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Manuscripts of Modern America

What follows is a descriptive list of baseball-related manuscript groups held in the Joyce Sports Research Collection, Department of Special Collections, Hesburgh Libraries of Notre Dame. In addition to manuscript texts, the list includes other non-published formats with some claim to uniqueness, like scrapbooks and photographs. Some of the descriptions that follow are linked to finding aids, to provide readers with fuller information on particular collections.

  • ALL-AMERICAN GIRLS BASEBALL LEAGUE COLLECTION. 1943-ca. 2000. 9 bound volumes and six containers. A collection of materials on the All-American Girls Baseball League, a women's professional league active in the Midwest from 1943 to 1954. The greater part of the collection consists of records preserved by Dr. Harold T. Dailey (1894-1971), a South Bend, Indiana oral surgeon who served the league's South Bend Blue Sox franchise in various executive capacities. Much of the Dailey material is included in a set of ten loose-leaf notebooks totaling over 1100 leaves; these were apparently intended as a documentary history of the league, and perhaps as source material for a narrative history Dailey never found time to write. Included are minutes of the meetings of the AAGBBL Board of Directors, financial information, and player information and statistics, as well as correspondence, newspaper clippings, printed ephemera, and photographs. Notebooks are arranged chronologically, and cover the full span of the league's history, with an emphasis on the South Bend franchise. The AAGBBL Collection also incorporates other components, including papers of league manager D. C. "Chet" Grant; several groups of player questionnaires; and league-related printed matter. MSSP 0014-1-B to MSSP 0014-9-B; MSSP 0014-10 to MSSP 0014-255-0. [Finding Aid]

  • BIRMINGHAM BLACK BARONS RECORDS. 1923-1930. 1 vol., 37 cm., 250 leaves, with 200 pages of manuscript entries in various hands; 14 additional manuscripts; 1 clipping. A collection of records, mostly financial, of the Birmingham (Alabama) Black Barons Negro Leagues baseball team, 1923 to 1930. During this period the Barons were an elite black club, affiliated with the Negro Southern League (1920-23, 1926) and the Negro National League (1924-25, 1927-30). The most significant item in the collection is a bound cash book, showing the club's financial accounts with each of its players for the seasons 1926 through 1930. Individual player accounts for a given season typically occupy two facing pages; each credit (usually in the form of salary) and debit (cash advances, equipment charges, fines, and so on) is indicated. Among the many notable players whose accounts appear in the book is Leroy "Satchel" Paige. A few non-player accounts are also present. In addition to the ledger, the collection includes a few team-related letters, receipts, and other records. MSSP 0001-1-B; MSSP 0001-2 to MSSP 0001-9. [Finding Aid]

  • JOHNNY EVERS COLLECTION. 1906-1976. About 80 items. A small collection of personal items preserved by Hall of Fame second baseman Johnny Evers (1881-1947) and by his son, John J. Evers, Jr. Many of the items derive from the European tour undertaken by Charles Comiskey, John McGraw, and members of the Chicago White Sox and New York Giants in 1924, in which Evers participated as manager of the White Sox. The collection includes a few manuscripts, 59 photographic prints, clippings, books, and realia, including five signed baseballs. MSSP 0015-1 to MSSP 0015-80. [Finding Aid]

  • ORA W. HARVEY LETTER. 1863. 1 letter (4 pp.). Ora W. Harvey (1840-1921) was a native of Marlboro, Cheshire County, New Hampshire, who in 1862-63 served as a private in Company A of the 46th Massachusetts Infantry, a nine-month regiment. The letter, written on 15 April 1863 from New Bern, North Carolina, is notable for its discussion of camp recreations, especially baseball. MSN/CW 5026-1.

  • WEST PHILADELPHIA BASE BALL CLUB CORRESPONDENCE. 1866-1867. 43 letters; 1 additional manuscript. This collection consists primarily of letters addressed to the West Philadelphia BBC (organized 6 June 1865) during the season of 1867. Many of these are challenge letters, or letters otherwise concerned with the scheduling of matches. There is also a 6-page letter from the Bachelor BBC of Milford, Delaware, inquiring about the status of a player named Fisher. Most of the correspondents are from the Philadelphia area (including the Olympic, Keystone and Quaker City clubs), though there are also letters from the Atlantics of Brooklyn and the New York Mutuals. Included among the letters is a draft of the West Philadelphia club's letter of application to the National Association of Base Ball Players, the game's first governing body. The corresponding secretary for the West Philadelphia club in 1867 was A. C. Hamer. MSSP 0002-1 to MSSP 0002-26.

  • NORTHERN LIGHT BASE BALL CLUB CHALLENGE LETTER. 1867. 1 letter, w/envelope A challenge letter sent by the Northern Light BBC of Berlin, Massachusetts to the first and second nines of the Peerless BBC of Hudson, Massachusetts, 29 July 1867. MSSP 0003-1.

  • JEFF SWEENEY TRANSFER AGREEMENT. 1915. 1 document, partly printed. A completed major league transfer agreement, whereby player Edward ("Jeff") Sweeney (1888-1947) is sold by Richmond to the New York Yankees for $300.00. The document is signed by Yankees president Jacob Ruppert. MSSP 0004-1.

  • MAX CAREY LETTERS. 1914. 3 letters. A group of three personal letters written during a 1914 preseason exhibition tour by Pittsburgh Pirates player Max Carey (Maximilian George Carnarius, 1890-1976). The letters are addressed to Carey's wife, Aurelia Behrens Carey. MSSP 0005-1 to MSSP 0005-3.

  • TRIS SPEAKER CORRESPONDENCE. 1926. 6 letters, some w/envelopes. A group of letters written to recently resigned Cleveland Indians player-manager Tris Speaker, expressing support in the wake of newspaper revelations that Speaker and Ty Cobb had been accused of fixing and betting on a game in 1919. Five of the letters (22 to 25 December 1926) are from fans; the other is from former player George Stovall. MSSP 0006-1 to MSSP 0006-6.

  • BASEBALL SCOUT'S NOTEBOOK. 1930. 1 vol., 16 x 10 cm., 74 leaves, with 39 pages of manuscript and clipped baseball box scores. The notebook of an unidentified big league scout, kept on a trip through the Southeast and Texas in May-June 1930. The book contains box scores of minor league games attended, with attendant notes on individual players. MSSP 0007-1.

  • THE JACKIE ROBINSON STORY SCREENPLAY. ca. 1950. 1 vol., 28 cm., 103 leaves; mimeographed typescript with manuscript annotations. An annotated copy of the Arthur Mann/Lawrence Taylor script for Eagle-Lion Films 1950 biopic, The Jackie Robinson Story. MSSP 0008-1-B.

  • PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES CASH BOOKS. 1922-1928; 1934-1940. 2 vols., 45 cm., 149 and 151 leaves, with a total of around 590 pages of manuscript entries; 34 additional manuscripts associated with the 1934-40 book. Two cash books detailing the finances of the Philadelphia National League baseball club (the Phillies) from March 1922 to July 1928, and from November 1934 to June 1940. During these years, but especially in the 30s under Gerald P. Nugent, the team was notable for its poor play, decrepit park, and financial insolvency. The two books are similar in format. Income and expenditures are itemized in daybook form. A typical in-season month—July 1937—contains nearly 100 lines of identified expenditures, some of which are further annotated. These include payroll (players' salaries are lumped together), travel costs, equipment, gate receipt payouts, fees, etc. On the revenue side, there is for in-season months a game-by-game breakdown of income, especially with regard to ticket pricing. Among the later book's 30-odd enclosures are receipts for income from high school football games. MSSP 0009-1-B-Oversize; MSSP 0009-2-B-Oversize; MSSP 0009-3 to MSSP 0009-7.

  • NEW YORK YANKEES SUNDAY BASEBALL CORRESPONDENCE. 1915-1928 (bulk 1917-1918). 36 letters and telegrams, some with enclosures; 6 newspaper clippings. Correspondence relating to the New York Yankees' efforts to encourage state legislation (primarily the 1918 Lawson Bill) permitting Sunday baseball in New York. Many of the letters are directed to Yankees president Jacob Ruppert, by politicians responding to the club's inquiries about their stance on the matter. There are also carbon copies of letters from the Yankees, and several items to and from Brooklyn Dodgers president Charles H. Ebbets. MSSP 0010-1 to MSSP 0010-36.

  • MONTAGUE LYON FEDERAL LEAGUE LETTER. 1915. 1 letter (2 pages). A letter (21 April 1915) from Federal League of Professional Baseball Clubs counsel Montague Lyon, of Lyon & Swarts, St. Louis, to American League counsel George H. Williams, outlining a five-point program that would lead to "the final and full adjustment of their [the Feds] legal difficulties with organized baseball . . . ." MSSP 0011-1.

  • NEGRO LEAGUES PLAYER LETTERS. ca. 1991-1994. 15 letters. A group of 15 short letters written by as many different veterans of the Negro Leagues, responding to an autograph collector. MSSP 0012-1.

  • BASEBALL MANUFACTURER'S FINANCIAL RECORDS. 1889-1890. 1 vol., 36 cm., 106 leaves, with 57 pages of manuscript entries. A ledger partly filled with the financial records of an unidentified late-nineteenth century manufacturer of baseballs, for the fiscal years ending in 1889 and 1890. The company turned out more than thirty different makes of ball, from the "American League" (wholesale about $7.00 per dozen) to the "I.X.L." (24 cents per dozen). Records include itemized cost estimates for each make of ball; sales to specific vendors; and yearly inventories. MSSP 0013-1-B.

  • DETROIT TIGERS FINANCIAL RECORDS. 1903-1911. 1 vol., 41 cm., 75 leaves, with 76 pages of manuscript entries. The volume contains financial records of the Detroit Base Ball and Amusement Company and its successor, the Detroit Base Ball Company, for the American League seasons of 1904 to 1911, as follows: 1904 (pp. 1-9); 1905 (pp. 10-19); 1906 (pp. 20-29); 1907 (pp. 30-36); 1908 (pp. 39-45); 1909 (pp. 46-53); 1910 (pp. 54-66); 1911 (pp. 67-78). The records for 1904 to 1908 are in the hand of Frank J. Navin, the Tigers' business manager from 1902-08 and president from 1909-35. The records for each season typically begin with a trial balance from the previous year. Subsequent records are in daybook form, with much of the data consisting of itemized travel expenses incurred by players and other personnel. Player salaries for 1907 appear on pp. 35-36. MSSP 0016-1-B.

  • JIM NEWTON COLLECTION ON PETE ROSE. 1978-1990 (bulk 1989). 8 containers; 4 linear feet. The collection consists of materials on Major League Baseball's 1989 investigation into the gambling activities of Cincinnati Reds manager Pete Rose, which resulted in Rose's placement on Baseball's permanently ineligible list. These materials, consisting primarily of photocopied documents and news clippings, were assembled in 1989 by journalist Jim Newton of the Fort Hamilton (OH) Press. Included are copies of MLB investigator Thomas Dowd's report on Rose's activities, with its many attendant volumes of exhibits; transcripts of interviews conducted by Dowd in his investigation; legal documents from Peter E. Rose v. A. Bartlett Giamatti, et al and United States v. Thomas P. Gioiosa, and copies of newspaper articles tracking the case from March to September, 1989. MSSP 0017. [Finding Aid]

  • CONNIE MACK LETTER. 1936. 1 letter (1 page), with envelope. A typed letter signed of 29 December 1936 directed by Philadelphia Athletics owner/manager Connie Mack (1862-1956) to actor Frank Sheridan. Mack notes that he is in no financial position to retire and regrets "to a great extent that it was necessary to dispose of my star players." MSSP 0018-1.

  • LETTERS TO JOE JACKSON. 1932-1957. 116 letters and postal cards. Shoeless Joe Jackson (1888-1951) was a major league outfielder from 1908 to 1920, remembered for his outstanding ability as a hitter and for his involvement in the Black Sox scandal of 1919. Most of the letters in this group are fan requests for autographs, many from the last few years of Jackson's life. (Some reference an article on Jackson that appeared in the October 1949 issue of Sport magazine, entitled "This Is the Truth!"). There are also ten letters of various content, including one to Jackson's wife after his death from Hercules Television Productions regarding a prospective "biography." MSSP 0019-1 to MSSP 0019-13.

  • HONUS WAGNER NOTEBOOKS. ca. 1904-1910. 2 vols., 14 and 15 cm., 52 and 70 leaves, with 16 and 65 pages of entries in Wagner's hand. Two small volumes of the daily calendar type, dated 1904 and 1910, used as notebooks by Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop and Hall of Famer John Peter "Honus" Wagner (1874-1955). Content consists mostly of accounts, addresses, and other brief notations. The 1910 volume contains several crossed-out copies of a rudimentary will, whose wording suggests that Wagner feared for his life, perhaps at the hands of gamblers. MSSP 0020-1 to MSSP 0020-2.

  • PHILADELPHIA ATHLETICS PLAYER TRANSACTION BOOK. ca. 1920-1922. 1 vol., 36 x 40 cm., 280 leaves, with 20 pages of manuscript entries. The printed column headings in this oversized volume read: Date / Player / From Club / Agreement / Class / Cost / Exchange / Remarks. The book includes transaction details in manuscript on some 175 players whom the Athletics either contractually controlled or (presumably) tried out during the 1920, 1921, and 1922 seasons. MSSP 0021-1-F1.

  • CLEVELAND INDIANS FINANCIAL RECORDS. 1940, 1947-50, 1952. 6 vols. Five of the six volumes in this group (for 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, and 1952) are Indians payroll ledgers, with figures entered for each semi-monthly pay period. The hundreds of named employees include players, office workers, scouts, ground crew, ushers, ticket takers, and police. Each volume contains about 200 pages of content, plus inserts; pages measure around 35 x 42 cm. Four of the five volumes are disbound. The 1940 volume (21 x 29 cm., around 250 page of content plus inserts) is more various in content than the other five. It includes club income and/or expenditures, in daybook form, relating to salaries, ticket sales, uniforms and equipment, travel, stadium maintenance, advertising, and a host of other categories. A closing statement indicates that the Indians made a net profit of $169,291.58 in 1940. MSSP 0022-1-F1 to MSSP 0022-6-F1.

  • MARSHALL SMELSER COLLECTION ON BABE RUTH. n.d. 6 containers. Research notes and other materials accumulated by Marshall Smelser while writing his 1975 biography of Babe Ruth, The Life That Ruth Built. Included are 1) a file of approximately 1,500 index cards, chronologically arranged, indicating the news and feature stories on Ruth that appeared in The New York Times, 1914-1969; 2) a file of approximately 6,500 index cards of facts and observations pertaining to Ruth, with sources, arranged by chapter (i. e., in the sequence in which the relevant material appeared in the book); 3) a collection of 74 photographs relating to Ruth, most of which appeared in the book. Smelser was a long-time professor of history at the University of Notre Dame. Gift of Marshall Smelser, 1977. MSSP 0023-1 to MSSP 0023-6.

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