Help with a Lou Gehrig mitt

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Help with a Lou Gehrig mitt

Postby crackofthebat » June 3rd, 2009, 8:57 am

A friend of mine called last evening saying that he had bought a Pennant Lou Gehrig mitt. It says "Lou Gehrig Model" on the heel and has a script signature also. Would anyone know the model number of this mitt? Also, did the Denkert Company take over the Pennant company at some point in time? Thanks for your help!
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Postby Mr. Mitt » June 7th, 2009, 4:41 pm

Fred... I've never seen a clean enough Pennant Gehrig to decipher a complete model number, nor have I ever come across a Pennant catalog to extract different Gehrig models. Pennant Gehrigs and JC Higgins Gehrigs are extremely similar, though, so I'd guess the number begins with 16.

Does anyone have definitive information regarding the differences between the Pennant company and the Banner company? Also, sometimes you see Banner and other times Banner Peerless. Does anyone have a background on this?

More importantly, Fred, let me know if your friend is looking to move his mitt. :D
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Postby crackofthebat » June 7th, 2009, 6:49 pm

Sorry, but he is not interested in selling the mitt. He bought it to give his daughter who has a very large collection of Gehrig baseball bats - all different manufacturers. She didn't have a Lou Gehrig glove in her collection.

My Gehrig is a Banner and when he first described the one he bought I thought it was the same mitt. Stampings are similar, but located in different places on the front of the glove. Mine says Lou Gehrig Model at the top of the face of the glove while his was on the heel. My signature is parallel to the edge of the glove under the Lou Gehrig Model stamping. His signature was on the heel of the glove.

The reason he had me post his question was because the person who sold him the glove also had a glove box. He said the box was early and definitely not big enough for a fielders glove - more for a 1B mitt, but the stampings on the box were Denkert. He wondered if Pennant, Banner, and Denkert were somehow all tied together.

Thanks for responding!
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Postby Mr. Mitt » June 7th, 2009, 7:53 pm

In trying to answer your question, Fred, I figured out mine. The Peerless Sporting Goods Co. trademarked Banner products. So, that's why you sometimes see Peerless associated with Banner.

I looked very closely at the Banner gloves I have and some are simply stamped NY while others have NYC stamped on them. Denkert, who was manufacturing gloves as early as the one-inch web era, were produced in Johnstown, NY, upstate close to Gloversville. I don't know the answer for certain, but would feel pretty confortable saying that Denkert didn't manufacturer Peerless - Banner gloves.

When you have a moment, compare the Gehrigs on Jim's site. The stampings you spoke of (block letter Lou Gehrig Model) are identical to the JC Higgins examples.
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Postby Mr. Mitt » June 7th, 2009, 7:58 pm

Here's an example of a Pennant box...

http://www.baseballglovecollector.com/g ... PenntL.jpg
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Postby crackofthebat » June 7th, 2009, 8:34 pm

I agree with you that mine looks exactly like the J C Higgins. I cannot see a model number on mine. When I found it a number of years ago I was told that it was a Banner after sending pictures to a number of collectors, but again, I can't see any Banner stampings on the glove. Mine is next to the J C Higgins on Jim's site. It must be a J C Higgins or at least manufactured by the same company that made them for J C Higgins. Thanks for pointing that out.
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Postby Mr. Mitt » June 7th, 2009, 9:49 pm

Fred, if you can’t see a circular Banner insignia, I’d bet it’s either a Pennant or a Higgins. Look at John’s Gehrig Pennant. You can clearly see the Pennant stampings in the shape of a flag. There are a few Gehrigs listed as Banner on the site, which I’m sure are not. I think that lack of information in the hobby to differentiate Banner and Pennant is the issue. Collectors have freely interchanged Banner and Pennant for years, when they are, in fact, different companies.

Banner mitts are squarer than Pennants. The leather quality differs greatly between the two companies. Pennants always have rolled leather piping while I’ve never seen a Banner without cloth piping. Lastly, I’ve never seen a Banner Gehrig which stated “Lou Gehrig Model” in block letters like yours. I’ve seen this on Higgins and Pennants, both at the heel and near the top of the mitt, but never on a Banner. Also, if you compare the bucklestrap on John’s Pennant to yours, it’s almost identical. In fact, that diamond shape where the straps are sewn to the mitt are similar to all Pennant and Higgins Gehrigs while completely different to Banner models.

There aren’t too many clean examples out there for collectors to compare. Those that are found usually have seriously faded or nonexistent stampings, so they either assume Banner or Pennant and affix an arbitrary manufacturer.
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Postby Mr. Mitt » June 7th, 2009, 10:25 pm

Actually, John's is mislabeled too. It states Banner, but it is a Pennant.
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Postby ebbets55 » June 7th, 2009, 10:59 pm

Jerry, I pronounce thee King of Gehrigs. Would you please drop me a note to help me clean up the Gehrig tags in the Gallery. I would hate to have them mislabeled if we know better. Thanks Bud.

JD
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Gehrig, Gehrig, who's got the Gehrig

Postby softball66 » June 8th, 2009, 7:07 am

Now this is a post one can get his teeth into. I love the comments and voiced opinions. Our old and sometimes reliable "Player Autograph Baseball Glove Finder" shows the following endorsed mitts for Gehrig: "Ken Wel 634,632; Banner, Coast To Coast, Dubow, Peerless, Belknap, also a catalogued D&M 651 (1927) also a breakdown on the different numbers used in the catalogs for Ken Wel: 612, 623, 630, 632, 634.
Didn't list the Higgins, which I assume was made by Dubow, both being headquartered in Chicago. Didn't list the Pennant.
Belknap is a block letter Gehrig as I recall. I had "assumed" the Banner, Coast to Coast, Peerless and the Pennant were all probably made by Denkert as private labels. A comparison of the miss as has been done will reveal more. Gehrig evidently signed contracts with Ken Wel, D&M, Dubow and Denkert I am guessing and they had rights to produce "off brand" mitts for him, hence his facsimile signature. Could be that Ken Wel or D&M made private label gloves.
Now, that we've weighed in with that, how about Bill Diebold's Mizuno
Gehrig mitt (Bill asked me if I had known about 1930s Mizuno gloves of the 1930s and I had owned a 1930s Mizuno mitt and sold it, I believe to Richard Macaluso.
Here's the ebay link on Everything Baseball Gehrig on eBay.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... tsupported
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Postby ebbets55 » June 8th, 2009, 11:00 am

Great post Joe. Jerry and I hooked up and he helped me clean up the Gehrig Gallery. I am way more comfortable with the way it stands now. He also convinced me of the existence of a Pennant, which makes perfect sense since the Banner name and Pennant logo are synonymous. Also, for 15 years I have referred to gloves as Banner-Peerless and he put forth a pretty good argument for the correct name of the company as Peerless-Banner. I'm now a believer.

Good stuff. I love learning new things.

JD
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Postby perezfan » June 8th, 2009, 11:03 am

I have yet another Gehrig... Buffalo Leather Co. It appears to be a lower-end model, and says "Lou Gehrig Type" in silver block lettering (with no script signature). Very soft/supple and high quality leather, but a rather "no-frills" mitt, otherwise...

Was Buffalo Leather made by another company as well? I know very little about them.
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Postby Mr. Mitt » June 8th, 2009, 11:06 am

"Sometimes reliable" is correct. Banner and Peerless are listed as two separate companies for Gehrig endorsed mitts. The following two photos clearly show Peerless Sporting Goods Co. written around the top of the circle with Banner in the middle. They are one in the same; Peerless is the company while Banner is the brand.

Image

Image

As for a Chicago connection between Higgins and Dubow, it makes sense. Higgins and Pennant were clearly made at the same factory while the Dubow has similarities as well as differences. The pattern and cut of the Dubow is similar to the Higgins and Pennant, though the stamping dies are of a completely different pattern. It is possible that the three came from the same factory, perhaps the Dubow at a different time. One thing is for sure, though, if the Chicago connection is true, then the Pennant, which is identical to the Chicago's Higgins, clearly could not have been made by New York's Denkert (which you initially assumed). If there is documentation that Denkert made Pennants, then they also produced the Higgins models as they are identical. That, then, throws the Chicago theory out the window.

As for Lou's contracts, never heard that he signed with Denkert. They're a NY company based close to Ken-Wel, so it's conceivable. Do you have documentation of this?
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Postby Mr. Mitt » June 8th, 2009, 11:09 am

perezfan wrote:I have yet another Gehrig... Buffalo Leather Co. It appears to be a lower-end model, and says "Lou Gehrig Type" in silver block lettering (with no script signature). Very soft/supple and high quality leather, but a rather "no-frills" mitt, otherwise...

Was Buffalo Leather made by another company as well? I know very little about them.




The Buffalo Leather model is identical to the Arco and Belknap. Again, these three were surely made at the same factory. What's uncertain is if the factory applied three different brand names to these mitts or if they are all identical and collectors simply called them by different names through the years.
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Postby Number9 » June 8th, 2009, 2:20 pm

I wouldn't put too much emphasis on the location of each company as a basis for "who made what for whom". As we know, Spalding, a Chicago company, made Reach gloves in Philadelphia and Wright & Ditson gloves in Boston. It's not crazy to think that a company in NYC could be making gloves for another company in Chicago, or vice versa. The more that this information comes to the surface the more that we're seeing that the manufacturing of baseball goods had a small center of key players who were then selling to, or selling as, other companies.

As for stamped markings, those are applied after the patterns are cut. You could very well have ten different mitts with varying levels of quality cut from the same cutting die. Those could then be marked with ten different brand names. All from the same factory.
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