Happy Birthday Dominic Paul DomDiMaggio! (February 12, 1917 – May 8, 2009)

Nicknamed “The Little Professor”, was an American Major League Baseball center fielder. He played his entire 11-year baseball career for the Boston Red Sox (1940–1953). He was the youngest of three brothers who each became major league center fielders, the others being Joe and Vince. (Wikipedia)

1. Portrait of Dom DiMaggio, outfielder for the Boston Red Sox.

2. Portrait of Dom DiMaggio, outfielder for the Boston Red Sox, holding a baseball bat. (T232) series. 

3. Portrait of Boston Red Sox center fielder Dom DiMaggio swinging bat. Exhibits (W462) series. Printed on front: “Dom Di Maggio. Made in U.S.A." 

  • Courtesy of the Ernie Harwell Sports Collection, Detroit Public Library

Yogi Berra’s  Baseball Card Contract

Copy of contract of “Larry Berra” (Complaint Exhibit 25)

Eastern District of New York, Civil Case File 11582, Bowman Gum, Inc vs. Topps Chewing Gum, Inc. 

Series: Civil Case Files , 1962 - 1979Record Group 21: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685 - 2009 

Signed by Larry “Yogi” Berra on August 23, 1950, this contract entitled him to $1.00 and a woman’s watch in exchange for the use of his image by the Bowman Gum Corporation for the 1951 Major League Baseball season.  

The contract was introduced as an exhibit in one of a series of legal cases over baseball card image rights between the Bowman Gum and Topps Chewing Gum corporations.  A number of major league baseball players granted exclusive rights to their images to the Bowman Gum company for use on baseball cards.  When Topps introduced cards featuring some of the same players, Bowman filed suit.  Included in the exhibits are some of the original cards as well as authentic vintage chewing gum:  

A detailed summary of these cases can be found at Baseball Cards and the Birth of the Right of Publicity: The Curious Case of Haelan Laboratories v. Topps Chewing Gum by J. Gordon Hylton, from the  Marquette Law Scholarly Commons.

See also our earlier post featuring Yogi Berra’s 1940s-era Draft Registration Cards.

(Special thanks to National Archives colleagues Christopher Magee at the National Archives at Seattle, and Christopher Zarr, Education Specialist at the National Archives at New York, and former NARA employees, Greg Plunges and Bonnie Sauer!)


Iconic Photographers Posed for These Baseball Cards in 1974

Back in 1974, photographer Mike Mandel traveled across the United States and photographed 134 top photographers and curators as baseball players. Mandel then used those portraits to create Baseball-Photographer Trading Cards, an unusual set of trading cards featuring big names in the industry. As you can see from the card above, Ansel Adams was one of them.

Other well known photo industry figures included Imogen Cunningham, Harry Callahan, Minor White, Aaron Siskind, William Eggleston, Ed Ruscha, and John Szarkowski.

(Continue Reading)

Woman brings 1870s Boston baseball card collection to Antiques roadshow worth over $1 million

This is every baseball card collector’s dream come true. The Antiques Roadshow appraiser literally gets choked up when she tells this woman what her card collection is worth.

here’s the video:

Unbelievable.  This is why I still love watching Antiques Roadshow.  It’s amazing what treasures people hold onto without even knowing what they have.