Friday, March 29, 2019

More to the picture(s)

Even though I showed quite a bit of the photos that Alan sent in the giant diaper box, I felt like I didn't give the package justice just because so much was left out.

Since the arrival of the package, I've found out that this indeed was Alan's collection of Dodger photographs and my hat's off to him for his detailed accumulation as well as bestowing me with these.

As for some of the items that I left out, let's start with this:

This, I believe, is a program for the Montreal Royals, the long-ago farm team for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Marvin Rackley played for the Royals and I believe this program dates from 1946. That would be the year that Jackie Robinson played for the Royals, too, and Robinson and Rackley were teammates. They were also teammates with the Dodgers and each made their major league debut on April 15, 1947 according to a few accounts.

That is far too cool and needs to be appreciated more than when I showed it on Twitter. Come on, man, the Montreal Royals? A dude who played with Jackie Robinson on two teams? Did I mention that he was once the oldest-living Dodgers player? Did I mention he served three years in the Air Force during World War II?

Here is poster of some sort in another foreign language. Ferrell Anderson was a catcher for the Dodgers and played for them in 1946. He also played in Cuba and I believe that's where this poster originates.

I find the '40s photos in this box the most fascinating, mostly because they're so old and that the players very rarely get mentioned today, but also because the photos are in magnificent shape, and obviously much better quality than what the Dodger photos became in the '60s, '70s and '80s.

There is a photo of Hall of Famer Billy Herman, noted mostly for his years with the Cubs. But he played a few years with the Dodgers during the 1940s, too.

Hugh Casey, a noted relief pitcher for the Dodgers in the 1940s. He was named the "all-time all-star" reliever in the very first TCMA set that I bought as a youngster, which designated a Dodger great for each position. So you had Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider, Roy Campanella, Sandy Koufax and, yup, Hugh Casey. Also, Casey, according to Peter Golenbock's book "Bums," which sits on my bookshelf, engaged in some fisticuffs with Ernest Hemingway ... for fun.

More '40s Dodgers pitchers, more hijinks. Kirby Higbe won 22 games for the Dodgers in 1941. Higbe liked to carouse and thought nothing of walking into the hotel with a bottle of booze and a girl on each arm, but he said that blatant attitude hurt his chances of getting a job in baseball after his career. He was also dealt from the Dodgers when he and some other teammates protested Branch Rickey's decision to add Jackie Robinson to the team.

Fat Freddie Ftizsimmons went to the Dodgers after a long and successful pitcher career with the Giants through the 1930s. Considered washed up by the Giants, he went 16-2 with the Dodgers in 1940. Known for his knuckleball and ability to field his position, he was one of the most popular players of the 1930s and '40s.

Bruce Edwards was the Dodgers' starting catcher in 1946 and 1947. Edwards was moved to the infield after that and Roy Campanella stepped in behind the plate for Brooklyn.

I don't have time to break down every '40s photo I received, unfortunately. Here are a few more that I didn't show in the last post:

The last photo is of Tommy Brown, who at age 16 batted for the Dodgers in 1944 thereby becoming the youngest nonpitcher to appear in a major league game.

OK, moving on to the 1950s for a little bit, here is a photo that I wanted to show the last time:

Sal "The Barber" Maglie is another Giant who came over to the Dodgers (so much preferable than the reverse). He was also a legend in Niagara Falls, his birth place, where I used to work and the ballpark is named after him.

This is a beauty. The other Gil Hodges photos in this box are head shots. But I stopped in my tracks when I saw this picture. Wonderful.

Thought you might want to see a whole bunch of Jim Gilliam photos. There were a lot more than that, too. The last picture is the one that was shown repeatedly during the 1978 World Series when he was dying. It was a pretty sad moment and basically my first time knowing who Gilliam was.

The '60s photos are so much fun. I like this Hollywood-style photo presentation of young and old Tommy.

Some variouis photos of Davis over the years. Tommy Davis is right up at the top of "What Could've Been" players for the Dodgers. That 1962 season, man. If he could have duplicated that for a few more years.

There are some Willie Davis photos, young and old. I really like the shot of him posing hands on knees with the batting cage scene in the background.

A few more '60s players and '60s shots.

I was most familiar with the '70s photos that were in this package, but this '70s picture shows something that is not familiar to me at all: Davey Lopes WITH glasses and WITHOUT a mustache.

What the heck?

That's a cool shot of Charlie Hough and the knuckleball in action.

There are just a couple of photos in this lot that stumped me, meaning I have no idea who they are. This is one of them. Arthur B.L. .... something. I am coming up with nothing and I have no time to do 30 minutes of research, I have a post to finish! But someday.

Just a few more photos of '70s notables and not-so-notables.

By the '80s, I think the practice of issuing packets of photos died out in the Dodgers marketing department. Either that or my disinterest in ordering more Dodgers photos and Alan's lack of any photos beyond 1981 intersects perfectly at the early '80s.

At any rate, there are precious few of the '80s players in this huge assortment.

There's 1981 World Series hero Pedro Guerrero.

There's 1988 World Series hero Mickey Hatcher. Look how trim he is.

And that's a look at Mark Belanger in a Dodger uniform for his forgettable 1982 season with L.A.

So, now, I think I'm finished with showing the photos that Alan sent, even though there are guys I still haven't displayed here.

The history of baseball is probably my favorite part of baseball and that's not just something that has come up since I've aged into my 50s. Way back when I was starting into my teens, I'd drool over the TCMA retrospective sets commemorating the 1950 Phillies Whiz Kids and the 1930s Gas House Gang.

Baseball is not only Bryce Harper and Mike Trout and the new guys we're supposed to be salivating over.

It's guys like Joe Hatten and Dick Tracewski and Paul Popovich.

I have the baseball cards -- and the photos -- to prove it.


  1. Wow! The Parade Sportive is fantastic. How many of them came in the box? Those are very scarce. Parade Sportive is actually a Montreal area sports radio show and what you have are promotional premiums.

    1. Thanks for the extra info. That was the only one in the box.

  2. What a treasure trove! My favorite is that Havana poster, mostly because of the ad at the bottom, which I believe is for the campaign of Antonio Prío for mayor. My high school Spanish tells me it says something like "The complete collection of these photos will give you the right to the benefits of the GIFT PLAN which is announced in our pages." Which I certainly would expect to see in an ad for bread or candy or something, not a politician!

    I think I've told this story in some blog's comments before, but the player you mention has always having girls on each arm was once caught by his wife having signed into a hotel as "Mr. and Mrs." without her, meaning he must have been with another woman. His response? "It must have been some other Kirby Higbe!" (Hey, it might have worked for Bruce Edwards....)

    1. Yes, you've mentioned that on my blog at least a couple of times. I must be posting too many Kirby Higbe items.

    2. Sorry, it's like a Pavlovian response with me, I guess. I'll stop now.

  3. Looks like your going to be springing for some supplies. The Hodges photo I believe is from Mannys Baseball Land. Store was across the street from Yankee Stadium. Sold photos of all teams

  4. That is a lot of history there. That was one heck of a box. You should be giddy all year.

  5. That's arthur Bobby lee darwin.

  6. Those photos are really cool. Kudos to Alan for amassing such a great collection and for passing them to you.

    I like seeing autographs from old-time players, and Bruce Edwards and Tommy Brown are my favorites here. Even though those are facsimiles, when those guys signed autographs, they probably looked just like what we see here. Their signatures had personality, unlike the scribbles from most players today.

  7. Old baseball pictures- the next best thing to old baseball cards.

  8. Yay, a cool picture of Claude Osteen along with lot of other pictures of Dodgers past. The Tommy Davis photos really hit home with me because my kids and I met him at the National in Anaheim in 2006. He had a table there and was selling his book "Tommy Davis' Tales From the Dodger Dugout". We bought one, he autographed for us and then we took a picture with him. He was so nice and friendly--good times!

  9. Wow. I only recognized a few names from the first half of this post... which means I learned about a month's worth of baseball knowledge from one post. Sadly... that means I'll probably only retain one or two cool facts. 16 year old Tommy Brown will be one of them.

  10. That was really really cool and a wonderful read.
    Thanks a lot for sharing.

  11. what a generous bit of history here! i enjoy old b/w pics of baseball's colorful characters like Higbe. cool collection to own, Greg!

  12. Great history and beautifully preserved photos!!

  13. Those 40s and 50s ones in particular are amazing.