Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Who owned the books in the Hal Lebovitz Collection?

All of the books in the Hal Lebovitz Collection were of course owned by Hal Lebovitz, but he wasn't the only person who was in possession of the guides, record books and more.

"PROPERTY OF WILL MCKAY, CLEVELAND LEADER" was stamped on a few of the books. In addition to writing for the Cleveland Leader, McKay served as the first president of the Cleveland Amateur Base Ball Association, elected in January 1910 when the organization was formed.

A stamp of the signature "Ed F. Bang" appears a few times in other books. Bang was sports editor of the Cleveland News for 53 years. Bang was elected the first vice-president of the Cleveland Amateur Base Ball Association in January 1910.

The handwritten signatures of Sam Otis and John Dietrich each appear in a book (of what I have organized so far). Otis was a former sports editor for the Plain Dealer (see his signature in the fourth image below). Dietrich was a member of the Plain Dealer sports staff for 41 years, and was inducted into the Media division of the Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame in 1978.

I'm tweeting my progress with the books using the hashtag #halsbooks, so you can follow that or my account (@nhcheryl). If you're not a Twitterer, you can visit either of those links at any time to see previous messages I've posted.

Below are images of interesting items I came across today.

From a Spalding's minor league baseball guide, 1904:
"We beg to call your attention to the fact that we have established a Base Ball Bureau for the purpose of assisting young players who are ambitious to play professional ball to secure positions with professional teams. We are in touch with all the base ball clubs in the country, and are in receipt of numerous inquiries every year for good young players.
If you will send us your name and address, giving age, height, weight and general qualifications, we will place your name on our record and will take pleasure in bringing the information to the attention of managers seeking new players. This is done without any charge.
Yours truly,
A.G. Spalding & Bros."
(Was it really that simple to get on a professional team???)

An ad from "Reach's Official American League Base Ball Guide for 1905." Did players ever wear these?

Mr. A.J. Reach himself

Former Plain Dealer Sports Editor Sam Otis wrote his name on the cover of this Reach American League guide from 1929.

Photos and diagrams of Municipal Stadium and League Park, from a 1944 baseball media guide.

"Baseball salutes its many players now in Big Game on Uncle Sam's team -- and the others who will follow them!"
(including Bob Feller, pictured at the bottom of the V)

The Hal Lebovitz Collection will be auctioned off, and all proceeds from the sale will go to a foundation in the Lebovitz family name at Lakeland Community College. (The date of the sale, along with other details, will be announced at a later date.) Lebovitz — a former News-Herald and Lorain Morning Journal columnist, and longtime sports editor of The Plain Dealer — was inducted into the writer's wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000. He died in 2005. Learn more about the collection here, here and here.

-- Cheryl Sadler | CSadler@News-Herald.com | @nhcheryl



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