Original 1938 Telegram from Detroit Tigers Executive to AL President

A very interesting original telegram from Detroit Tigers executive Walter Briggs, Jr. regarding Mickey Cochrane's suggested lineup for the 1938 All-Star game to the president of the American League William Harridge.  The telegram reads, "Cochrane's suggested lineup for All star Game air mailed to you yesterday." Considering that the manager of the AL All-Star team was Joe McCarthy, not Mickey Cochrane, the content of this telegram is very interesting.  Who asked for Cochrane's opinion?  Was Cochrane running the show behind the scenes?  We will probably never know.  But what is known is that this original Western Union telegram is a unique and interesting piece of baseball history.  -$100

Lineup Cards From A's Historic 20 Game Winning Streak.  Moneyball

These are the actual game used lineup cards from the Oakland A's historic 19th and 20th consecutive wins during their famous 2002 AL Championship run.  The Athletics' season was the subject of Michael Lewis' book Moneyball and the later film adaptation of the same name starring Brad Pitt.

The streak began on August 13, 2002 and lasted until September 4, 2002.  The first card is from the A's 19th straight win, a 7-6 victory over Kansas City.  The second is from their 20th and final win in the streak, a 12-11 win over the Royals witnessed by over 55,000 fans at the Oakland Coliseum.  On September 4th, by winning its 20th consecutive game, the A's broke the 1947 AL record of nineteen set by the Yankees.  Over the first three innings of the game, Oakland shelled KC pitchers for a total of 11 runs while building a seemingly insurmountable 11-0 lead.  Sloppy play down the stretch, however, allowed the Royals to score five runs apiece in the fourth and eight innings.  In the ninth, Billy Koch would surrender a two-out single to Royals pinch hitter Luis Alicea, allowing the tying run to score.  With the score tied 11-11 in the bottom of the ninth, pinch hitter Scott Hatteberg delivered a one-out solo home run to break the record.

Major League Baseball's official rule 4.01 dictates that 5 minutes prior to the start of each game, head coaches are to meet with the umpires at home plate to exchange their official lineup cards. Once submitted to the umpire-in-chief, the lineups become official.  The home plate umpire retains a copy, the visiting head coach receives a copy, and the home coach keeps a copy.  Thus for every game there is one signed lineup and 2 carbon copies.  These are the carbon copies which were filled out by A's manager Art Howe.  You may never again find these available for purchase.  

Price- $375 for the pair.

1948 AAGPBL South Bend Blue Sox v Muskegon Lassies Score Card

The South Bend Blue Sox were a founding member team of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League.  With the depletion of quality in men's professional baseball during World War II, women's baseball became a major attraction.  In recent years, the story of the AAGPBL was retold in the very popluar 1992 film, A League of Their Own.  Today the League is considered a forerunner of women's professional sports.

This original South Bend Blue Sox score card bears attractive graphics on its cover depicting a Blue Sox player in her AAGPBL style uniform.  Both the Blue Sox and their opponent Muskegon Lassies rosters and positions are listed.  The bi-fold score card is unscored on the inside.  The ticket from the front lower right cover was removed for admission to the game.  The overall condition is excellent with minor signs of wear consistent with its age.  Authentic, original AAGPBL memorabilia is quite scarce in the market today - $200.

For additional information or more pictures, email MajorLeagueHistory@gmail.com

The 1882 Buffalo Bisons

1959 American Association Umpire's Ejection Report

Are robot umpires coming to baseball?  It may not be as far away as you think.  For more than a decade, Major League Baseball has been using PITCHf/x, a digital system which can, through multiple cameras installed throughout a stadium, be used to instantly report on a ball's trajectory, spin rate, and location entering the strike zone.  In 2015 The San Rafael Pacifics, an independent team in the Pacific Association, used PITCHf/x to call balls and strikes for an entire two-game series.  Supporters of PITCHf/x say the system enhances baseball by eliminating the possibility of human error resulting in increased accuracy and efficiency.  

I for one would hate to see a computer replace an umpire.  Who wants to see a manager run from a dugout to argue with a computer?  Human error has been a part of baseball since the first pitch was thrown at the Elysian Fields more than 150 years ago.  The human element makes the game more dynamic and interesting.

Nothing demonstrates that human element more than this 1959 American Association Umpire's Ejection Report.  This letter written by umpire Tom Bartos, explains why he ejected manager Rube Walker (who was the Dodger's backup catcher to Campanella in the 50's before he went on to become a manager) from a game played June 11, 1959.  Bartos writes that Walker was arguing a check-swing call when he told Bartos he was "full of s***," "no f*****' good," and a little "c***s*****." Poor Tom was so intent on conveying his explanation that when he ran out of room on the front side of the form, he flipped it over and continued writing on the back.  Each time a player or manager was ejected from a ballgame, the umpire had to write a letter to league president Ed Doherty explaining why he had to eject that person. This letter comes from the estate of Jim Burris, a longtime baseball executive and it comes with a signed LOA from the Jim Burris estate.

No matter what happens to the future of umpiring, this letter will always serve as a reminder of the rough and tumble times of yesteryear.  Price- $95

- Backs -

1910 Goldsmith Spring and Summer Baseball Catalog

In 1910, Ty Cobb and Nap LaJoie engaged in a highly publicized and controversial batting race, Cy Young won his 500th game, President Taft began the tradition of American Presidents throwing out the first pitch on opening day, and Goldsmith published this 38 page baseball sporting goods catalog.  The catalog depicts every baseball, glove, mask and every other piece of baseball equipment manufactured by Goldsmith that year.

The eye-catching colorful cover has been taped together at the spine and is loose. The inner pages are in excellent off-white condition.  The two middle pages are loose.   A must have for the vintage memorabilia collector - $185.

Other Memorabilia


Before baseball became integrated in 1947, the Negro Leagues showcased some of the greatest baseball players of all time.  Seven such greats recall their fondest memories in these hand written responses to questions about the greatest players and biggest moments they faced in the Negro Leagues.   Who were the toughest hitters Double Duty Radcliffe faced?  Which Negro League team was the greatest of them all according to Walter Leonard?  What was Leon Day's biggest thrill as a player?  The answers along with many others lie within the choice content of these detailed compendiums.  Includes Leon Day (signed); Buck Leonard (signed "Walter F. Leonard" however the answers were written by his wife whom has also signed); Monte Irvin; Don Newcombe; Buck O'Neil; Max Manning; and Double Duty Radcliffe (signed "Double Duty".  Also inluces a signed 8"x10" of each player (Day, Newcombe, and Manning are personalized.

All of these great players have since passed away.  Their legacy lives on in these very important historical documents. - SOLD

Full Page Letter from NL President John Heydler to Hall of Famer Fred Clarke

John Heydler was a key figure in baseball during the first half of the 20th century.  He served as the president of the National League briefly in 1909 then again from 1918-1934.  He was very influential in the election of baseball's first commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis and in the establishment of the Baseball Hall of Fame.  He was the first person to propose the designated hitter.

Here Heydler has type written a full page letter on official National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs letter head with excellent historic content.  He accepts Clarke's acceptance to the Rules Committee and discusses the membership of its other members including Bill Veeck Sr., Connie Mack and Judge Landis.

The letter concludes with a rare authentic fountain pen signature from Heydler who died in 1956.  A rare find - SOLD.

Diplomacy, A Book From The Personal Library of Moe Berg

Moe Berg could have been the original "Most Interesting Man in the World".  In 1934, he made his second trip to Japan as part of a traveling Major League All-Star team.  One might have wondered what the seldom used backup catcher was doing playing with the likes of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. Turns out Berg was taking home movies of the Tokyo skyline that were used in the planning of General Jimmy Doolittle's 1942 bombing raids on the Japanese capital.  The U.S. government wrote a letter to Berg, thanking him for the movies.  The story has been elevated into the stuff of legend.  

On another spy mission, Berg parachuted into Yugoslavia to gather intelligence on the Communists. Another assignment had Berg, posing as a German businessman in Switzerland, with the prime objective of assassinating a top German scientist who was working on the A-bomb. (Seriously, you couldn't make this stuff up)

What better piece of Moe Berg memorabilia could there be than this book about Diplomacy from his personal library?  He has highlighted, with neat straight-edged pencil lines, the information he felt to be the most important throughout the book.  He has stamped the flyleaf page and several other pages with his own personal stamp.  One example of several notations throughout the book is on pages 52 and 53 where Berg has underlined "Diplomacy is regarded as an unremitting activity directed towards ultimate triumph" next to which he has written "warrior" school.  On page 54 he wrote "civilian" school of diplomacy and initialed his notation (M.B).  

This book is just as you would want it to be, well read, a little old and musty, the dust jacket is there but in pieces, complete with a tight binding, and about the topic of diplomacy.  It comes with a full letter of authenticity from James Spence Authenticators (#B78741). This book gives you a glimpse into the brilliant mind of Moe Berg.  Price - $475.

Detroit Tigers 1935 World Champions PSA Type I Team Photo

It had taken three and a half decades, but the Detroit Tigers were finally crowned the best team in baseball in 1935. Coming on the heels of their hugely disappointing loss in the World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals the year before, the Tigers emerged victorious in a thrilling six-game October showdown against a talented Chicago Cubs team.  It was Detroit's first World Series championship. For a city suffering from the Great Depression, it couldn't have come at a better time.  The team was led by player-manager Mickey Cochrane, and featured an offense fueled by Hank Greenberg, Charlie Gehringer, and Goose Goslin (dubbed the "G-Men"). On the mound were Lynwood Thomas "Schoolboy" Rowe, Tommy Bridges, Elden Auker, and General Crowder. With 93 victories that summer, the Tigers outpaced the New York Yankees by three games, taking their fifth American League title in club history.

This original 9x7" news service photograph is certified by PSA as a Type I photo, meaning a 1st generation photograph, developed from the original negative, used during the time period of its printing.  The photo demonstrates terrific use as a news photograph with the vintage Acme Newspictures stamp on the back and the original description label.  The reverse bears a Sporting News Collection label, further validating the authenticity of the piece and tying its origins to The Sporting News.  In pencil the former publisher has scribed their planned caption for use in the news publications, "The club which thrilled Detroit in 1935.  Tigertown's first World's Champion".  A gem for any vintage team photo collection.  Price- $175

1913 Goldsmith Spring Summer Catalog

Loaded with images of star players.  The first Goldsmith catalog with a player pictured on the cover (Ed Reulbach of the Chicago Cubs).  Every ball, glove and bat made by Goldsmith in 1913 is pictured and detailed.  A valuable reference guide for the memorabilia collector.  Price - $165

1892 New York Recorder Souvenir Supplement - The Yale Baseball Team

In 1892, the New York Recorder issued premium "souvenir" supplements.  They are considered to be the first ever color newspaper supplements.  This attractive original team photo of the Yale Baseball Team features Yale Murphy seated in the center of the middle row.  At only 5'3", Yale Murphy would become the shortest professional baseball player ever playing 3 seasons with the New York Giants from 1894-1897.

This 10 x 7" paper premium maintains its solid original colors.  It is numbered ' No. 32230'.  A very attractive display piece despite the missing upper left corner.  Rare and seldom offered for sale.  Price - $150.

National League Scorecard Buffalo Bisons vs Chicago White Stockings May 16, 1882

On May 16th, 1882, the Chicago White Stockings, led by their player / manager Cap Anson, defeated the Buffalo Bisons 15-2.  Six of baseball's all-time greatest players and future Hall of Famers played in the game, Dan Brouthers, Deacon White, Jim O'Rourke and Pud Galvin for the Bisons, Cap Anson and King Kelly for the White Stockings.  Chicago broke out to an early 8-0 lead after 2 innings.  Outfielder George Gore led the Chicago scoring with 4 runs followed by King Kelly with 3.  Buffalo's Hall of Fame pitcher Pud Galvin obviously had an off day pitching but did manage to account for 1 of Buffalo's 2 runs.  The game was played at Chicago's Lakefront Park.  The White Stockings would go on to win the National League Championship of 1882.

This incredibly rare original scorecard documents the inning by inning action of the game.  It displays the Buffalos boxscore on one side, Chicagos on the other, each box scored in pencil.  It has been folded in the middle, once vertically, once horizontally.  The period advertisements create wonderful display value and eye appeal.  A.G. Spalding, famed baseball player and sporting goods mogul, prominently displays his advertising, including a picture of a ring style baseball bat at top and center of Chicago side.  The Abbott Buggy Co., shows one of their 'first class' buggies on the Buffalo side.  Travel in style aboard the Great Rock Island Route train from Kansas City to Minneapolis.

Quite possibly a one-of-a-kind, this appealing scorecard shown below serves as an important historical piece from the early days of baseball's senior circuit.  SOLD.

Official Game Used Lineup Card Completed and Signed by Ted Williams

On June 16, 1970, the Washington Sentaors, managed by Ted Williams, visited the Minnesota Twins at Metropolitan Stadium.  After deciding on his starting lineup, Ted Williams filled out this official lineup card, signed his last name at the bottom, and submitted it to the umpire-in-chief to certify his team's lineup for the game.  The signature has been pre-certified as authentic by PSA / DNA.  Tony Oliva homered in the game to help lead the Twins to a 7-3 victory.  A fantastic little piece of baseball history from one of the greatest of all-time.  Price - $200


Eighty pages of every piece of sports equipment produced by Spalding in the spring and summer of 1900.  Fantastic illustrations of baseballs, gloves, bats, masks, golf equipment, tennis, footballs, basketball and every other sport you can imagine from the year 1900.  This complete guide is in poor condition.  The cover is split and loose, the pages are loose, the original staples have rusted away.  A very rare find in any condition.  $165.

Rickey Henderson signed 1989 Professional Model World Series Bat

This pro model T141 Rickey Henderson bat led to a modification of the MLB rules due to its over-sized Louisville Slugger logo.  Following the 1989 World Series, MLB's rules committee told teams that they must order bats without any manufacturer's identification.  Baseball said that the logos had gotten too big, in particular the "Louisville Slugger" label on Rickey Henderson's bat used in the post season.  The batmakers complained, saying trademarks were important to their business.  At the winter meetings the two sides compromised, sort of.  Baseball told the bat makers that logos could still appear but could not be longer than four inches.  Today MLB rule 1.17 says advertisement on sports equipment shall not contain any undue commercialization of the product. Designations by the manufacturer on any such equipment must be in good taste as to the size and content of the manufacturer’s logo or the brand name of the item.

This historic bat is signed by Rickey Henderson and comes with a COA from Rickey's own Man of Steal Sports Martketing.  The bat bears a numbered hologram (#A270156) matching the COA.  Price - $400.

1930s Diamond Brand Augie Galan Split Finger Fielders Glove Mint w Box

This FG225 Diamond Brand Augie Galan endorsed glove looks as though it was just plucked off the shelf of a 1930's sporting goods store.  It even retains the original $1.20 price tag.  Accompanying the glove is its original box.  The box shows moderate wear and a 2 inch tear to a top corner.  The glove, other than some mild natural signs of aging, looks brand new.  It certainly must be the finest example of its kind.  Price - $350

​​Major League History

1915 (2) Pittsburgh Rebels Tickets

In 1914, John T. Powers of Chicago convinced a group of investors to organize a third major league, the Federal League, to compete with the AL and NL.  Despite threats from the AL and NL to blacklist any players that jumped to the new league, many stars were lured to the FL for increased pay and the chance to break free from the AL and NL's 'reserve clause'.

The "outlaw" Federal League folded after only two seasons largely due to interference by the other two organized leagues.  Due to it's short-lived existence more than 100 years ago, authentic FL memorabilia is very scarce as you would imagine.

These are two authentic tickets from the Pittsburgh Rebels Federal League team which was owned by C.B. Comstock and Edwin Gwinner.  The Rebels, named after their player / manager Rebel Oakes, played their games at Exposition Park which was demolished after the team was sold off following the 1915 season.  These tickets are for the 38th (second game of a double header with the Baltimore Terrapins) and 42nd (vs. Brookly Tip-Tops) Rebels home games.  Both tickets have some light pencil markings.  They are guaranteed authentic and original.  Price - $150 each or $250 for the pair.