Chicago Sporting Goods - Nap Lajoie glove

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Re: Chicago Sporting Goods - Nap Lajoie glove

Postby briggs86 » February 7th, 2013, 5:43 pm

Interersting topic guys; great detective work Brett! This would make for an amazing American Pickers episode. The one and only Nap Lajoie glove turns up in a upstate New England barn stuck on a nail on the wall, mike says how much and the woman replies oh you can have it if you can get it off the nail. I am going go with JD's statement, for sure hitting $15000 plus. It would be the most notorious of all mitts to own, the holy grail of all mitts. I mean I think I'd still take a S&D Cobb with the box if the Lajoie didn't have one.; just kidding. It's just crazy to me, there's so many undiscovered gloves out there. Keeps you motivated, wanting to unearth the new and unaltered. The internet makes the searches broader, allowing us to really grasp how many gloves are still out there and available; I mean I still always look back at Joe's first source guide and it makes me smile. Thinking I used to think there were less than 50 Ruths available, now we see half of that a year on ebay. Joe I literally thought and still think the world of you for evolving this business. Without you, many of us would have been lost and maybe would be stuck collecting cards! lol! For example I recently came across an elderly gentlemen in his late 80s with 800+ mitts, over 500+ bats and doesn't sell to a soul. Leaves them as found, never cleans them and just loves the way they are as they sit. He came up to my booth at a show with a bat in his hand and I said may I look, he obliged, within 5 minutes he let me clean the bat with some very fine steel wool and paste wax and said that's what they look like cleaned up! It just made me think, how many people are out there, that don't want the world to know what they have, who they have, how many they have, etc. A Lajoie will surface, it's just only a matter of time.

Jared
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Re: Chicago Sporting Goods - Nap Lajoie glove

Postby murphusa » February 7th, 2013, 6:18 pm

In the Philadelphia area (one in South Jersey) there are 5 elderly gentleman who have large collections of baseball equipment and they keep to themselves. Don't care if anyone ever knows about their collections. I know each from a distance and that's is how they like it.

Everytime I see one of them, I make a point of it to say hello to their wives and give each one of them a business card
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Re: Chicago Sporting Goods - Nap Lajoie glove

Postby ebbets55 » February 7th, 2013, 6:28 pm

I don't believe the Irwin or the Lajoie were stamped. I think it was for illustrative or catalog purposes.

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Re: Chicago Sporting Goods - Nap Lajoie glove

Postby softball66 » February 7th, 2013, 7:08 pm

Sooooo! How much would an Irwin stamped D&M go for, far? JD guess is likely right. No name stamping. I remember seeing a Spalding player "Jones" that apparently had a hang tag in the 1800s. Or am I dreaming?
Murph, those gentlemen in Philly have contacted me about selling their stuff. :lol:
Lest we forget the American Hoarder Andy Michael AKA Joe DiMaggio's stash. Andy moved in and around Plymouth N. H. Sent me some of the figure 8 baseball patterns from the plant.
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Re: Chicago Sporting Goods - Nap Lajoie glove

Postby briggs86 » February 7th, 2013, 7:16 pm

Well the least we can do is dream JD! lol! Probably right you are, however I am dreamer! lol
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Re: Chicago Sporting Goods - Nap Lajoie glove

Postby softball66 » February 7th, 2013, 7:18 pm

In reply to Briggs and the gent with the 500 plus bats and gloves. That's exactly what I got into with the Denton Texas find last fall. The son was trying to sell off the "SCHTUFF". More than 500 gloves, only 50 bas, 100 footballs, 3,000 golf clubs. Then ... a month or so later the son calls me again wanting to know who buys military equipment, i.e. helmets, bayonets, gas masks, etc. By the bye, none of the items were
cleaned, just stored. Sound familiar?
:roll:
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Re: Chicago Sporting Goods - Nap Lajoie glove

Postby ebbets55 » February 7th, 2013, 7:32 pm

Oh, don't get me wrong guys, I would love for one to turn up. Nobody gets more excited than I do when a new-to-the-hobby find surfaces. I can't wait for Cobb #10, 11 & 12 to turn up or Matty #12. We know they are out there. They have to be, but we don't know of them yet. That hope is what keeps us all engaged and going. That's why we all watch the Picker, Pawn & Storage shows.

As much as I love to dream about winning the lottery or finding a Lajoie, I personally don't think a stamped or endorsed model exists. I would bet more on the hang tag theory than the glove theory. Hope I'm wrong. :(

JD
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Re: Chicago Sporting Goods - Nap Lajoie glove

Postby Mr. Mitt » February 7th, 2013, 9:13 pm

softball66 wrote:Sooooo! How much would an Irwin stamped D&M go for, far?


I'll venture a guess. Since the only known stamped fingerless, faint Spalding logo visable on the inner palm, sold for $33,000 (and it was well documented that the glove was apart and sewn back together), I'd say that a stamped D&M Irwin would bring $20,000 to $25,000 depending on condition. I could potentially see it going beyond $30,000 if it were of similar condition to the Spalding as there is significant history to the Irwin model compared with a generic Spalding even though it is a fingerless example.
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Re: Chicago Sporting Goods - Nap Lajoie glove

Postby Mr. Mitt » February 7th, 2013, 9:25 pm

softball66 wrote: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?)???? :?: :?: :?:


I never heard of any pre-1915ish glove endorsement. Not exactly sure who was the first, though Matty, Cobb and Wagner come to mind as likely choices. Anyone know for certain who was first? And most of the known examples of those three players are actually model from the 1920's. Likely only the one full-web Matty is from the teens. Similar with the known Cobbs, the full-webs pre-date the Speed models by 10-15 years. Wagner is an interesting choice as being the first since the KB model is definitely from the teens and wasn't he the first to endorse and actually have his name engraved on a bat?
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Re: Chicago Sporting Goods - Nap Lajoie glove

Postby murphusa » February 7th, 2013, 10:15 pm

wouldn't the first endorsor be the guy who used the first glove?
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Re: Chicago Sporting Goods - Nap Lajoie glove

Postby Mr. Mitt » February 7th, 2013, 10:28 pm

murphusa wrote:wouldn't the first endorsor be the guy who used the first glove?


Am I in the right place? Is this Net 54? :P
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Re: Chicago Sporting Goods - Nap Lajoie glove

Postby jpop43 » February 7th, 2013, 11:26 pm

Don’t know why, but I spent a good portion of this evening trying to do some research into Lajoie’s history with baseball gloves.

It’s pretty common knowledge that he was considered one of the finest fielding 2nd baseman in history and from what I can gather he was considered one of the most graceful and agile fielders of his day, even considering his large frame. Turns out he also had very large hands that had to be accommodated by his ball glove, which for him was a new one each season. The article you see below was put together by researchers for SABR and specifically references Lajoie’s glove….

“Over his final three seasons with Philadelphia, Lajoie matured into one of the game's best second basemen, using his excellent speed, quick reflexes, and soft hands to adeptly handle all the position's tasks. "He plays so naturally and so easily it looks like lack of effort," Connie Mack would later observe. "Larry's reach is so long and he's fast as lightning, and to throw to at second base he is ideal. All the catchers who've played with him say he is the easiest man to throw to in the game today. High, low, wide -- he is sure of everything." Unlike his contemporaries, Lajoie preferred to break in a new fielding mitt each season, and he also parted from accepted practice by cutting the wrist strap off his glove, providing his large hands with added flexibility and control.” http://sabr.org/bioproj/person/ac9dc07e

If you take the fact that Lajoie seemed to value new gloves...his gloves…that were flexible and modified for control, its very feasible that early in his career he might have preferred the more flexible webless variety that we see in the ad that Brett found in the Chicago Sporting Goods catalog.

Additionally, here are some collateral images that I found that might provide some more evidence that he used a webless model glove just like in the ad.

First off, I noticed that the letter head seen in the ad matches up to the letter head on this document from Lajoie’s own American League publishing company of which he was president:

lajoie letter.jpg


These next couple images are also from that same American League Publishing Co. that we see in the glove ad…they are both from 1906 as well and one shows the same inset head shot of Lajoie that we see in the glove ad, along with a picture of him with glove on hand:

1906 guide.jpg

1906 Ad.jpg


This last image…last only because it’s late and I’m tired and couldn’t search anymore…shows Lajoie in 1906 with his glove and it really could be a webless model. I do not see a web in this glove and believe that the angle of the glove shows the heel in the space where you might think you see a web…I’ll let everyone make up their own mind:

1906 Pic.jpg


Pretty cool topic for discussion and one that I hope we can someday come back to when someone digs up the never-before-seen Lajoie glove.

Jonathan
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Re: Chicago Sporting Goods - Nap Lajoie glove

Postby mikesglove » February 8th, 2013, 12:57 am

Since Chicago Sporting Goods was founded by Frederick Ratsch in 1895, there is a possibility Brett's ad features a Ratsch-Peerless glove. Interesting early ad!

below is a 1904 ad for Ratsch-Peerless gloves with all the variations mentioned above.
1_2563cc29f3b59e2a18fbb2avvc92d80aa6q.jpg
1_2563cc29f3b59e2a18fbb2avvc92d80aa6q.jpg (80.75 KiB) Viewed 3627 times
Last edited by mikesglove on February 8th, 2013, 4:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Chicago Sporting Goods - Nap Lajoie glove

Postby ebbets55 » February 8th, 2013, 1:51 am

This is a lot of fun. I got so rejuvenated that I went through all the catalogs and concentrated on pre-1920. I searched high and low from the big manufactuers to the little manufacturers. I had a heckuva time finding any endorsed models. I saw tons of players who use certain models but they are not endorsed with a facsimile signature or even block letters. I know some of the earliest full web endorsed gloves include the Matty and Cobb like Jerry mentioned and those have to date to post 1915 or so but I was hard pressed to find any others. I did however come across this Rawlings line from the 1919 Lowe & Campbell Catalog. I guess what I'm getting at is that I wish I knew exactly when manufacturers started putting names on gloves, endorsers, not patent holders or manufacturers. Endorsed gloves seem to come into play in the late teens but I'm going to dig a lot deeper as this is an important topic for us all. Regarding Lajoie, my guess is the ad reflected the kind of glove he used and does not contain a Lajoie endorsement as that practice hadn't happened yet but I hope someone can prove me wrong.

It doesn't shock me for a second that a player would use a glove with no webbing as late as 1906. We all know 19th century players who started barehanded had a tough time transitioning to a glove. When they did they often cut out the pocket or the lining as to feel the ball better, which means many players lagged or took awhile to accept the newer innovations in gloves, like webs. Webbed gloves weren't more than about 10 years old in 1906 so it doesn't surprise me that he still used an older more comfortable style. It's just a personal preference, right?

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Re: Chicago Sporting Goods - Nap Lajoie glove

Postby vintagebrett » February 8th, 2013, 9:00 am

As Mike mentioned, Chicago Sporting Goods is Ratsch Peerless. Here is a small excerpt from the May 1901 Sporting Goods Dealer that mentions the company introducing the "Ryan" Model (which is pictured in the 1904 catalog page above). The glove was for Jimmy Ryan, a longtime Chicago player in the late 1800's. You can't see it in the photo, but the name "Ryan" is printed on the glove, same as the LaJoie. This predates the LaJoie ad by 5 years. We've seen another Ratsch Peerless ad with the a grand design of the players photos in the pockets - can't remember if they were the duck web models - maybe someone can find that ad again. Looks like the company was strong at promoting their models using players but no idea if the names were actually on the models.
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