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Frederick Ratsch and Chicago Sporting Goods

PostPosted: August 15th, 2011, 1:52 am
by mikesglove
Frederick Ratsch was born and raised in Chicago, IL. He began his leather working trade with Ortmayer & Son Saddlery. In 1895 He headed out on his own and founded Chicago Sporting Goods Mfg. as a maker of all types of sporting equipment and uniforms including "Ratch's Peerless" line of baseball gloves. He sold his equipment through various wholesale suppliers, one being Falwell, Ozmun-Kirk Hardware of Minnesota. At the turn of the century, the FOK catalog was 10" thick. FOK marketed the Ratsch gloves under the "Peerless Hiawatha" brand and used the "Hiawatha" trademark for many of their other hardware products such as saws, guns and oils. Wilson Sporting Goods bought Chicago Sporting Goods in 1919 mainly because of their expertise in making uniforms.

Here is a great looking postcard advertising "Ratsch-Peerless" and Chicago Sporting Goods Mfg. in 1908
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A couple of trade paper ads for Ratsch-Peerless
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1905

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1910

Here is a letter head for the FOK Harware Co.in 1899
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An Ad for the "Hiawatha" baseball equipment which was the FOK house brand at the turn of the century
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Another product from FOK using the Hiawatha brand
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Re: Frederick Ratsch and Chicago Sporting Goods

PostPosted: August 15th, 2011, 2:01 am
by mikesglove
Some pages from the 1904 FOK catalog illustrating "Ratsch's Peerless" gloves and mitts. Note the testimonial in the box at right for the Peerless Hiawatha brand. A way to integrate the Ratsch gloves into the family of FOK Hiawatha products
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Here is a great looking Ratsch Peerless mitt from this time period
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Ratsch Peerless Catchers Mitt Front Josh_800.jpg

Re: Frederick Ratsch and Chicago Sporting Goods

PostPosted: August 15th, 2011, 2:07 am
by mikesglove
Frederick Ratsch went on in 1911 to patent the "DukFut" glove which didn't have a long life span but made it highly collectible today.
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Interesting to note the "Patd. Jan. 3rd. 1911" stamp on each of the webs. This glove and box from a 2002 auction
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Re: Frederick Ratsch and Chicago Sporting Goods

PostPosted: August 15th, 2011, 7:57 am
by deebro041
That is some awesome and very interesting information. Thanks for sharing, you guys never cease to amaze me with your vast knowledge of baseball gloves and makers.

Re: Frederick Ratsch and Chicago Sporting Goods

PostPosted: August 15th, 2011, 11:08 am
by peterb69
Wow, very informative & nice read.

Thanks

Re: Frederick Ratsch and Chicago Sporting Goods

PostPosted: August 15th, 2011, 1:27 pm
by vintagebrett
There was a great Ratsch advertising piece that sold at the National. Carlton, the gentleman who runs www.sportsantiques.com, was the buyer so I'm sure they'll be photos when he does his annual write up about the show.

Re: Frederick Ratsch and Chicago Sporting Goods

PostPosted: September 14th, 2011, 1:05 am
by mikesglove
Here is the Ratsch-Peerless advertising piece from the 2011 National
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The logo in the ad is identical to this Ratsch glove cloth patch
Ratsch Peerless White Duck Web Back_800a1.jpg
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Re: Frederick Ratsch and Chicago Sporting Goods

PostPosted: September 14th, 2011, 6:10 am
by peterb69
Thanks Mike, very informative. Good job.

Re: Frederick Ratsch and Chicago Sporting Goods

PostPosted: February 11th, 2013, 1:04 pm
by vintagebrett
Here is a photo of Frederick Ratsch, founder of the company.

Re: Frederick Ratsch and Chicago Sporting Goods

PostPosted: February 7th, 2014, 11:42 pm
by mikesglove
Here are some images from the Lajoie Baseball Guide circa 1905-06. Cool Ratsch/Peerless items plus other vintage gear. The patented buckle web and laced heel possibly licensed from Victor Sporting Goods. The reinforcing leather piece on the front between the thumb and body was called a "quirk" back in the day.

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Re: Frederick Ratsch and Chicago Sporting Goods

PostPosted: January 1st, 2015, 2:10 pm
by mikesglove
An early Ratsch Peerless base mitt in close to near mint condition. You just don't find them like that. The Ratsch logo on the front is still visible and the cloth patch is a blazer!

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Re: Frederick Ratsch and Chicago Sporting Goods

PostPosted: April 15th, 2018, 1:20 pm
by mikesglove
Here are a couple of ads circa 1905 featuring Ratsch/Peerless gloves and mitts.
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Nice examples on these pages. The glove top right has a written endorsement from James Ryan, a local player with the Chicago White Stockings and later the Washington club.
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