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Finding Aid File

Guide to the Stanley Person Baseball Collection, BCMS.0065

Summary Information

    Repository

    Brooklyn Public Library - Brooklyn Collection

    Title

    Stanley Person Baseball Collection

    ID

    BCMS.0065

    Date

    1926-1994

    Extent

    6.2 Linear feet , 6 baseball boxes, 2 document boxes, 1 half size document box, 1 postcard box, 1 oversize flat box

    Location

    Brooklyn Collection Morgue, Shelves 24.3-24.5

    Language

    English

    Abstract

    This collection includes tickets, programs, photographs, postcards, autographed baseballs, and other memorabilia from various baseball teams. Items from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and postcards depicting various New York City buildings and bridges are also included.

    Preferred Citation

    This collection should be cited as the Stanley Person Baseball Collection, Brooklyn Public Library – Brooklyn Collection.

Printable version

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Historical Note

The origins of baseball may trace to the games of cricket and rounders, played in Great Britain as early as the 15th century. British colonists began playing similar ball and bat games, with the first mentions of "baste ball" and "baseball" appearing in the United States the late 18th century. Abner Doubleday is often credited with inventing modern baseball in Cooperstown, New York, however it’s now believed his involvement was exaggerated, perhaps in an attempt to establish baseball as a solely American sport. Modern baseball rules were written in 1845 by Alexander Cartwright, who also founded The Knickerbockers, a New York City baseball club that played in the first officially recorded baseball game on June 19, 1846 at the Elysian Fields in Hoboken, New Jersey.

Over the next 30 years amateur teams were formed all over the country, leading to the creation of The National Association of Base Ball Players, which counted over 400 clubs by 1867. In 1869 the Cincinnati Red Stockings were established as the sport’s first professional team, causing a rift between the professional and amateur players. The National Association of Professional Baseball Players formed in 1871 as baseball’s first attempt at an all professional league. Frustrations over rule breaking and contract jumping lead to the formation of splinter leagues, including the National Base Ball League in 1876 and the Western League, which became the American League in 1901. The National League and the American League currently make up Major League Baseball (MLB), the oldest professional sports league in the United States.

Baseball clubs were introduced to Kings County as early as the 1820s, with over 71 amateur teams playing in the county by 1851. Early prominent clubs included the Atlantics and the Ekfords, drawing players from the blue collar workforce and attracting thousands of fans to games played all over the borough. In 1883, Charles Byrne opened the Washington Park baseball field on 5th Avenue and 3rd Street in Park Slope and formed a team called the Brooklyn Grays. The team joined the American Association in 1884 and the National League in 1890, by which time they were known as the Bridegrooms.

In 1891 Washington Park burned down and the team was moved to Eastern Park, a 12,000 seat stadium in Brooklyn’s Brownsville neighborhood. The team was still known as the Bridegrooms but picked up several nicknames including the Superbas and the Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers, named after borough residents who had to “dodge” oncoming electric trollies. In 1898 Byrne died and was succeeded by his assistant, Charlie Ebbets. By 1899 Ebbets gained majority control over the team and in 1912 moved them to Ebbets Field, a new 37,000 seat stadium in Flatbush.

The team played and lost their first World Series game in 1916, in front of the largest crowd in baseball history. By 1920 the team was officially known as the Brooklyn Dodgers, but was also called the Daffiness Boys, a nickname reflective of their performance on the field and outrageous behavior of players and management. The death of Charlie Ebbets in 1925 left the team open to poor management and a series of disastrous trades that led to a drop in ticket sales and a field in need of repairs. Things began to turn around in 1938 when Leland MacPhail was brought in as General Manager. MacPhail got rid of the Daffiness Boys and replaced them with some of the Dodgers' most iconic players, including Pee Wee Reese and Pete Reiser.

When the U.S. entered World War II MacPhail and several players enlisted. Branch Rickey was brought in from St. Louis as the new General Manager. In 1947 he signed Jackie Robinson, the first black man to play on a major league baseball team. The 1947 season kicked off an era often called the “glory days” with star players including Roy Campanella, Duke Snider and Gil Hodges. Brooklyn supported their team with steady game attendance, merchandise sales and their own fight song, “Follow the Dodgers.” After years of close-calls and near-misses the team finally captured a World Series title in the 1955 season.

After 43 years Ebbets Field was in a state of disrepair and team owner Walter O’Malley began to make plans for a new stadium in Brooklyn. O’Malley’s plan for a city subsidized stadium at the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenue that would provide more seats, parking and access to public transportation was rejected by Robert Moses, who proposed an alternative location in Queens, the eventual site of Shea Stadium. O’Malley began negotiations with the city of Los Angeles, which promised a growing market and space for a new stadium. The National League authorized the move on May 28, 1957 and the Los Angeles Dodgers played their first game on April 18, 1958.

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Scope and Contents

The bulk of this collection comprises items from various baseball teams including the Brooklyn Dodgers, Los Angeles Dodgers, and New York Yankees. Items from the Brooklyn Dodgers include autographed baseballs from the 1941-1957 seasons, tickets, game programs, and trading cards. Photographs and postcards depict players, staff and Ebbets Field. Additional baseball items include various team programs, tickets, postcards, and stamps, as well as general baseball trivia books.

Items from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and postcards depicting various New York City buildings and bridges are also included.

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Arrangement

This collection is arranged in three series:

Series I: Brooklyn Dodgers is arranged in six subseries by type. Folders within each subseries are arranged alphabetically, baseballs are arranged chronologically.

Series II: Non-Brooklyn Baseball Items is arranged in six subseries by type. Folders within each subseries are arranged alphabetically.

Series III: Non-Baseball Photographs and Prints is contained in two folders with no item arrangement.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Brooklyn Public Library - Brooklyn Collection

10 Grand Army Plaza
Brooklyn, NY, 11238
718.230.2762
[email protected]

Access

Collection is located in the Brooklyn Collection at the Central Branch at Grand Army Plaza. The collection may only be used in the library and is not available through interlibrary loan. Requests to view the collection must be made at least 48 hours in advance of visit.

Use

While many items in the Brooklyn Collection are unrestricted, we do not own reproduction rights to all materials. Be aware of the several kinds of rights that might apply: copyright, licensing and trademarks. The researcher assumes all responsibility for copyright questions.

Provenance

This collection was donated by Diane Person in March 2004, with additional materials donated in June 2005.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

Al Todres Brooklyn Dodgers Collection

Photographs from our Digital Collections

Golenbock, Peter. Bums--an oral history of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Putnam, 1984.

Krell, David. "Our bums" : the Brooklyn Dodgers in history, memory and popular culture. McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2015.

McGee, Bob. The greatest ballpark ever : Ebbets Field and the story of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Rivergate Books, 2005.

Prince, Carl E. Brooklyn's Dodgers : the bums, the borough, and the best of baseball, 1947-1957. Oxford University Press, 1996.

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Controlled Access Headings

Genre(s)

  • Photographs
  • Postcards

Subject(s)

  • Baseball teams--United States--History
  • Baseball--United States--History--20th century
  • Brooklyn Dodgers (Baseball team)
  • Los Angeles Dodgers (Baseball team)
  • National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

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Collection Inventory

Series I: Brooklyn Dodgers 

Subseries I: Baseballs 

Box 1 

Baseballs, Autographed , 1941-1944 

Box 2 

Baseballs, Autographed , 1945-1948 

Box 3 

Baseballs, Autographed , 1949-1952 

Box 4 

Baseballs, Autographed , 1953-1957 

Box 5 

Baseballs, Autographed , undated 

Box 6 

Baseballs, Autographed , undated 

Subseries II: Memorabilia 

Box 7 

Folder 1: Envelopes , 1982 

Folder 2: Patch, Pin and Keychain 

Folder 3: Team Yearbook , 1957 

Folder 4: Trading Cards 

Box 11 

Folder 1: Oversize Pennant , 1955 

Morgue Flat File 

Poster 

Subseries III: Ephemera 

Box 7 

Folder 5: Baseball Magazine , 1937 

Folder 6: Game Programs , 1942-1956 

Folder 7: Press, Radio, and TV Guide , 1953 

Folder 8: Stamps, Jackie Robinson , 1982 

Folders 9-11: Team Rosters , 1931-1958 

Folder 12: Tickets , 1942-1955 

Folder 13: Welcome Home Dinner Program, Autographed , 1949 

Box 11 

Folder 2: Oversize Spring Training Schedule , 1954 

Subseries IV: Clippings 

Box 7 

Folder 14: Clippings , 1955-1957, 1990-1992 

Subseries V: Correspondence 

Box 7 

Folder 15: Walter O’Malley to Rud Rennie , 1955 

Subseries VI: Prints and Photographs 

Box 7 

Folder 16: Photographs, Players 

Folder 17: Photographs, Players, Autographed 

Folder 18: Photographs, Team , 1947-1957 

Folder 19: Cartoon , 1955 

Folder 20: Postcards, Ebbets Field 

Folder 21: Postcards, Players, Autographed 

Box 11 

Folder 3: Oversize Print, Ebbets Field 

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Series II: Non-Brooklyn Baseball Items 

Subseries I: Memorabilia 

Box 8 

Folder 1: Baseball Stat Finder , 1989 

Folders 2-3: Baseball Trivia Books , 1975-1994 

Folder 4: Calendars , 1987-1991 

Folder 5: Sticker, New York Giants 

Folder 6: Trading Cards 

Folder 7: Yearbook, Los Angeles Dodgers , 1966 

Box 11 

Folder 4: Oversize Paper Dolls Book , 1985 

Folder 5: Oversize Ladies Day Sign, Yankees 

Subseries II: Ephemera 

Box 8 

Folder 8: Banquet Program, Autographed , 1988 

Folder 9: Brochure, Hotel Homosassa 

Folder 10: Press, Radio, and Television Guides, Los Angeles Dodgers , 1959-1966 

Folder 11: Stamps , 1987-1989 

Folder 12: Tickets, Yankees , 1949 

Box 11 

Folder 6: Oversize Placemat, Mets, Autographed 

Subseries III: Clippings 

Box 8 

Folder 13: Advertisements 

Box 11 

Folder 7: Oversize New York Times Commemorative Edition: The Glory Days of Baseball 1947-1957 

Folder 8: Oversize New York Times, Clippings , 1951-1956 

Subseries IV: Correspondence 

Box 8 

Folder 14: Lee Scott to Al , undated 

Subseries V: Prints and Photographs 

Box 9 

Postcards, Players and Staff 

Postcards, Players, Autographed 

Postcards, Parks and Stadiums 

Box 10 

Folder 1: Postcards, Book , 1978 

Folder 2: Photographs, Fans 

Folder 3: Photographs, Players 

Folder 4: Photographs, Stadiums 

Folder 5: Photographs, Teams, Los Angeles Dodgers and Yankees 

Box 11 

Folder 9: Oversize Prints, Parks and Stadiums 

Subseries VI: The National Baseball Hall of Fame 

Box 10 

Folder 6: Tickets , 1988-1994 

Folder 7: Program and Newsletters , 1984-1994 

Folder 8: Sticker 

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Series III: Non-Baseball Photographs and Prints 

Box 10 

Folder 9: Postcards, New York City Buildings and Bridges 

Box 11 

Folder 10: Oversize Photograph, Brooklyn Bridge 

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