League record that is likely to never be surpassed. On August 20th 1945, at the age of 17 years and 257 days, Tommy Brown his his first career home run; thereby setting a MLB record for the youngest player to have ever hit a homer.

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