Who Do You Think was the Worst Player to Endorse a Glove?

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Who Do You Think was the Worst Player to Endorse a Glove?

Postby canadayt » November 17th, 2015, 8:37 pm

I'm a new glover... only have been active for a couple months now. I have had fun learning and starting a small collection. I seem to have the uncanny ability of always being the under-bidder on Ebay for gloves I really want. That is what brings me to this post. Once again I was the under-bidder... this time for a Wilson 350 "Hugh Poland" catcher's mitt. It was not listed in the Pocket Guide or Baseball Glove Finder. That made it very tempting, but I was really hooked after I read his bio on Wikipedia. Basically, after languishing for 13 years in the minor leagues he finally got called up during WWII to go on to play a grand total of 83 games over a five year period "batting a meek .185 / 0 HR / 19 RBI." He played primarily with the Boston Braves (how fitting). I hope the Wilson marketing guy who made this call got sacked. It is hard to believe they didn't have a better reservoir of endorsements to choose from.

So... the question is... Is Hugh Poland the worst, or are their contenders for the most mediocre glove endorsement? Runners up welcome. I would love to hear some opinions! This could be fun.

To the winner (who I would bet is a forum member) I am exceedingly jealous. In my next life I will be a Wall Street banker and win every auction :twisted:

Also, please post a photo once she has been rehabbed. I would love to see how well the markings were remedied.


Wikipedia Excerpt Below:

"Poland's baseball career began in the St. Louis Cardinals' far-flung farm system of the 1930s. He eventually reached the highest minor-league level (then Double-A), but his Major League Baseball debut did not occur until 1943, when at age 33 Poland appeared in a New York Giants uniform on April 22. He was traded five days and four games later to the Boston Braves, with infielder Connie Ryan, in exchange for future Baseball Hall of Fame catcher Ernie Lombardi. But, unlike Lombardi, Poland was exclusively a reserve catcher during his MLB career. He appeared in all or parts of five seasons (1943–44; 1946–48), for the Giants, Braves, Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds, batting a meek .185 with no home runs and 19 runs batted in in 83 games played."
Attachments
Hugh Poland Front.jpg
Hugh Poland Back.jpg
Hugh Poland Stamping.jpg
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Re: Who Do You Think was the Worst Player to Endorse a Glove

Postby Sarge6 » November 18th, 2015, 2:55 pm

Funny coincidence, because yesterday I ran across a glove on eBay whose endorser I had to look up. In 1935, a fellow named Lyle Judy played in 8 games and had 14 plate appearances for the St. Louis Cardinals (no hits, 2 walks, 2 stolen bases, and 2 runs if you're scoring at home). Rawlings gave him a glove, and it was still being advertised in 1937. (In Judy's cup of coffee, he had a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage in 16 chances, so there's as good an explanation for a glove endorsement as any). Both the Lyle Judy glove and his Rawlings ad are listed on eBay right now.
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Re: Who Do You Think was the Worst Player to Endorse a Glove

Postby vintagebrett » November 18th, 2015, 6:30 pm

Interesting topic. There are all sorts of endorsements out there with obscure players, many of whom never made it to the majors. There are even some that seem to have no connection to baseball what so ever. It will be interesting 100 years from now because there will be endorsed gloves of all these no name guys, and players from this era won't be represented because companies don't really use endorsements anymore. Obviously, back in the 20's-50's, players were trying to make any money they could. I know I've seen some contracts before where the player would net $50 - $75 for the use of their name. The hope was the players would pan out and be a big star, but if they didn't, oh well, nothing lost.
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Re: Who Do You Think was the Worst Player to Endorse a Glove

Postby Sarge6 » November 18th, 2015, 9:55 pm

Yup. Is it just me, or did Nokona sign and stamp every industrial and beer league player in Texahoma back in the day? Seriously, if I'll speculate on a prospect/rookie baseball card, why wouldn't a glove manufacturer speculate on the player himself? My guy Lyle Judy got his cup of coffee with the 1935 Cardinals. If he was a Branch Rickey prospect the year after the Gashouse Gang won the World Series, it makes some sense that Rawlings signed him on speculation. Judy didn't stick, but it looks like Rawlings fulfilled the contract term.
“Wait 'til next century. No millennium can hold the Cubs. The Cubs are bound by nature to reaffirm the futile and confirm the inadequate.” Bernie Lincicome
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Re: Who Do You Think was the Worst Player to Endorse a Glove

Postby canadayt » November 19th, 2015, 10:37 pm

In the "Baseball Card Flipping, Trading and Bubble Gum Book" the author related how Topps would sign its players: "In the beginning we intended to sign up every minor leaguer no matter how lousy he was. That wasn't too workable, though, so we had to become more selective." They hired a scout who did a good job until... "Then one year there was this very ordinary looking shortstop in the Dodger organization - somewhere in the very low minors - a real scrawny kid, nothing memorable about him at all. He can't hit. He's too small. Got bad hands. A weak arm. Forget about him. The guys in his own organization said this. And so we didn't sign him, and of course it was Maury Wills. Well, Maury stayed angry at us for quite some time... he was the only major leaguer we didn't have under contract. So you can guess we went back to signing everybody in the minors."

During this time Topps would give everyone they signed a dollar as a binder. "But after a while guys were starting to complain. What the hell can I do with a buck, they'd say. And they were right of course. So we raised it to five dollars. Which is what it is today (1973). Steak money we called it."

I can see how and why Topps would sign everyone. It just doesn't seem to make sense for the glove manufacturers. Far more players than gloves. It makes good business sense to gamble some in order to sign a future MVP of HOFer early for peanuts. What doesn't make sense is to follow through and stamp a glove unless the guy proves himself. There is some production costs, not to mention marketing, distribution, advertising, etc.

"Vintagebrett" said "There are all sorts of endorsements out there with obscure players, many of whom never made it to the majors." Do you refer to the act of signing the endorsements (so you have them to exploit later on) or actually following through and putting these gloves out in the market? I guess what I am getting at, is there a body of Lyle Judy or Hugh Poland gloves out there? The Pocket Guide would seem to reflect that in these cases they are rare. Perhaps there are other players with similar humble records who are more commonly found.
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Re: Who Do You Think was the Worst Player to Endorse a Glove

Postby canadayt » November 22nd, 2015, 3:32 pm

Thanks for the tip "Sarge6"! After your description of Lyle Judy I had to have his glove. I made an offer and it was accepted. The seller owes you an assist on that one. I think the fact that a guy with a lifetime MLB batting average of .000 gets his own glove gives us all hope. Being a part of the Gashouse Gang didn't hurt either. The next item on my wish list is a youth endorsed Eddie Gaedel glove. He was the midget that the St. Louis Browns batted in 1951. Jersey number 1/8th. If anyone finds one, I'm your buyer :D
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