View Full Version : Baseball Pinback ID - Vargas Silka BBC

05-10-2015, 08:08 AM
Any ideas?

189698 189699

05-11-2015, 08:58 AM
What is in the fine print on the reverse.

05-11-2015, 11:11 AM
on the top I can't make out the first word, the second word on the top appears to read "frares &" and the bottom appears to read

05-11-2015, 12:04 PM

Deciphering the name on the back would be extremely helpful, if not critical. This particular item is extremely well made. It appears to be rather thick (a sign somebody did not go "cheap" in ordering it). The type of pinning mechanism is called a clasp-back, and it too appears to be made with an unusually thick or larger-than-normal diameter to the metal. The fact you have difficulty reading the company name is further evidence of its metallic quality. The name was imprinted with a die prior to the welding of the pinning mechanism to the reverse of the pin. If the pin itself were made of a softer or thinner metal, the imprint would have been deeper, and thus easier to read. In short, the company that made this was a quality metal works company, and the buyer paid a higher price for the quality of the material. But keep trying to read the back, maybe using a sidelight (like a flashlight) from different angles to help you decipher the imprint.

The front has some unusual design features as well. The name "Vargas" is most likely the name of the team or town. I doubt if it is a player's name. "Vargas" only has six letters; a longer last name would not fit, and there is no room to extend the name. The only other choice would be to use a smaller font, which would have to be hand-engraved per player. In this pin the word "Vargas" was stamped with a die.

On the basis of what I can see of the notation on the bottom, to me it does not seem to say "SILKa." It is most unusual in that the last letter, the "a," appears to be in a smaller font (as best as I can read it). Furthermore, again based on my vision, the second and third letters appear to be the same. So maybe it is SIIKa or SLLKa. Is there any chance the second and third letters are in fact the letter H, with the horizontal bar having been worn down, thus SHKa?

Again, the space is too restricted for the name of a player, the same issue as with Vargas on the upper portion. My best guess, and it is a weak one based on what little can be made out, I would say "Vargas" is the team name, and whatever is on the bottom is the name of some sport's association or league. The "S" could stand for sports, scholastic, or society, and the K could be the name of a state, as Kansas or Kentucky. The lower case a is a mystery, or more precisely, why it is in lower case. It could stand for Association, but that name would suggest an upper case A. Maybe there were two levels of competition, as a and b. As you can tell, I am really grasping here.

Finally, the overall shape of the pin is multi-sided, not typically found in a baseball pin. Perhaps it was a high-school level pin, and the bat was added to indicate this award was for baseball.

An intriguing piece. If you can decipher the maker's name, I will work on it some more for you.



05-11-2015, 01:21 PM
FWIW, Vargas was a member of the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League in the late 40's- early 50's. Campy and Newcombe played there among others.

Also, the second word on the back looks like "Freres" to me, which is the French word for brothers, possibly part of the manufacturer's name.

05-11-2015, 02:31 PM
Looks like "Huguenin Freres Le Locle".


05-11-2015, 09:34 PM

05-11-2015, 09:37 PM
and Paul-

I think it says Silka (only the S uppercase)

05-12-2015, 08:46 AM
Great digging, Rob! So now we have a medallion company in Switzerland that made a baseball pin with the names Vargas and Silka. To the best of my memory the only countries outside the US that issued baseball pins were Canada, Mexico, some in the Carribean, and Australia. I never would have guessed Switzerland as the country of origin. The mystery continues.

05-12-2015, 10:58 AM
Found four articles on a "Vargas Baseball Club" near San Antonio 1949-51.

The first, San Antonio Light 2-12-50, indicates the Vargas team has reorganized, " The club still under the sponsorship of Vargas Place, located on the New Laredo Hwy, but will be managed by Charles A. Gallegos, a pitcher of the past season of the Vargas club. The club is inviting all within a radius of 300 miles to schedule games."

The second, San Antonio Express 5-1-50, announced a pair of wins for Vargas over the Balboa Eagles at Vargas Field, 12-2 & 4-1. Winning Vargas pitchers were Benny Ortega & Manuel Daniel.

The other two, were from 1951 but just mentioned contact info (Charles A. Gallegos) and some Amateur baseball notes on the "Spanish American League" San Antonio Light 3-25-51.

Unlikely this is the team from the pinback... but may be helpful.