Ted Williams/Sears gloves

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Ted Williams/Sears gloves

Postby Cowboy7130 » October 7th, 2007, 10:57 pm

I have recently developed an appreciation for the Ted Williams gloves made for Sears. Do any of you other glovers have a similar interest? When were the gloves made? What models were available? How would you say they compared to the Rawlings-Wilson-Spalding brands? I need to know more about them. Have you collected any of them, and would you be interested in selling? If you guys have some info or some gloves with pics, private message me please. Thanks! :)
Yes, I still have my first glove.
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Ted Williams gloves

Postby softball66 » October 16th, 2007, 4:53 pm

Ted Williams, a long time Wilson endorser, left the Wilson company in 1960 with what then was the biggest glove (sporting goods ) contract in history, of $100,000. He was contracted to Sears for many sporting goods products from hunting/fishing through the competition sports, baseball, football, basketball. Where, heretofore, J. C. Higgins was on the Sears brand, now it became Ted Williams basketballs, fishing gear (Williams was an avid fisherman) whatever Sears was selling in its sporting goods departments. It is believed that Wilson was making the first of the Williams gloves for Sears & Roebuck then the retail giant shifted to overseas for production.
Designs were based on existing Wilson models.
I have a guy in the Northeast who found a Ted Williams canoe.
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Postby BretMan » October 16th, 2007, 7:08 pm

It seems that after the first few years the bulk of the Sears/Williams gloves were possibly made under contract through MacGregor. Most of the Sears gloves I see from about the mid-60's on (I believe that this endorsement deal must have ended by the early 1980's) have webs, lace patterns and even some of the stampings ("Gripper Pocket", for example) identical to other MacGregor models.

Wasn't there even a Rawlings "Hall of Fame" model, with a portrait of Williams stamped in the pocket, that was sold both as a Rawlings glove and a Sears glove?
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Ted Williams and Sears

Postby GloveGypsy » October 16th, 2007, 8:43 pm

In 1980 I played softball for an oil company's team and needed a larger ball glove, so I went to the local Sears and picked up a Ted Williams with a center post web. Even though the leather was that lesser quality import stuff with cheap tannery, the glove had a decent pocket and I just plain wore that thing out.

From time to time, I see that model for sale on eBay. It was like model"1686" or something like that.

Even at that time, EVERYTHING in the sporting goods section at Sears was a "Ted Williams" this or that. Who knows what an endorsement package like that would be worth today!

A few years back one of the thought leaders of this message board, Fred L., sold a Wilson A2034 Lefty Gomez beauty to me that I have on prominent display in my study. I am under the impression that this is the model Wilson glove that Ted Williams used as his gamer.

Can anyone confirm that or give me additional information?

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you are right, fellas ...

Postby Cowboy7130 » October 16th, 2007, 10:08 pm

You are right about Ted Williams being THE sporting goods guy for Sears. I have seen Ted Williams model shotguns and rifles, for pete's sake! His name probably sold billions of dollars worth of goods for Sears.

I am reading David Halberstam's Teammates, a look back at four of the greats of the Red Sox from the Williams era: Ted Williams, John Pesky, Dominic DiMaggio, and Bobby Doerr. What an interesting book! Of course, Halberstam is just a great sports writer anyway.

Now, then ... about gloves ... I love the Ted Williams model glove I picked up off of ebay, a few weeks ago. It is very nearly mint, and the labels are just beautiful. The green threads are almost metallic in their shine, and the wording in the black threads almost glows. The leather is smooth and unblemished, no ink, no scratches or tears. The piping is leather, too! The inner lining is roughout suede, and it looks like it would be very comfortable ... if I could get my hand in it! It is a child's glove! Dang it! :x It is a model 16182, and I would dearly love to have its big brother on my hand ...
Yes, I still have my first glove.
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Sears Teddy Gloves

Postby soaresjp » December 12th, 2007, 10:11 pm

Howdy, Cowboy. I have gotten a couple of Sears Ted Williams gloves. I bought a large one on ebay and was given a nice smaller one by a friend. The larger one is in excellent condition (name on back) and is definitely adult-sized, model 16166. It is big enough to catch a softball, but it has a shallow pocket, which can probably be broken in with some love and effort.
I also have four Wilsons and greatly prefer those. A couple of them are in beautiful shape and (maybe sadly) I use them somewhat often. If you're interested in the larger one, let me know and I'll send you a picture of it.

Do any of you other fellas USE your gloves?? I coach baseball and my players absolutely love it when I bring my duffel bag of vintage gloves to practice. Ted gloves, Musial gloves, pillow catcher's mitts, lobster 1B mitts, etc. I also play in an over-30 baseball league and my game glove is an old MacGregor GF 60 Jim Landis model with the integrated pocket. Am I insane? I figure that they're baseball gloves and should be enjoyed. What are your thoughts?

Great forum. :D
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Ted & Sears

Postby softball66 » December 13th, 2007, 8:26 am

I thing one of the reasons Sears and Ted linked up was that Ted was quite a fisherman and outdoorsman as well as a fair baseball player.
Prior to Ted's endorsement, virtually all of the sporting goods products you could buy in Sears had the J. C. Higgins label on them. Higgins, I don't think played ball on a big time level, but I suspect might have benn an outdoorsman of sorts. Now, he was the sporting goods purchasing head for Sears.
I think Brett is right when Ted signed on the gloves were made by MacGregor. For a long time before, the Sears (Higgins) gloves were made by Wilson. I think Sears began direct imports sometime after Ted came aboard.
Some of the Williams gloves were of better quality as Sears offered a range of gloves from youth to adult but generally these gloves were of low to medium quality to fit the Sears customers' budgets. Sears sold a heck of a lot of gloves over the last century. I did a little compilation years ago and I think Higgins came in just behind Rawlings and Wilson
for leading brands found.
Ted did use, at times, a Gomez A2034 model to play with but what he used prior to that hasn't shown up yet, to my knowledge.
The answer to soares is yep more than just a few of us play with our
vintage gloves that can take it.
Funniest thing I heard years ago was that someone had a Ted Williams canoe from Sears. Anyone collect canoes?
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Ted Williams Stuff

Postby Old Gloves In Decatur » December 14th, 2007, 9:29 pm

I am loving this topic because I go to lots of rummage sales & estate auctions. I can pick up Ted Williams endorsed stuff for a song! You guys are correct about his name being on EVERYTHING. I have 5 bikes, 6 gloves,a large cooler,a water cooler, a depth finder,some fishing tackle, and 3 tackle boxes. I have seen boat motors, croquet sets(cool), and guns. The gloves always seem a little stiff and misformed, but If its only a couple bucks I grab it. On a different note, Thanks guys for making such a Great forum. I do a ton more reading than writing on here, but I am always happy when a new post is added! Take care, Kevin
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