View Full Version : Spalding Bat ?

05-14-2007, 07:58 PM
Posted By: <b>Joe_G.</b><p>Any Bat experts out there ?<br /><br />I was curious if anyone would care to support my belief that this is a Spalding bat and maybe expound on it in terms of how common and widely used they were during the 19th century. This particular cabinet dates to 1886. Did Spalding have a near monompoly on baseball bats at the time? Were there various models of which this is simply one? Would the whole team pick from a collection of 2 or 3 bats?<br /><br /><img src="http://www.network54.com/Realm/tmp/1179100671.JPG"><br /><br />Thanks in advance & Best Regards,<br />Joe Gonsowski

05-14-2007, 09:18 PM
Posted By: <b>Clint</b><p>Joe, that is definately a Spalding ring bat. Spalding bats were widely used during the time frame of your picture. Many pictures from this era show Spalding bats in them. Spalding along with Wright and Ditson, Peck and Snyder as well as Reach were some of the leading manufacturers of bats in the 1880-1890 time frame. Most of these were eventually bought out by Spalding but continued to manufacture under the same names. There were other bat makers as well but these were the top ones. <br /><br />The quantity available for bats per team would vary depending on how well funded they were. I have correspondence where a team would hold a game and the proceeds would go towards buying a bat and ball. Players on professional teams probably had their own bats. <br /><br />Here's a picture of a bat like the one in your photograph.<br /><img src="http://i194.photobucket.com/albums/z186/ksfarmboy/sp3.jpg">

05-14-2007, 10:30 PM
Posted By: <b>Joe_G.</b><p>Thanks, that gives me better perspective. FWIW, the photo I shared was that of Ned Hanlon with the Detroit Wolverines. I wonder if some Studios kept props such as bats around or if the Ball Clubs would bring their own equipment.<br /><br />I'm a little surprised that it was common for each player to have his own bat during the 1880s as usually you only find a couple in team pics or even game-in-progress photos.<br /><br />Best Regards,<br />Joe Gonsowski

05-14-2007, 10:49 PM
Posted By: <b>Clint</b><p>Joe, I don't know if each player had his own bat or not. I know the lesser teams didn't. I do believe that the professional teams were more apt to have them. Goodwin may have used a Spalding bat as a prop however. It's hard to tell from the photo but this one also is a Spalding ring bat, just a different model. <br /><img src="http://www.network54.com/Realm/tmp/1179110897.JPG">

05-14-2007, 11:31 PM
Posted By: <b>Joe_G.</b><p>Ah yes, Old Judges, they are about as varied as it gets. With photos taken all across America from different Studios, there is little continuity which makes it interesting. All the 1887 N172 Detroits appear to use a bat with no identifying features. The 1888 N172 Detroits did share a Spalding ring bat and so on. They are sometimes tough to pick out on the smaller N172s, but the cabinet cards make it easy.<br /><br />Best Regards,<br />Joe Gonsowski