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View Full Version : Calling On 19th Century Experts!


Tim Kindler
03-02-2019, 08:38 PM
This past summer, I took a couple of my kids to visit Gettysburg for a week with some friends and their families. Wonderful family experience, I was in awe of the reverence, history, and patriotism of the place. Fast forward to a thread in October of last year started by Mike (insidethewrapper) about baseball cards that exist of Civil War Veterans. The members of the board had some really neat information and links to SABR information as well on some of the players. I started researching those players and made a really cool connection to one of the players in particular, Dennis Coughlin, who served at Gettysburg for the 140th New York division which helped save Little Round Top with Chamberlin's Maine regiment, and possibly the Union itself. I have pictures of the monument of the 140th New York with their commander Patty O'Rourke who was killed there. Again, a really cool connection to history for me and my children.

Anyway, all of this leads to this thread. I recently purchased 2 Beadle's Base-Ball Guides from the years 1864 and 1865, while the Civil War was still raging on. They are Beadle's 3rd and 4th additions of their rare, early guides. My hopes are to do research over the next few years to see if any of these players that are mentioned in these guides served in the Civil War. I realize that these players at this time were not considered "professionals" because they weren't paid and the leagues that they were in were not considered "professional" ( The National Association in 1871- 1875 is considered the 1st Professional League) I also want to see if any of these players mentioned in the guides played in the National Association, but this is research that I will enjoy over the future years.

I have attached some scans and this is where I need some input from fellow board members: 2 Interesting thoughts/ideas have arose in my mind after looking at the 1864, 3rd edition guide.

#1 Looking at the cover, there is a notation in period writing that I believe says: "Dr. J. B. Jones Compliments of the Author" On the Introductory page, it mentions a few of the guys who contributed to the writing of this guide and one of them is Dr. Jones of the Excelsior Club of Brooklyn. ( this is found about midway on the page). So, Do I have and early autograph of an owner/ president of one of the pioneering teams in early baseball history here? What do you think?

#2 On the copyright page, there is a notation from January 13th, 18th??? of 1896 which mentions page 9. Then the notation lists the names of Jack Crooks and Dummy Hoy. Jack Crooks has something written next to his name, but I can't make it out or sense of it....I believe it says Blow Ball. The word Blow, if it is that word makes no sense to me, and after reading page 9 of the guide which I have provided a scan of, still is puzzling to me. So my questions to the experts on the board are. #1 What do you think Crooks, Hoy , and Blow??? Ball have in common or mean in regards to the date listed? and Do you think these are autographs of the players or just a notation by the owner of the guide at this time. I bet it is the latter, but boy, if that is a Dummy Hoy autograph, it is something special because of his abilities to play the game at a high level even with his disability to hear.

Any thoughts on this fascinating guide would be of great interest to me. Thanks for your time and enjoy collecting everybody.
Thanks, Tim Kindler

Tim Kindler
03-02-2019, 08:42 PM
Scans To Question #2

bgar3
03-02-2019, 09:40 PM
Tim, I think these are great guides,and a bargain, in my opinion.
I have no idea on your question number 2, but I do not think you have Jonesí autograph.
Rather, I think it more likely you have the copy presented to Jones by the Author, in this case Henry Chadwick. Someone else would have to examine the handwriting etc, but it is certainly possible you have a presentation copy of an early guide. It would be especially interesting if there are any notes or other markings in the guide.
You may already know of them, but there are books on baseball during the civil war, even some fiction.

Tim Kindler
03-02-2019, 10:08 PM
Tim, I think these are great guides,and a bargain, in my opinion.
I have no idea on your question number 2, but I do not think you have Jonesí autograph.
Rather, I think it more likely you have the copy presented to Jones by the Author, in this case Henry Chadwick. Someone else would have to examine the handwriting etc, but it is certainly possible you have a presentation copy of an early guide. It would be especially interesting if there are any notes or other markings in the guide.
You may already know of them, but there are books on baseball during the civil war, even some fiction.

Thanks for taking the time and effort to respond! WOW!, this could actually be the writing of Henry Chadwick!?, that would be something!

Butch7999
03-03-2019, 02:19 AM
Just spitballing, but could "Blow Ball" (it does look like that's just what it says) be some reference to
"Home Run" Crooks' notable four-bagger performances [ https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/35101e5e ] ?
As in "And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey's blow." "Blow ball," as opposed to "small ball"...
Ehhh... probably not. Almost as much of a stretch as that old thread about Deacon White / "McCreachery"
[ http://www.net54baseball.com/showthread.php?t=159990 ]... Sorry we even brought it up...

barrysloate
03-03-2019, 05:49 AM
Yes, the autograph of Dr. Jones looks real and that is a great little find.

Also, the 1864 and 65 guides are quite scarce. The first Beadle Guide was issued in 1860, and was very similar in style to the 1859 Base Ball Players Pocket Companion, considered to be the first serious book of baseball rules available to the public.

And early in the Civil War the guide was suspended, so either 1862 or 1863, or both, were not issued. I forget the exact dates. Keep doing research on this and you will dig up more information.

GaryPassamonte
03-03-2019, 06:01 AM
I would agree with Bruce regarding question #1. Endorsing a book using "the author" instead of your name was a somewhat common practice at the time.

bgar3
03-03-2019, 07:39 AM
I defer to Barry on the Jones autograph, and , if true, I think he must have written it after the presentation lines which I still believe are by Chadwick.
Even better pickup. Gary is correct, the Author presentation was very common, especially to those close to the author, or important.

barrysloate
03-03-2019, 08:20 AM
I was just guessing on the autograph Bruce. I'm hardly an expert.

Jobu
03-03-2019, 08:42 AM
It looks to me like Dr. Jones and the compliments line are written by two people (note: I am not an autograph expert), so you may indeed have a Jones signature and a line by Chadwick.

DixieBaseball
03-03-2019, 09:03 AM
Wow - Very Nice! --- Blow Ball or Blown Call??

GaryPassamonte
03-03-2019, 09:33 AM
Question #2- The Hoy signature doesn't look like any genuine Hoy signature I can find.

Jobu
03-03-2019, 09:59 AM
Agree - that looks like blown call.

Wow - Very Nice! --- Blow Ball or Blown Call??

bgar3
03-03-2019, 10:14 AM
Jobs, yes, agree likely ownership signature, and presentation line two different people.

Tim Kindler
03-03-2019, 03:55 PM
Gentlemen, Thanks so much for weighing in with your opinions and knowledge/expertise based on your experiences and own collections regarding Dr. Joseph Bainbridge Jones of the Excelsiors and "The Father of Baseball" as some called him, Henry Chadwick. I guess I would have to have it officially authenticated to both gentlemen's handwriting someday if I ever wanted to part with the item, but for now, I am going to enjoy the rich history in the item itself as I intended to do in the first place, even before this really cool bonus of the signature and the endorsing of the author, Chadwick. Those are just icing on the cake! I had no idea about the common practice of endorsing back then by an author. I agree with others now that the script is done by two different people, possibly even two different writing utensils. As for the "blow ball" or "blown call", I guess that mystery's solving will be part of my adventure in researching various items from these 2 guides..... Ah, The Thrill of Collecting!

Again, I sincerely thank all of ya'll for your time and effort to help me with my awesome discovery! This is why I love this board! We have some really good people here!

Tim Kindler

ramram
03-03-2019, 07:10 PM
I’ll throw this speculation out there - On that date did Jack Crooks, while playing third base (he played both 2nd and 3rd base) pull a Lenny Randle and "blew ball" foul (or attempted to) when Hoy was at bat?

Rob M

Edited due to Bryan’s comment below - I looked right past that being a January date. That certainly wouldn’t be during the season. Hmm ��

Jobu
03-03-2019, 10:20 PM
OK, I am going to flip on my earlier agreement, I just looked more closely and I too think is says "blow(n) ball."

January 13, 1896 is an odd date for a game though. And page 9 of this book seems unrelated. I wonder if there was a story on page 9 of a newspaper on January 13, 1896 that described this play (or some other book/guide).


Iíll throw this speculation out there - On that date did Jack Crooks, while playing third base (he played both 2nd and 3rd base) pull a Lenny Randle and "blew ball" foul (or attempted to) when Hoy was at bat?

Rob M