Chicago Sporting Goods - Nap Lajoie glove

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Chicago Sporting Goods - Nap Lajoie glove

Postby vintagebrett » February 7th, 2013, 8:27 am

I was doing some research yesterday and came across a glove ad that I'd never seen before. This is from the March 1906 edition of The Sporting Goods Dealer. Although we can never be sure if this glove actually had an endorsement stamping on it, the idea that one of these could be out there is intriguing. To the best of my knowledge, no Lajoie glove has ever been found except for a faked one a few years back. Interesting that in 1906 there is no webbing.
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Re: Chicago Sporting Goods - Nap Lajoie glove

Postby softball66 » February 7th, 2013, 9:27 am

Great find Brett! Could be that , if no Lajoie stamping, there might have been a Lajoie endorsement hang tag with the glove. If one found with Nap's stamping, it would be a knockout glove! :shock:
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Re: Chicago Sporting Goods - Nap Lajoie glove

Postby Mr. Mitt » February 7th, 2013, 2:22 pm

Reach catalogs pictured Lajoie, amongst other players, but this is the first actual glove endorsement from him I've encountered. Doesn't necessarily mean that there were Lajoie stampings on actual gloves, but we can only hope! Even a hang tag, as Joe said, would be stupendous. Many early 1900's catalogs had player signatures on gloves in print advertisements that weren't on the actual gloves. Teen's Stall & Dean catalogs are perfect examples. Yes, I remember that fake Lajoie glove fiasco well from the mid-1990's... ah, the early days of eBay, it was like the wild west!

Brett alluded to the lack of webbing. There has been debate in the hobby for several years over the term "workman". Here's an example of this debate;

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1155&hilit=workman

Now, a subsequent debate falls on the "type" of glove shown in the Lajoie ad. For years, many (mostly sellers trying to extract more out of a price) called this design a "workman". Some agreed, some disagreed but most just went along with it and assumed it was because so few true "workman's" gloves exist, they had nothing to compare it with. I've been in the camp that this design is not a "workman" and it was manufactured after 1900. This Lajoie ad does not prove anything one way or the other, but it does help strengthen the case that this "type" of glove is not form the 19th century and should not be considered a "workman's" glove in the true sense of the term and description. In my opinion, it's simply a webless glove from the early part of the 20th century which does not pre-date crescents. It was produced concurrent with webbed crescents, but crescent shaped padding, especially webless crescent, came first.
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Re: Chicago Sporting Goods - Nap Lajoie glove

Postby Mr. Mitt » February 7th, 2013, 2:26 pm

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Re: Chicago Sporting Goods - Nap Lajoie glove

Postby vintagebrett » February 7th, 2013, 2:42 pm

I found an interesting mention of webbing in my research yesterday, from 1901 Sporting Goods Dealer, in relation to the Spalding line.
"Their spring and summer catalogue is just out and contains several new features among which may be mentioned: a new fielders mitt, designated as No. C, a new infielders glove made with a web extending from the forefinger to the thumb..."
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Re: Chicago Sporting Goods - Nap Lajoie glove

Postby Mr. Mitt » February 7th, 2013, 2:48 pm

The "workman" debate is a good one, but lets turn back to Lajoie for a moment. There is now circumstantial evidence that a Lajoie endorsed glove was produced. If one were found, what would it go for at auction (say average VG condition, clear enough stampings)?

Got to love old catalogs and advertisements! A wealth of information about things we continually hunt for and hope to one day find. Have to add Lajoie to the list along with the elusive D&M Gehrig, among others!!!
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Re: Chicago Sporting Goods - Nap Lajoie glove

Postby vintagebrett » February 7th, 2013, 2:53 pm

If the endorsement was legible and the glove was in good shape, I'd guess $7500 at least.
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Re: Chicago Sporting Goods - Nap Lajoie glove

Postby ebbets55 » February 7th, 2013, 3:00 pm

Great thread Brett. I would double your estimate of at least $15,000 for possibly the most desirable and rarest of endorsed models. One-off, desirable, HOF, early webless style - it would be the perfect storm and would shatter all previous endorsed glove records in my opinion.

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Re: Chicago Sporting Goods - Nap Lajoie glove

Postby jpop43 » February 7th, 2013, 3:07 pm

Anybody think that there's any chance what so ever that the text on the right side of the advertisment could be cleared up/deciphered? Perhaps from the primary source? These little statements by the player about the glove often provide some very useful information and one that could dramatically further this fantasy, uh, I mean discussion :wink:

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Re: Chicago Sporting Goods - Nap Lajoie glove

Postby vintagebrett » February 7th, 2013, 3:10 pm

It's from microfilm and that's the bet print quality I could get. If the microfilm were to be digitized at some point it may be it easier to read.
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Re: Chicago Sporting Goods - Nap Lajoie glove

Postby Mr. Mitt » February 7th, 2013, 3:16 pm

I'm leaning more toward Jim's $15,000 number. Though there are fewer pre-war HoFer collectors then there used to be and some great gloves can be had at a discount at the moment, the Lajoie would command a huge premium. If the worst Cobb can't be bought for $6,000, and there's at least a dozen of those known, $7,500 for the only Lajoie is far too low.
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Re: Chicago Sporting Goods - Nap Lajoie glove

Postby jpop43 » February 7th, 2013, 3:53 pm

I think the first few words of that second paragraph are..." I hereby grant...". The possibilities for this are exciting to think about...maybe it is his endorsement on the glove!

If I might ask, Brett, where did you locate the document? We could play History Detectives and try and track down the library that holds it, see what the original source was, and maybe figure out what Nap had to say about the glove.
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Re: Chicago Sporting Goods - Nap Lajoie glove

Postby vintagebrett » February 7th, 2013, 4:07 pm

I was using the Sporting Goods Dealer microfilm at the Baseball HOF.
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Re: Chicago Sporting Goods - Nap Lajoie glove

Postby vintagebrett » February 7th, 2013, 4:12 pm

Best I can make out:
Gentleman
I am pleased to advise you that the Fielders glove..the best I have ever used and I have....inspiring a PERFECT FIELDERS GLOVE. I hereby grant you the ...right...ALL GLOVES made on my special pattern.
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Re: Chicago Sporting Goods - Nap Lajoie glove

Postby softball66 » February 7th, 2013, 4:32 pm

Hmmmmmmm!
Now what did he design or suggest to make his glove different?
And Jerry's point on workman glove is correct. I tell everyone a workman glove should look just like that : a "workman's" glove. In other words you could grab a shovel with it. And NOT a baseball glove without a web. I think in the 1800s they used the term "brakeman's glove" like the trolley car operators wore.
Question: what's the earliest player, any 1800s, career players endorsed glove, Christy Mathewson (1900)? I had a Hans Lobert (1903) and sold it to JMG. Of course these stamped gloves came along much later
in the 1920s. Do we think there were ANY stamped player endorsements from 1900 to 1910? Am I forgetting the Irwin glove (was it stamped?)???? :?: :?: :?:
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