Rawlings to Spalding

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Rawlings to Spalding

Postby softball66 » January 15th, 2011, 1:01 pm

Am participating on a thread on the Modern Glove Forum right now regarding Rawlings duplicate gloves made in the 1960s for Spalding and how to match the crossover gloves.
Spalding acquired Rawlings in 1955 but the connection of Rawlings making "like" glove for Spalding goes back earlier to around 1948. And Spalding apparently was buying the Rawlings Trapper model in 1946. The other gloves that year, like the Spalding Marvel "might" have been made by Wilson.
So, the question begging is when did Spalding shut down its own glove manufacturing facility? I know some, if not many, of its gloves were being produced in Canada during World War II. Like other sporting goods and glove makers of that era, Spalding might have had a Military Production Service contract that prevented it from making or selling any of its good for retail trade, and focused its manufacturing for War Time goods for the military.
One can track the Rawlings/Wilson trade in the 1948, 1949 Spaldings where Spalding was buying from these companies their Triple Play (Rawlings PlayMaker design), the Ball Hawk 2 (which Wilson made)
and the Rawlings Trappers. I've not looked at the Catchers Mitts but would assume Spalding was buying its mitts also for its brand sales. I will try to check this out.
Any input would be appreciated. :idea:
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Re: Rawlings to Spalding

Postby mikesglove » September 14th, 2017, 3:38 pm

Joe is right on here and totally nailed the late 1940's time period. What piqued my interest was this Reach "The Hawk" professional model glove recently on ebay. If you remember, Spalding took over the assets of Reach, Wright & Ditson in 1934.
Below is a late 40's Rawlings Bill Doak model with distinctive H-web and front side finger grommets and re-branded as "The Hawk" with the Reach logo on the wrist strap.
re.jpg
res.jpg


Below is the Spalding version. Note it is also dubbed "The Hawk".
SpldHwkF.jpg
SpldHwkB.jpg


So it seems Spalding was contracting with Rawlings prior to the 1955 purchase. Spalding may have also been contracting with WIlson during this time period. Below is an ad for the Wilson two finger "Ball Hawk" patented in 1947.
wil1950.JPG
Last edited by mikesglove on September 15th, 2017, 12:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rawlings to Spalding

Postby mikesglove » September 14th, 2017, 3:43 pm

Below is the same Wilson glove with Spalding and Reach logos.
spalbaz.jpg
reachaaz.jpg
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Re: Rawlings to Spalding

Postby mikesglove » September 15th, 2017, 12:03 am

The Great Depression dropped Spalding sales to 60% of what it once was. After Spalding took over the assets of Reach, Wright & Ditson in 1934, most of the Spalding factories were slowly closed beginning in 1936 and Chicopee became the main plant by 1939. Gloves weren't made there. In fact, gloves and mitts made up a very small percentage of overall Spalding sales. The Chicopee plant was mostly golf, tennis, bats, balls and uniforms. At that point A. G. Spalding & Bros. was restructured as a Delaware corporation called Spalding Sales Corporation for tax purposes. The new Spalding Corp. opened many wholesale distrbution warehouses throughout the U.S. to replace the manufacturing factories. Wilson was one of the first to manufacture gloves for Spalding.
Below is an early 1940's Wilson model 604 triple tunnel model with the newly patented "Seamless thumb".
wilson-604-front-matt_595z.jpg


Below is the Spalding "Marvel" version
joe-dimaggio-spalding-133-front-jerry_595z.jpg


Below is the Reach version
233f.JPG
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Re: Rawlings to Spalding

Postby mikesglove » September 15th, 2017, 2:59 pm

By 1955, Spalding did not manufacture any gloves or mitts. The principal suppliers were Wilson, Rawlings, MacGregor, Kennedy Sporting Goods and Stall & Dean. This information was disclosed in the 1962 Anti-Trust lawsuit against Spalding by the Federal Trade Commision. Spalding purcahsed Rawlings in 1956 to decrease their number of vendors. The government thought otherwise and ruled the Rawlings purchase was an attempt to create a monoploly.
A minor supplier to Spalding in the late 1940's was Nokona. Below is a Reach "Freddie Taubey" the "Latch" model. Now there is a household name.
taubeyz.jpg
taubeyaz.jpg
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Re: Rawlings to Spalding

Postby okdoak » September 16th, 2017, 1:33 am

I've been interested in the Spalding/Rawlings and Spalding/Wilson crossovers in their top of the line gloves for most of the time that I've been collecting. Pretty neat to see the Spalding and Reach versions of the Bill Doak. I'll bet they're kind of scarce. Aside from DiMaggio and Williams, Rawlings had the lion's share of the big name endorsers plus the legendary Mort Cooper, Red Rolfe, Bob Dillinger, and Harvey Haddix models that the pro's used. It's always made me wonder if that's part of the reason that you don't see as many of the 1950's Spalding top of the line models compared to their Rawlings counterparts. And Reach gloves seem scarcer yet.
For instance, I have a Spalding Sam Esposito PM, which is the same glove as a Mantle MMP. I've seen a lot of MMP's and very few Esposito PM's on ebay over the years. I'm betting that most guys who could afford to spend $29 on a glove in 1958 would choose the Mantle. Unless you were a really die hard White Sox fan. :)
And I think the same goes for Spalding's Warren Hacker PM vs. Wilson's Ted Williams PM.
By the late 50's/early 60's, Spalding had bigger name endorsers; Rocky Colavito, Roger Maris, and Whitey Ford. If you were an Indians' fan, you could choose between Rawlings' top line Herb Score HSP or Spalding's Colavito PM. Always thought that was pretty cool. One of my favorites is an unendorsed Spalding 1001 Professional Model, which was the same glove as the Haddix HH in 1956. Of course, Wilson came out with a very popular unendorsed model in 1958, the A2000.
Neat info, Mike.
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Re: Rawlings to Spalding

Postby mikesglove » September 16th, 2017, 2:01 am

I'd love to see a photo of the Spalding 1001. I don't recall ever seeing that model.
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Re: Rawlings to Spalding

Postby okdoak » September 16th, 2017, 10:53 am

Here it is. Stampings are hard to see because the silver is long gone.

Image

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Re: Rawlings to Spalding

Postby okdoak » September 16th, 2017, 11:10 am

Herb and Rocky, possibly wearing the same glove with different tags. Rocky's PM came out in 1959. Herb's HSP has the 1957 tag, I believe.

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Re: Rawlings to Spalding

Postby mikesglove » September 16th, 2017, 3:25 pm

Cool! below is a side by side with a Rawlings HH and your Spalding 1001. Looks like a match!
hhz.jpg
hhhz.jpg
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