(Written by Troy Kinunen of MEARS Auctions) – MEARS Auctions has just returned from the National Sports Convention in Baltimore, Maryland. After interviewing dozens of collectors and dealers, there was a strong consensus that vintage sports memorabilia is regaining popularity among collectors. Vintage sports memorabilia is defined as non professional /game used memorabilia from the major leagues. In addition to analyzing the market, I discussed the possibility of working with a very advanced collector about cataloging the history of sports memorabilia and creating a new book to serve as the ultimate handbook for collectors.
While at the show I made several key purchases for the permanent MEARS Museum display. On set up day I obtained a very fine example of an 1890-1900 circa workman’s glove (web less). Additional pickups included a 1900 circa pancake style catcher’s mitt with grommet and lace enclosure and another with original crescent pad. This was a nice addition used to illustrate our evolution of the glove display.
Our current collection includes a very early, 1880 circa workman’s glove with sewn on finger tips, the second version of a baseball glove, following the fingerless model.
Early catcher’s mask will also be on display, with the addition of 3 very early cloth padded examples, dating to circa 1880-1900. These will compliment the later leather padded birdcage models and our examples from the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. Each mask is part of a mannequin display which features mask, chest protector, and period catches mitt.
For the jersey display, I procured a high grade example of a 1900 circa flannel jersey with button in sleeves and quilted pants. The uniform was completed with an all original pill box cap.
On the show floor were some phenomenal examples of early vintage baseball photography. The majority of images I sought were mounted cabinet photos. I was careful to select images that best represented uniform and equipment styles. It is always rewarding to examine images which clearly show close-up shots of catcher’s mask, gloves, and bats used during the era.
Pricing on the majority of the items was quite reasonable, with the button on sleeve uniform with matching pill box cap being the most expensive purchase.
MEARS Auctions was very successful in obtaining some quality consignments for our August 25th-September 1st, 2012 Sports Auction. Our staff has been tirelessly working to catalog the items for the sale. Below is a list of vintage gloves that will be offered. Special attention was given to properly date, grade, and identify each glove. The write-ups will aid beginning collectors on the terminology needed to understand the hobby. The featured items include:
1925-30 circa Harold Pie Traynor Pittsburgh Pirates Tunnel Web Store Model Glove (MEARS LOA)
Fitting on the left hand for a right handed thrower, this Harold “Pie” Traynor signature model glove was supplied by an unidentified manufacturer. Tunnel webbing is 100% original and intact. Leather piping and stitching is all original. Glove is in very good condition, with slight stitch pull on inner thumb. Stampings are worn, yet completely present and readable. LOA from Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS W0087
1930s Mel Ott New York Giants D&M DG924 Signature Store Model Glove (MEARS LOA)
Fitting on the left hand for a right handed thrower, this Melvin Ott signature model glove was supplied by the Drapard & Maynard Company. D&M logo, model DG 924, and signature remain in excellent condition. Glove remains in excellent overall condition. All lacing is original and intact. LOA from Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS W0086
1929 circa Carl Mays New York Giants Two Tunnel Web Signature Store Model Glove (MEARS LOA)
Fitting on the left hand for a right handed thrower. Manufacturer unknown. Very good condition. Carl Mays facsimile glove stamp is found in the palm of the glove, although very light, it is still readable. All lacing and webbing is original and intact. LOA from Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS W0085
1928-30 Carl Hubbell New York Giants Rawhide Tunnel Signature Store Model Glove (MEARS LOA)
Fitting on the left hand, this glove is for a right handed thrower. Manufacturer unknown. Every good condition. Carl Hubbell facsimile glove stamp in found in the palm, and remains 100% readable. Model 0400 also stamped in palm. LOA from Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS W0084
1958-63 Mickey Mantle New York Yankees MM9 Triple Crown Signature Store Model Glove (NR MT Condition) (MEARS LOA)
Fitting on the left hand, this glove is made for a right handed thrower. Manufactured by Rawlings, this glove was first introduced during 1958 and is documented via the Rawlings dealer catalogs. The model was popular with kids, and continued to be offered through 1963, where it was then dropped from the Rawlings product line.
For glove collectors, this example sports a very unique design, which remains quite popular with collectors. Depicted in the interior palm is design of Mantle bending at the knees, inspired by a still life photography session. His image is placed above a crown design which proudly reads, “Mickey Mantle”, facsimile signature, and the phrase, Triple Crown Winner. Inside also reads, “Rawlings, MADE IN USA, MM9”. Stampings are very strong and remain in near mint condition.
The remainder of the glove remains in near mint condition. The piping of the glove was vinyl covered on cloth, and has cracked in numerous spots from being in storage for 50+ years. The original owners name, “Steve Janssen, Syracuse” is neatly written on the inside wrist strap. LOA from Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS W0083
1910-20 circa Spalding Store Model Adult Size Baseball Glove w/ 1”web (MEARS LOA)
Adult size, this glove fits on the left hand for a right handed thrower. Unknown model, The “Spalding Trade Mark” wrist strap button remains in excellent condition. Glove remains in excellent overall condition, with no tears and the interior leather lining is fully intact. Cloth piping remains in very good condition with some wear to the material. LOA from Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS
1940s Joe DiMaggio New York Yankees Block Letter 3-finger Store Model Glove (MEARS LOA)
Adult size, this glove fits on the left hand for a right handed thrower. Manufacturer unknown. “JOE DIMAGGIO” is factory stamped in block lettering on the inside pinky. Also stamped is, “Hand Sewed Self Forming Felt Heel”. Full pocket with interior stamping, “The Lock”. No manufacturing marks on the wrist strap or button. Piping and lacing 100% complete. Very good overall condition. LOA from Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS
1930s circa Henie Manush Washington Senators Tunnel Web Store / Signature Model Tru Sport Glove w/ rare split back and laced (MEARS LOA)
Adult size, this glove fits on the left hand for a right handed thrower. Manufactured and distributed by the Tru Sport Company. Deep Henie Manush facsimile glove signature on inner palm which remains 100% visible and displays in near mint condition. Interior palm stamped, “Professional Model, Tru Sport, Genuine”. Very rare split back with lacing. Overall condition is excellent condition. Small grouping of spots on the interior near the facsimile signature. All piping and lacing is complete. Original owners name, “Larry Klusman, ‘37” neatly written on reverse. LOA from Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS
1880-1900 circa Childs Crescent Catcher’s Mitt w / rare string and grommet closing (MEARS LOA)
Young adult or child sized (8” x 8”); this glove fits on the left hand for a right handed thrower. No manufacturers tag present. Very early style featuring the crescent interior padding and the grommet and string wrist closure. Condition is very good overall. Area where the string fastens to the inner strap has torn away. Grommet and piece of original lacing string is still present. Interior of glove shows wear and stress to the leather, but remains 100% intact and stable. LOA from Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS w0075
1900-1910 circa High Grade Adult Full 1 ½” Web Percy A. McBride White Buckskin Fielder’s Glove w/asbestos lining (MEARS LOA)
Adult size, this glove fits the left hand for a right handed thrower. Excellent to near mint condition. Manufactured by the Percy A. McBride Company from white buck skin. Due to use and age, the glove has turned a light gray in color. The cloth piping is 100% intact and remains in near mint condition. Original cloth wrist strap (black with yellow stitching) reads, “Percy A. McBride, Fine Athletic Goods, 343 Yonge St., Toronto”. Interior asbestos lining is 100% intact. Very desirable example of an early turn of the century style glove. This is considered the fourth generation of all baseball gloves, following the fingerless model glove, sewn on finger workman’s glove, workman’s glove, and then this full web model. LOA Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS Auctions
1900-1910 circa Reach Adult buckle back base mitt glove (MEARS LOA)
Adult size, fitting on the left hand, this glove is for a right handed thrower. Early cloth Reach label is sewn on reverse. Glove remains in very good to excellent condition, with exception of the wrist strap. Although still 100% present, the leather wrist strap has split from age. The remaining piping and lacing is 100% complete and intact. Hard to find early example. LOA Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS Auctions
1900-10 circa Adult Full Web Store Model Glove (MEARS LOA)
Adult size, fitting on the left hand, this glove is for a right handed thrower. Manufacturer unknown. Glove is in very good condition. Wrist strap is intact, but the manufactures’ tag is missing. Very large thumb. This is a very early example of the fourth generation of baseball gloves. LOA Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS Auctions
As always, MEARS Online Auctions, www.mearsonlineauctions.com , is seeking the following for auction:
Store Model Glove
Player Model Store Model Glove
Full Web Glove
Reach Baseball Glove
Spalding Baseball Glove
Baseball Glove mint in box
Game Worn Fielder’s Glove
Game Worn Bat
Game Used Jersey