On September 17, 1953, Ernie Banks became the first black player to appear in a Cubs game. In his debut, the Cubs faced the Phillies and Banks went one for three and committed one error. His debut was no indication of things to come.
Banks would go on to play for the Cubs from 1953 - 71. "Mr. Cub" won the MVP Award twice (1958 & 59) and ended his career with 512 home runs. These accomplishments are even more impressive when you realize that he did this while playing for a team that only had 6 winning seasons in his 19 years there. It didn't seem to bother Ernie.
"People say I was never with a winner, but what is a winner? I was indeed with a winner because I made lifetime friends on my ball club. I won every time I stepped on to the grass at Wrigley Field because I had such a wonderful relationship with the Cubs players, the fans and all the people of Chicago, the greatest people in the world. Not on a winner? I was on a winner all my life."
We told you they were coming and here they are, in all their powder blue glory.
What about that logo...what do you think? We love it. In case you've never really thought about it, and we don't know why you wouldn't, but anyway, do you see the "e", the "m" and the "b" within the logo? The "e" is for Expos, the "m" for Montreal and the "b" for baseball.
A couple more random facts for you to impress your freinds with: the Expos name comes from the World Exposition Fair which was held in Montreal in 1967, two years before the Expos began play. Also, this 1982 jersey has a patch commemorating the 1982 MLB All Star Game which was held in Montreal. The "Partie D'Etoiles" marked the first time that the game was played outside of the USA.
Just a few facts for you to share at your Labor Day events this weekend. Have fun.
Yesterday, arguably the greatest hitter in the history of baseball, would have turned 91.
His baseball career is legendary and well chronicled. As fascinating as he was on the field, he seemed to be equally captivating off the field. To learn more about the man and not just the player, we turn to baseball aficionado and historian David Halberstam. In case you are not familar with him, Halberstam has written a number of excellent books on history and baseball. These include October 1964 (about the 1964 World Series between the Yankees and Cardinals) and Summer of '49 (about the 1949 pennant race between the Yankees and Red Sox.). If you are a fan of baseball and have not read these books, we recommend that you do so.
Williams was a hero of Halberstam's and he recounts for us the day that they spent together.
Happy 91st to a man who, by all accounts, earned the right to be called a hero.
It was seventy years ago today that Major League Baseball made it's television debut. On August 26, 1939, NBC television aired the first game on W2XBS, an experimental network broadcasting out of New York. The game took place at Ebbets Field between the Brooklyn Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds. It was a doubleheader, but only the first game, which the Reds won 5 - 2, was televised.
The announcer for the game was Red Barber. Barber was the play by play man for the Dodgers at the time. He worked the game alone and handled all of the ads by holding up the products, discussing their virtues, putting them down and going back to play by play. There were two cameras used for the game, one on the ground and one in the upper deck.
Since were only approximately 500 television sets in use at the time and because the signal only reached within a 50 mile radius, very few people actually saw the first braoadcast.
Red Barber continued on as the Dodgers broadcaster until 1953. He moved to the Yankees and retired from broadcasting baseball in 1966. NBC continued to air Major League Baseball games periodically from the 1940's through 2000.
Red Barber interviewing Leo Durocher after the game
We were honored and humbled to participate in Saturday's celebration honoring the 1969 World Series Champions, the New York Mets. The Mets organization asked us a couple of months ago if we would make jerseys for the returning players to wear during the ceremony and of course we were happy to do it. It always means a lot to us when we see someone wearing one of our authentic jerseys, but Saturday was something special. It was a thrill to see these legends of the game in the 1969 home jerseys that we re-created for them.
Yogi Berra, Nolan Ryan, Jerry Grote, Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Duffy Dyer
Thanks for letting us be a little part of this festive day.