Rawlings GJ49

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Rawlings GJ49

Postby mas » May 19th, 2010, 10:42 am

I picked this up a while back as part of a larger lot of gloves I bought from a guy off Craigslist.
I'm not sure if this completely belongs on the vintage forum or more with the modern forum. I am assuming this is an early 70's glove.

Rawlings GJ 49. What I found interesting is that it is endorsed by Johnny Bench. I know he played a handful of games at positions other than catcher earlier in his career, and then the last few years he played I think he was pretty much playing third base, but I have never seen a glove other than a catcher's mitt carry the Johnny Bench endorsement.

Can anyone tell me about this glove?

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Re: Rawlings GJ49

Postby softball66 » May 20th, 2010, 3:50 pm

Companies sometimes, if the player lists at different positions will issue c mitt, 1b mitt or fielders for same player. Joe Torre is the best example of this with all three types sold at retail. Curt Blefary another with all three I think. Mantle had glove and 1b mitt as did Musial several more. Big name players from the past like Ruth and Ted Williams had endoresments with all three.
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Re: Rawlings GJ49

Postby BretMan » May 23rd, 2010, 7:17 am

I think the reasoning behind this glove wasn't so much "we need to put position-specific endorsements on position-specific gloves" as it was "we need to put hot, popular player endorsements on more gloves to help us sell more gloves".

At the time- the early 70's- there weren't too many players hotter than Johnny Bench. When this glove was issued, Bench had been the Rookie of the Year ('68), named to four straight All-Star teams, the National League MVP, led the league in home runs and RBI's and played in a World Series- all at the ripe old age of 23. And his best years were still ahead.

In 1972, Rawlings issued not one, but two Bench-endorsed fielders gloves and four different Bench-endorsed catcher's mitts! That has to be some kind of record right there. Can anybody come up with any player who had as many as six different endorsed models in a single season?

The GJ49 was a glove in the mid-price range. The other Bench fielder glove was the GJ119, a small kid-sized glove that was actually the least expensive glove they sold that year. Interestingly, 1972 seems to be the only year that Rawlings offered these.
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