Legends of the Hobby

Anything related to gloves (pre-1970) you can post here.

Legends of the Hobby

Postby mikesglove » August 8th, 2015, 1:09 am

In 1989 Joe Phillip’s was the right person in the right place at the right time. Joe’s marketing firm formed an alliance with Nokona Sporting Goods in the re-issue of old Nokona glove models from the 1940-50’s for customers wishing to relive bygone times. Joe had been a ball player all his life and had worked for Nokona in the 1970’s. Baseball was in his blood and talkin’ gloves was second nature. Joe began a direct mailing campaign using Nokona’s customer contact list. He called it "The Glove Collector Newsletter”. Progress was slow at first but a fortuitous write-up of this venture appeared in Sports Illustrated in 1991 that tapped into this nostalgia. The demand exploded for these re-issue models and far exceeded the supply Nokona had stockpiled. It was many months before manufacturing caught up with the brisk sales pace. Joe could see he hit upon a very good thing with the Nokona gloves and saw the vintage glove collecting aspect evolving after the first few issues. The TGC #1 and #2 newsletters below were only ads for the Nokona re-issues.

Image

Image


There was an article on a vintage glove in issue #3 and a couple of collector want ads and articles on vintage gloves in issue #4. After the SI story in 1991, Joe’s issue #10 newsletter had two full pages for the buying and selling of vintage gloves along with a full page of the Nokona re-issues. Joe expanded the “Glove Talk, Right in the Pocket” column in his newsletter that summarized the previous couple of months in the world of vintage glove collecting, the interactions of collectors and private dealers, what glove were most sought after and great finds. It was very newsy and provided a great sense of a community bulletin board on events in the hobby of glove collecting. Joe also researched and wrote great feature articles on ball players, manufacturing companies, glove design, and the state of the hobby as it was evolving and much more.

Image

Image

Vintage baseball glove collecting up till 1989 was mostly a solitary endeavor and Joe provided a way for these individual collectors to become educated and form a community. To that end, Joe also offered the “Glove Collector Directory” which provided contact information for collectors wishing to get in touch with one another.
In 1992 Joe partnered with sport memorabilia expert, Dave Bushing to publish a magazine sized price guide based on previous advertised prices on vintage gloves. Volume 1 no.1 also included a supplement section of glove manufacturer’s catalog listings. The next revision in 1994 separated the price guide into a pocket size format and an expanded glove catalog source book. This continued to be the perfect solution through many updates.

Image

Image

Image


In 1993 Joe again partnered with Dave Bushing to purchase 400+ high quality and mint Rawlings gloves from a defunct Kansas Sporting goods warehouse. This was Joe’s biggest find.

Image

I asked him what his best single glove find was, thinking it had to be his 19th century tipped finger model. Surprisingly, Joe mentioned he never actively pursued the glove. It just fell into his lap. Joe was more of a team collector at the time and this early model didn’t fit his collecting pursuits. I wondered if he was inundated with calls about purchasing the tipped finger model and Joe answered there was not a lot of interest in it from other collectors. That sort of amazed me. It is a little like the prettiest girl not invited to the dance because every guy assumes she is already spoken for. The glove eventually ended up in a forum members collection.

Image

Below is a link to the SI article of 1991 and is a must read about Joe’s relationship with Nokona and the Storey family. http://www.si.com/vault/1991/06/24/124420/a-collectors-glove-affair-for-those-who-have-a-passion-for-vintage-baseball-gloves-these-reproductions-could-be-quite-a-catch

There is another link to some of Joes writings on glove collecting from “TGC Speaks” on Jim Daniels website.
http://www.baseballglovecollector.com/tgc-speaks/

The Jim Mace book, “Collectible, Made in the USA Baseball Gloves” was published in 1990 and really helped bring attention to the vintage glove as the hobby was in its formative stage. The book detailed many of the 150 mint and vintage glove models from the Baltimore warehouse find of 1982. The book is now out of print and is itself a collectible. There are various places on the web that offer a download of the book.
User avatar
mikesglove
Hall of Famer Glove Poster
 
Posts: 3028
Joined: July 11th, 2010, 1:27 pm

Re: Legends of the Hobby

Postby vintagebrett » August 8th, 2015, 1:45 pm

Thanks for posting that Mike. It's a great write up and highlights the beginning of our hobby. I remember fondly when those newsletters arrived in the mail - I was usually home before my dad so I could go thru it and highlight the items that I figured he'd be interested in calling people about. I know my dad made a lot of great hobby friends through the newsletter and I had the chance to meet a lot of interesting people that taught me a lot about gloves. It's still a treat when someone comes up to you at show and remembers my dad's name from the newsletter and we can chat about the "good old days."
User avatar
vintagebrett
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3012
Joined: April 17th, 2006, 3:57 pm
Location: East Granby, CT


Return to Vintage Glove Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests