Glove Repair at the Major League Level

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Glove Repair at the Major League Level

Postby V-Anchored » December 4th, 2008, 12:51 pm

Last night I was reading and came across the name Les Moss, the old catcher (Browns, Orioles, White Sox). Seeing his name I recalled an article that I had read in the Cleveland Plain Dealer in the early 60’s about him repairing gloves. I searched the web and sure enough found the story. Thought some of you might enjoy the humor.


By Hal Lebovitz

From The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer 1963

Members of the Wahoo Club, who know Early Wynn as an angry,
frightening pitcher when he's on the mound, saw a lighter side of
him at a luncheon honoring the pitcher yesterday.

Wynn kept the audience laughing with this true incident:

"It happened a couple of years ago in Comiskey Park when Les
Moss was our bullpen catcher. Les has a hobby, working with
leather, and he often fixed the players' gloves. He was sitting next
to me in the clubhouse working on a catcher's mitt that belonged to
Clint Courtney. Clint used to be on our team but he had been
traded to Baltimore or Washington, I don't remember which. Moss
and Courtney were old friends so Les was doing him a favor.

"In came Ray Beres, our pitching coach, with a big box of cheeses
he got from a friend in Wisconsin. I like cheese so I rummaged
through and when I saw a package of limburger I got a flash.

" 'Let's take a slice of this limburger and sew it in the pocket of
Courtney's glove I suggested to Moss.

" 'Oh, I couldn't do that,' says Les. 'Clint is my old pal, my old
roomie. Give it to me.

"He sewed the slab of limburger into the pocket and left just
enough air vents so the odor could come out. Then he really got
into the spirit of it and smeared some of the cheese into the fingers of
the mitt.

"Then we went down through the tunnel to our dugout. When
Courtney came through Les gave him the glove and I said, 'You're
lucky to have such a buddy. He did a fine job Clint pounded the
pocket and said, 'Yeah, sure is like new, thanks, Les And Les pats
Clint on the back, meanwhile wiping the excess limburger off his
hand and onto Clint's uniform and says, 'Glad to do it for you, pal.

"Suddenly Clint says, 'You know, you guys got the stinkiest dug-
out in the league. I'm going over to ours

"The temperature is about 100 degrees and Clint is sweating and
wiping his forehead with his hand and he comes back to our dugout
to go through the tunnel and he says, 'You know, the whole doggone
ball game smells.'

"I don't crack a smile and I say, 'Maybe it's the stockyards.' He
goes into his clubhouse and changes his undershirt, but he puts on
the same outershirt that Moss had smeared the cheese on. Then he
goes back on the field for the game,

"When we come to bat in the bottom of the first inning, Courtney
crouches down to give his sign and John Stevens, the umpire, bends
right over him to see the pitch and suddenly Stevens jumps up be-
fore a pitch is thrown and yells, 'Time.

"He's gasping for breath and his eyes are watering and he can't
see. He wipes 'em off and looks in our dugout and he sees me
doubled over the bat rack doubled up laughing.

"He yells, 'Wynn, get outa here. Stay in the clubhouse. If your
manager needs you later, he can get you.

" 'But, John I said, 'what have I done? The game has hardly

"Stevens is still coughing and choking and he says, I’m not sure
what you've done, but we've got nine innings to go and I don't want
you to do any more.

"I got fined $50, but the joke was worth it. Just think of Stevens
bending over Courtney for nine innings.
Last edited by V-Anchored on December 5th, 2008, 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby cubfaithful » December 5th, 2008, 9:37 pm

Priceless!! Now "that" is quality reading material. I'm making a copy and taking it to work to show the guy's....

Thank's V-Anchored!
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Postby BigD-Moonlight » December 31st, 2008, 6:52 am

Absolutely a great story! The Boys of Summer strike again.
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Postby softball66 » January 2nd, 2009, 10:03 am

I vaguely remember this story, probably from a reprint from "Baseball Digest. Forum member may not remember Clint "Scrap Iron" Courtney very well, but he was as tough as his nickname. And, he was one of the first catchers to wear glasses on the field.
The best story about him I remember occurred, I believe, during a Yankee-St. Louis Browns game in the 1950s and N. Y. Manager Casey Stengel, tired of seeing his players sort of go through the motions, called over his spark plug, Billy Martin and told him, "Martin, get things stirred up a little." Meaning: mix it up with one of the Browns players to get the Yankees fired up.
Martin, as was his wont, did just as Stengel encouraged. He plowed into Courtney at home plate on a play and jumped up to fight. Big mistako. Courtney could fight with the best of them, including Martin. And, he had a not so secret weapon, his mask. His use of his mask is not covered in the rule book, but Courtney imployed it in a very practical application. He whaled away at Billy with his cage and left Martin scurrying for the Yank dugout, much the worse for wear and bleeding from several places on his noggin.
Stengel just shook his head. "I didn't tell you to pick a fight with 'Scrap Iron! cluck cluck cluck.
:P :lol: :oops:
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