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Vintage Memorabilia Discussion Discussions of all types of vintage related memorabilia.

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  #1  
Old 03-10-2014, 07:14 AM
coxfan coxfan is offline
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Default Old baseball literature

Dealers have a lot of old baseball books and magazines. They show how little changes accumulate over time to major changes. And they have the advantage that authenticity is rarely a problem. I just bought a copy of 1952 baseball "Dope Book" (strange title) for the modest price of $27. In it I find the following:

1) The newly-recodified baseball official rules. Before 1949, the official rules were just listed by number (e.g. "Rule 58") rather than broken down into sections (e.g. "7.04") as today.

2) 1952 was the last year before MLB finally started spreading out: first by moving clubs, then in 1961 by expansion. In this book we see the Braves still in Boston. Ironically, their top 2 farm clubs were in Milwaukee and Atlanta! The A's were still in Philadelphia, with Connie Mack listed as their President. Los Angeles, Kansas City, Baltimore, Dallas, Ft. Worth, and Houston were listed as minor-league clubs. The Browns and Cardinals shared the same stadium. Most MLB stadia had capacities of around 30,000, though Yankee Stadium was much larger than all the rest.

3) Minor leagues were classified down to Class D. Surprisingly MLB clubs varied a lot in their farm systems. A couple of them had no AAA affiliates. MLB clubs had from 7 to 16 minor-league affiliates.

4) There were the same 16 MLB clubs, representing only 10 metro-areas, that had existed since 1903. NYC had 3 clubs, and Philadelphia, St. Louis, Boston, and of course Chicago had 2 each. There were no MLB clubs in the entire South and West.

5) The Washington Senators are called the "Nats" in this 1952 book.
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  #2  
Old 03-17-2014, 11:38 PM
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xpress34 xpress34 is offline
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Default Re: Old baseball literature

If you are ever looking for more, I have some older (mid 60's and earlier) baseball books I'm looking to move.

I could post a list here.

Thanks!

- Smitty
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  #3  
Old 03-18-2014, 11:49 AM
sox83cubs84 sox83cubs84 is online now
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Lightbulb Re: Old baseball literature

Quote:
Originally Posted by coxfan View Post
Dealers have a lot of old baseball books and magazines. They show how little changes accumulate over time to major changes. And they have the advantage that authenticity is rarely a problem. I just bought a copy of 1952 baseball "Dope Book" (strange title) for the modest price of $27. In it I find the following:

1) The newly-recodified baseball official rules. Before 1949, the official rules were just listed by number (e.g. "Rule 58") rather than broken down into sections (e.g. "7.04") as today.

2) 1952 was the last year before MLB finally started spreading out: first by moving clubs, then in 1961 by expansion. In this book we see the Braves still in Boston. Ironically, their top 2 farm clubs were in Milwaukee and Atlanta! The A's were still in Philadelphia, with Connie Mack listed as their President. Los Angeles, Kansas City, Baltimore, Dallas, Ft. Worth, and Houston were listed as minor-league clubs. The Browns and Cardinals shared the same stadium. Most MLB stadia had capacities of around 30,000, though Yankee Stadium was much larger than all the rest.

3) Minor leagues were classified down to Class D. Surprisingly MLB clubs varied a lot in their farm systems. A couple of them had no AAA affiliates. MLB clubs had from 7 to 16 minor-league affiliates.

4) There were the same 16 MLB clubs, representing only 10 metro-areas, that had existed since 1903. NYC had 3 clubs, and Philadelphia, St. Louis, Boston, and of course Chicago had 2 each. There were no MLB clubs in the entire South and West.

5) The Washington Senators are called the "Nats" in this 1952 book.
Regarding point 2, while the Yankees did have a larger than normal stadium in terms of fan capacity, the biggest was actually Cleveland Municipal Stadium, where the Indians played. In their best times, crowds of 70,000 and up were not unheard of.

Dave Miedema
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Old 03-20-2014, 08:38 AM
coxfan coxfan is offline
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Default Re: Old baseball literature

Thanks for the correction. Cleveland's capacity was 73,811, while the Yankees were listed at 70,000. Detroit's was 58,000 and the White Sox was 48,536 in this 1952 book. But the St. Louis clubs (Browns and Cardinals) shared a park with 30,808 seats. The Washington Nats were 29,731 and the two Philadelphia teams shared a park with 33,222 seats. Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Brooklyn were on the low 30,000 plus range, but the NY Giants were 56,000. The correlation between seating capacity and actual attendance may not have been that great. The Boston Braves probably had trouble filling a lot of their 40,000 seats in most years.
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Old 03-21-2014, 07:42 PM
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BVC BVC is offline
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Default Re: Old baseball literature

I love reading the old baseball guides, and own either a Spalding or Reach Guide (or both) for most years from the 1880's through 1930, and some of the ones through 1911 are for sale, either on my web-site or on ebay.

If you really want a shock, read some of the specialty guides from the 1880's - my favorite is Spalding's 'Art of Fielding' from 1885. It talks about players cheating, suggestions based on fielding bare-handed, different slang, etc.
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