Any Wilson A2000 experts?

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Wilson A2010

Postby GloveGypsy » February 23rd, 2008, 1:10 pm

Hello Bretman,
I have been following an excellent condition A2010 auction on eBay this week, but it does not allude to a restoration by Earl Malone. In fact, it mentions that the glove has had little use and needs to be broken in.

What is the item number of the A2010 that you following?
I have numerous A2000's and I just really admire their quality, appearance and performance.

-GG
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Postby Studboy » February 23rd, 2008, 3:25 pm

the glove was eBay lot #270211654589 & ended at $78.77
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A2000

Postby cjkelley1 » February 23rd, 2008, 4:39 pm

Hello,yes Ironton was the primary Wilson supplier in the late 40' and into the 80's.If you notice how often the line is under the Made in USA you'll realize that a majority of the Wilson gloves came from Ironton.By the way Ironton is at the southern tip of Ohio.And yes it was a completely different factory than Ada,Ohio.As I was growing up I didn't realize what all came out of the Wilson factory,it was only when I started reseaching the history of the Ironton factory and began collecting Wilson gloves did it occure to me how big a supplier it was. I knew the Plant Manager pretty well and he introduced me to Earl Malone and we have been very close friends since then. But Earl Malone has a vast knowledge and can recall just about anything having to do with Wilson gloves.He is amazing on his knowledge and ability to repair gloves.No I'm not an expert but if you have any questions I'm pretty sure I could find an answer for your question.Thanks.
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Postby BretMan » February 23rd, 2008, 10:55 pm

Thanks for the info! I never knew that Wilson had a plant in Ironton. Checked the map and that jogged my memory- you are "on the river", about as far south as you can be in Ohio and a couple hours south of Columbus.

I bet that's Reds country down there!
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Earl Malone

Postby softball66 » February 23rd, 2008, 11:04 pm

Great guy ironton's Earl Malone. I interviewed him back 15 years ago or so and he's extremely knowledgeable about the Wilson gloves. How sad it must have been in 1983? when they closed the plant and Earl told me that they took all the dies to the dump. I've got the old story somewhere around here.
Ask Earl how Wilson marked its pro stock gloves in the 1940s and 1950s, if they did at all? Also what he remember about the old Chicago Leather factory where they did make a lot of the pro gloves.
Joe
:roll:
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A2000

Postby cjkelley1 » February 25th, 2008, 6:58 pm

I just talked to Earl Malone and he said the pro stock gloves made in the 50's and 60's would have a number followed by CL (chicago) or IR (Ironton).Although there are gloves out there with numbers that don't have letters following it.With the line being under the Made in USA(meaning made in Ironton) we thought there might not be a need for the letters following the numbers.So gloves made in Chicago would not have a line under the Made in USA .So that may be why some pro model numbers don't have a CL or IR after it.For instance the Ted Williams glove 449CL would be a Chicago pro glove.And the small Wilson glove posted with the numbers 1168 was a Glen Becket pro glove.Hope that answers your question.
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Earl malone

Postby GloveGypsy » February 25th, 2008, 7:20 pm

To cjkelly1,

Next time you speak to Mr. Malone, please ask him what "Ansonia" Leather meant. The quality of leather on those USA made Wilson gloves was superior and I know that Wilson advertised their gloves as being made with "Ansonia" leather, but I don't know what that means.

Thanks in advance.

-GG
Last edited by GloveGypsy on February 25th, 2008, 8:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Way To Go!

Postby softball66 » February 25th, 2008, 7:25 pm

You're a good man Mr. kelly !!! Thanks so much for checking that out further for us. I'd heard just some talk about the Chicago Leather CL for gamers and had seen some Wilson gloves stamped with just 4 numbers (and this is under the wrist strap on game stock) after hearing this from another source.
And this will be of TREMENDOUS importance for us in helping determine pro gamers from those eras. Much similar to the added "x" following many of the Rawlings gloves of that same period to the model #s.
This is called sharing of the information which some people don't want us to know.

:P
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An A2000 book should really be written

Postby oldreliable » February 26th, 2008, 1:05 am

If there isn't anyone else out there who is working on a book about the A2000 (and A2001), I'd like to take a crack at it.

Would anyone else out there like to contribute their knowledge, stories and opinions to such a project?

Would Earl Malone be interested in sharing his great wealth of experience and knowledge? He would be the man to go to!

Would the Wilson company be interested in supporting such a venture? I'd bet that they would like to see their A2000 get its true recognition in the evolution of the baseball glove and its influence on the game of baseball with its own book.

Would Wilson demand that the made-in-Japan gloves be included in the project? Most likely. And that dual welting is pretty nice actually, though the leather probably isn't as good. I come to my A2000 obsession through the made-in-USA ones, but my wife is Japanese and I have already lived in Japan. I could easily go back and interview the Wilson-Japan people like Mr. Aso.

These would all be important questions to be answered. I'm very interested. Guys, please let me know if you know of anyone else out there working on a book about the A2000. If someone else is, I'll let it go, but if not, I'll contact Wilson.

I spent the weekend conditioning my A2000 gamer. Oh, the endorphins that were released! I'm going to go put it on right now.
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go for it!

Postby softball66 » February 26th, 2008, 9:11 am

Great project oldreliable! I'll be able to help wherever I can. They might have made some A2s in Ada for awhile too I'm guessing, I'll look thru my material here to see if I have anything to contribute.
Joe


:)
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a2000

Postby cjkelley1 » February 26th, 2008, 8:13 pm

Just a little input .Wilsons bought the Ada plant out when Bill Sonnet was making the Sonnet gloves .But in talking to Earl and to best of his memory, Wilson never made a glove in the Ada Plant. It became primarily a football factory ,and to this day makes all the super bowl footballs.
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Interesting points

Postby softball66 » February 27th, 2008, 10:06 am

Thanks again C. J. (Kelley). I remember Earl saying he was a bit surprised when they closed the Ironton plant. I had wondered about the old Sonnett
plant and knew they had to have made some gloves (Sonnetts) when OK was bought out. But, I'm wondering now, did Ironton make the Sonnett gloves in 1960s-70s? Or did the Ada plant continue glove production? And, if so, why didn't Wilson go there with some USAs after closing Ironton, instead of Japan?
I did get a call from someone in Ada at Wilson in 1991 when the Sports Illustrated nocona story ran and they said they were "pulling for Nocona."
Guy told me that they just made inflatable balls there then.
I still hate to remember about the metal dies being taken and dumped or
sold for scrap metal.
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Postby docglov » February 27th, 2008, 12:14 pm

Not being a Wilson man (ha) I have a small bit of knowledge I will share here. I believe that the top line american leather A2000's were made of a leather from Ross leather co. Actually pretty sure of it. We made a copy of the open back and fastball of there gloves at one time And sold them under cost ( sure there was a plan there somewhere) but all it got us was too much work. I still have the dies they were called the R2000. Good luck with the book If I could spell or type I would write one on Rawlings my self.

Bob
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hey!

Postby Cowboy7130 » February 27th, 2008, 12:24 pm

I could be your editor, docglove!
Yes, I still have my first glove.
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Postby BretMan » February 29th, 2008, 1:34 am

Here's an A2000 story that is kind of cool.

A few weeks ago I got a phone call from a guy about repairing his late-70's vintage A2000. He had bought the glove in high school, heavily used it, and it had seen better days. The inner lining was shot, thumb loop ripped out, torn binding, broken laces...

I hated to tell him that most of those repairs were beyond my scope- I can handle any relace job or leather conditioning, but replacing linings and bindings is beyond what I can handle.

To help him out, I referred him to a couple of glove repairmen that can handle those jobs. One was Mike at Glove-Works, one was Kenny Jenkins.

Before he hung up, I asked him how he had found out about my gloves services. Turns out he was from Columbus and was looking to get this work done locally, so he Googled "glove repair Columbus Ohio" and my website had popped up.

Then he mentioned that he started playing in an indoor softball league the night before and had to use a cheap Mizuno glove that belonged to his daughter. I asked where he was playing and he told me at a place called Field Sports Ohio.

That got my attention- I am the umpire at Field Sports Ohio! Turns out that I was the umpire in this guy's game the day before he seached the internet, found my info and called me on the phone.

Small world, eh?

Earlier tonight, I see the guy walk into the softball place and he is carrying an obviously relaced Wilson A2000. I stop him and ask who he got to do the work for him. As it turns out, either Mike or Kenny (I forget which one) had referred him to "this guy in Ohio that used to work for Wilson".

Yep, none other than Earl Malone! He had just got the glove back a few days ago and it was absolutely, stunningly gorgeous! New lining, new binding, new thumb and pinky loops, new laces and even new Wilson patches.

Beautiful, beautiful glove and I got the chance to check out some of Mr. Malone's work up close and personal. As exciting as that was for me, the guy that owned the glove was totally thrilled with the results and promised that, "This time I'm going to take care of it!".
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