PDA

View Full Version : Need help to ID this 1942 baseball autograph!


muggsy
10-23-2017, 11:00 AM
This is a cross-reference to my other thread about the 1942 autograph book (http://www.net54baseball.com/showthread.php?t=246429), but this is one of the few left I can't identify.

From 1942, probably one of STL, CHC, CIN, PIT, PHI, NYG, BSN
It could even be a manager/coach but likely a player.

https://us.v-cdn.net/6027503/uploads/editor/he/rz6f8631owgg.jpg

witster
10-23-2017, 11:30 AM
I'm going with Eppa Rixley

muggsy
10-23-2017, 12:14 PM
I'm going with Eppa Rixley

Rixey would be a fantastic autograph, and it could be a match. But Rixey retired in 1933, what was he doing in 1942? I can't find any record of him coaching at the time. Was he hanging around CIN Spring Training? It IS possible. I guess that is next for me to find out.
I don't know how complete this would be for the era, but http://www.thebaseballcube.com/people_places/coaches/#R does not list Rixey as being a coach.

BillyCox3
10-23-2017, 12:30 PM
What's a Rixley?

The closest thing it could possibly resemble is an incredibly rushed, last-name only Jerry Priddy. This appears to be a National League autograph book, however, and Priddy was a Yankee that season.

muggsy
10-23-2017, 12:35 PM
What's a Rixley?

The closest thing it could possibly resemble is an incredibly rushed, last-name only Jerry Priddy. This appears to be a National League autograph book, however, and Priddy was a Yankee that season.

Yeah it would be an NL team only. Rixey would be odd because it would be nearly 10 years after he retired and I don't think he had been coaching. Was he a spectator signing a few? I guess that's the hardest to figure out. It does have some similarity to his other signatures.

I agree it would make a lot more sense to be someone active.

Steve D
10-23-2017, 12:44 PM
It doesn't match any Eppa Rixey signatures I've seen.

I have found a Benjamin Rixey, who played in the St Louis Cardinals organization (class-D minor leagues) in 1939 and 1941. He then showed up in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization in 1947.

I've found one signed document of his on Ancestry.com, but am inconclusive on it being a match.

Steve

BillyCox3
10-23-2017, 12:44 PM
Not Rixey, whose signature was far too methodical in its construction. I have only seen one rushed authentic Rixey signature in 30+ years, and it doesn't even come close to this.

Does this book originate from a city that had franchises in both leagues, such as NYC, St. Louis, Chicago or Philly? If so, finding an American Leaguer in a book with NL autographs is not unimaginable. I've owned dozens of these books, most of which originated from two-team towns, and it's more common than not to find an American Leaguer or two in a book containing mostly NL teams, or vice-versa. If so, that would explain it.

The "P", and especially the finishing formation of it, is very reminiscent of Priddy (although I can't confirm it 100%--too sloppy and I haven't encountered such a rushed example of Priddy before).

muggsy
10-23-2017, 01:01 PM
I'm pretty certain it's from Spring Training 1942 in the Florida facilities around that Tampa/Clearwater area. It is likely from one of STL, CHC, CIN, PIT, PHI, NYG, BSN because that is where every other signature is from. However, this signature is on a random page in the book, so I can't guess a team by the signatures around it.

It looks like the Yankees could have been still using Waterfront Park, in St. Petersburg, at the time, though. That would place him right there.

Why he'd get 1 random AL autograph, and it's from the Yankees, and it's a... Priddy. But that's irrelevant.

Steve D
10-23-2017, 01:12 PM
There was also a pitcher named Gordon Pixley, who played in the minor leagues (Philadelphia Phillies organization). In 1941, he played in Allentown PA.


Steve

muggsy
10-23-2017, 01:13 PM
It doesn't match any Eppa Rixey signatures I've seen.

I have found a Benjamin Rixey, who played in the St Louis Cardinals organization (class-D minor leagues) in 1939 and 1941. He then showed up in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization in 1947.

I've found one signed document of his on Ancestry.com, but am inconclusive on it being a match.

Steve

If it's Benjamin Rixey, it might be the only one in existence. I wonder if he has a sentimental fan.

muggsy
10-23-2017, 01:19 PM
I thought/think it has to be -ixly, -ixley, -uxly, -uxley or maybe it's not an x, it's a y or j or ?

As for Priddy, I just can't see it. What's the big slash?

That's how I feel. But I'm not someone who IDs these, and you might be.

Steve D
10-23-2017, 01:36 PM
It has to be -ixly, -ixley, -uxly, -uxley, right?


To me, it's either ixly or ixley. Just don't know if the first letter is a P or an R. The little crescent thingy in the first letter's loop, to me, is the dot over the i.


Steve

muggsy
10-23-2017, 01:38 PM
To me, it's either ixly or ixley. Just don't know if the first letter is a P or an R. The little crescent thingy in the first letter's loop, to me, is the dot over the i.


Steve

That's what I see it as too. But I couldn't find any players that matched.

Steve D
10-23-2017, 01:47 PM
The most likely to me, is the second one I mentioned, Gordon Pixley. I just haven't found a match. Like the other one, Benjamin Rixey, I found Pixley's marriage license/certificate from 1938 on ancestry.com, but am inconclusive on it being a match.


Steve

muggsy
10-23-2017, 01:54 PM
Gordon Pixley does make sense considering the circumstances as well. There's a good chance he would have been with PHI in ST in 1942, and never played again. It might be the first and last Pixley autograph. lol

What would be fun, is if we could find where he went and what happened with him after baseball. Eventually, we could ask him, if he's still living at 98. lol

Steve D
10-23-2017, 01:57 PM
Gordon Pixley does make sense considering the circumstances as well. There's a good chance he would have been with PHI in ST in 1942, and never played again. It might be the first and last Pixley autograph. lol

What would be fun, is if we could find where he went and what happened with him after baseball. Eventually, we could ask him. lol


Unfortunately, he died in 1989 (he was born in 1916). It appears he lived his entire life in/around Elkhart, Indiana, except for his time in pro baseball, and probably the military.

Steve

muggsy
10-23-2017, 02:00 PM
Yeah, I see now that the baseball pitcher, was from Elkhart. It would be the same one.

These from 1941:
Gordon Pixley, Elkhart baseball pitcher who set. a record of 27 mound victories last summer as a member of the Lake Charles (La.) team of the Evangeline League, today received a contract from the Phillies asking him to report next week at Miami Beach, Fla. Dale Atwater, local infielder, has been instructed to report to the Columbus American Association club's ramp next month at Hollywood, Fla.

The acquisition of another right handed pitcher was announced. His name is Gordon Pixley, an Elkhart, Indiana, youth, who comes to the Phillies from the Lake Charles Club of the Evangeline League. The deal was made by Doc Prothro from his Memphis home, and has been approved by President Gerry Nugent. Pixley costs the Phillies an unannounced cash emolument and a player whose name will be disclosed later. WON 26 GAMES Pixley, who is 22 years old. six feet, two inches in height and beams at 195, was the property of the Meridian Club of the Southeast League, which had him farmed out to Lake Philadelphia's own expert, Otto Reiselt. Later he also dropped the evening match to Reiselt at Allinger's.

So we found Gordon Pixley. Now if it's his signature...

muggsy
10-23-2017, 03:44 PM
Steve, now you should find his kin and ask if they want to see a signature that we think could be their father/grandfather's. Or is that passing boundaries? We still have no certainty this autograph is his anyway.

So I'm hoping for more ideas. Piddy, Pixley, or other suggestions or confirmations?

Steve D
10-23-2017, 05:40 PM
Steve, now you should find his kin and ask if they want to see a signature that we think could be their father/grandfather's. Or is that passing boundaries? We still have no certainty this autograph is his anyway.

So I'm hoping for more ideas. Piddy, Pixley, or other suggestions or confirmations?


I suppose you could look for anyone named Pixley in Indiana on Facebook, and see if they are related to him. That would be a better/easier avenue than trying to find any relatives on Ancestry.com, as most of that is kept private. Facebook in many cases, is also much more current, i.e., the people you'd be trying to contact would be much more likely to keep up with Facebook.

Steve

HexsHeroes
10-24-2017, 06:02 PM
. . .

Gordon Pixley had a W-L record of 4-10 with Class B Allenton, in 1941 (his last year of minor league play?). ERA just under 5.0. Not numbers that one might generally expect leads to a young pitcher an invitation to Spring Training with a major league team. Still very early in WWII so lots of major league talent still available. Since 1941 appears to be his last year of professional baseball, it makes me wonder if Gordon Pixley possibly entered the armed services either in 1942 or thereabouts.

muggsy
10-24-2017, 07:51 PM
. . .

Gordon Pixley had a W-L record of 4-10 with Class B Allenton, in 1941 (his last year of minor league play?). ERA just under 5.0. Not numbers that one might generally expect leads to a young pitcher an invitation to Spring Training with a major league team. Still very early in WWII so lots of major league talent still available. Since 1941 appears to be his last year of professional baseball, it makes me wonder if Gordon Pixley possibly entered the armed services either in 1942 or thereabouts.

He was playing for a team affiliated with the Philadelphia Phillies at the time. It would be likely for any player under an affiliation would show up. Try-outs were relatively common too. It's not like it is now with Spring invites.
No way to know right now if he did. It doesn't even mean he played in any games, either.
Yes, it is likely he went to military service and it ended his baseball career as well.
I'm not even assuming the autograph is him. I'm looking for as many opinions to help ID it as possible. Do you have any opinion on who it COULD be? So far we only have Rixey, Priddy, Pixley, all entirely questionable.

ATP
10-24-2017, 08:08 PM
Just some food for thought. I've owned a lot of these autograph albums. It's quite common that there are some oddball signatures in them that are baseball associated but not players. People like scouts, announcers, mascots, umpires, other members of the team like traveling secretary, etc. In addition, it's also common to find folks who were famous and happened to be at the game so they got the signature of them as well. And lastly, you also see random people signing the books, who aren't famous at all :) (or at least not to us anymore). I think you mentioned it being alone on a page? Was this the only signature that was alone on a page?

muggsy
10-24-2017, 10:05 PM
That's true, and I do have a few managers, couple coaches, and STL traveling secretary Leo Ward, on a page w/ Billy Southworth. There are minor league players & players that never made the majors; which is more evidence it was ST. There are other names on pages by themselves; like Musial, Mort Cooper, Marty Marion, at least. No one in the book not affiliated with one of the baseball teams, though.

Another question is, how often is it the person would sign their last name only? We might have a first initial there? Or even a nickname?

muggsy
10-25-2017, 12:53 PM
If you consider the pen swipe, I think the first letter could also be a J. The letter being called an X could easily be a Y. That'd give us -iyl-

But, I think the biggest thing here we've been overlooking is why a person would only sign one name? The first letter could be a first initial? But the next don't seem to be a capital for the last name then. Or maybe it's a 1 word nickname...

And, If this is a lower level player, or someone making their first autographs, you would think it would be a more classic cursive methodical signature; especially for the time. Seems like it'd be someone who's used to signing a lot of quick autographs.

muggsy
10-25-2017, 03:22 PM
So with a little more guesswork, I think we can narrow it down to PHI or BSN.


While we're at it, I don't know which Boston Braves player this is either (under Phil Masi, above Al Javery)

https://s1.postimg.org/53gjysti1r/BOSNeed_To_ID.jpg


EDIT: Identified as "Tom" Dunn. A well-known umpire.

muggsy
10-25-2017, 06:59 PM
While we're at it, I don't know which Boston Braves player this is either (under Phil Masi, above Al Javery)

https://s1.postimg.org/53gjysti1r/BOSNeed_To_ID.jpg

Thanks to another member that messaged me, we've identified this one as "Tom" Dunn a relatively well-known NL umpire at the time.

chalupacollects
10-27-2017, 10:57 AM
No way am I an auto expert but could be Tetley or Tetler... Don't have old player books out to peruse but last 4 letters could be tler, tlez also.

Second letter more than likely an I if we all read second to last letter as an e... Another look takes me to Fietler with that bump before that T appearing as an e due to the slant...

Interesting puzzle, Could it be the owner of the book's name?

Dunno just trying to help...

muggsy
10-27-2017, 02:54 PM
I agree it could be an 'r' as well, with just a tail he signs with. Could be -ler, -ley, -ly, and more. We also have to consider that the big slash could be an 'x' 'y' or even 't'. Does that next letter have to be an 'l'?

Here's another thing that is hard to see in the pic unless you zoom in is that the left-side is not a letter fading, it's a pen that stopped working. If you follow it through you can see it come down, loop back up again into a line, but the line that could even be the 'i'.
I noticed on the page there is also the scratching/indentation of trying to get a pen working. He didn't go back over, and probably never finished that first letter. It could be a P, R, B, J, Ji, L?.

So he likely never completed that first letter—and wrote that 'dot' and the rest of the name, with a new pen, or getting the pen working.

What still gets me most is that it's doubtful anyone would sign 1 name. I think there has to be an initial there, or else it's a nickname that would be well-known.

I'm hoping someone has as much interest in cracking this mystery as me, but I'm really doubting it. ;) Any opinions are appreciated, at the least I think it's fun.

jdunevant
10-28-2017, 12:48 PM
So with a little more guesswork, I think we can narrow it down to PHI or BSN.


While we're at it, I don't know which Boston Braves player this is either (under Phil Masi, above Al Javery)

https://s1.postimg.org/53gjysti1r/BOSNeed_To_ID.jpg

Looks to me as Tom Dunn, and there was an NL umpire by that name from 1939-46. I then searched for an auto of his and found this:

http://www.ebay.ph/itm/Ziggy-Sears-and-Tom-Dunn-Umpires-signed-autographed-Mounted-Cut-JSA-/110828707428

Sure looks like a match to me.

muggsy
10-29-2017, 10:21 PM
Looks to me as Tom Dunn, and there was an NL umpire by that name from 1939-46. I then searched for an auto of his and found this:

http://www.ebay.ph/itm/Ziggy-Sears-and-Tom-Dunn-Umpires-signed-autographed-Mounted-Cut-JSA-/110828707428

Sure looks like a match to me.

Yep, I agree. This one we concluded is definitely Tom Dunn. He was a relatively well-known umpire at the time too. Thank you for the confirmation.

Now it's only that 1 that needs to be identified.

Gordon Pixley is the leading suspect. But he is questionable still anyway.

muggsy
10-29-2017, 11:52 PM
Someone on another forum somehow found his yearbook from 9 years earlier with his signature.
We're going with a match.

https://us.v-cdn.net/6027503/uploads/editor/03/86nl4o8agzpq.jpg

I'm 90% sure the autograph is Gordon Pixley.