Gil Hodges. Thurman Munson. Black Sox. Ted Williams. Rockford Peaches.

•October 7, 2013 • 1 Comment

Gil Hodges Brooklyn BP

A great colorized photo of Gil Hodges taking BP. I love the Brooklyn Dodgers, Hodges and colorized old Baseball photos when done well. This one is done VERY well, so of course I felt the need to share it.

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Thurman Munson Death

A while back I came across this comic from August 3rd, 1979 by Bill Gallo of the New York Daily News entitled “No Game Today.” Thurman Munson is one of my favorite catchers of all time and while he died prior to me being born, reading this comic which came out the day after his death surely captured the feelings of Baseball players and fans everywhere when he passed away.

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The Black Sox of 1919

Another colorized photo that I really enjoy: The 1919 Chicago White Sox. If you click on the photo, you can view a larger version with much more detail. Some of detail and color looks a tad forced, but the majority of it looks great and helps paint a modern look on the infamous team which later gained the nickname of the Black-Sox.

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Ted Williams San Diego Padres At-Bat

Ted Williams at-bat. Photos of the Splendid Splinter actually playing during his time with the San Diego Padres of the old Pacific Coast League are hard to come by, so needless to say I REALLY like this photo. I’m not entirely sure if this was in 1936 or 1937, or who the opponent was, but I am quite certain that this is a game played in Lane Field due to what I can see of the background.

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rockford peaches 1950

July 7th, 1950. The Rockford Peaches of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League sit in the dugout at Beyer Stadium in their home of Rockford, Illinois. I absolutely love this photo and anything related to the AAGPBL.

Much like the Black-Sox photo above, click on this for an enlarged version that’s definitely worth checking out.

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Great Baseball Quotes.

•September 27, 2013 • 2 Comments

Bill Spaceman Lee Catcher Pacifics

“Baseball suspends time the longer you’re here on this planet, it takes aches and pains away when you play.”Bill “Spaceman” Lee

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Ty Cobb Athletics

“The longer I live, the longer I realize that batting is more a mental matter than it is physical. The ability to grasp the bat, swing at the proper time, take a proper stance; all these are elemental. Batting is rather a study in psychology, a sizing up of a pitcher and catcher and observing little details that are of immense importance. It’s like the study of crime, the work of a detective as he picks up clues.”Ty Cobb

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Ted Williams On Deck

“My name is Ted fucking Williams and I’m the greatest hitter in baseball.”Ted Williams

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WIllie Mays BP

“I remember the last season I played. I went home after a ballgame one day, lay down on my bed, and tears came to my eyes. How can you explain that? It’s like crying for your mother after she’s gone. You cry because you love her. I cried, I guess, because I loved baseball and I knew I had to leave it.”Willie Mays

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Pete Rose 3B

“I’d walk through hell in a gasoline suit to play baseball.” – Pete Rose

An Interview with Pelican Print Shop.

•September 11, 2013 • 1 Comment

Pelican Print Shop

Last year sometime I was looking up some Pacific Coast League stuff online and discovered Pelican Print Shop, a San Francisco based print shop with a heavy emphasis in all things related to Baseball. I was delighted to find their collaboration with Ebbets Fields Flannels which consists of a wonderful t-shirt line of old PCL teams such as the San Francisco Seals, Mission Reds, and Oakland Oaks. Needless to say, this sparked my attention for obvious reasons. Fast forward some time and after a few online interactions, we quickly realized that we share mutual friends and contacts related to the baseball community here in San Francisco. The city itself is quite small and everyone here seems to know everyone else in some way shape or form. This is applicable to the Baseball community as well.

All this got me thinking that people need to know about the shop, their goals, products, and how Baseball ties in with all of it. Ultimately, I decided to do an interview with Dave Phillips from Pelican to help get the story and to help spread the word of the shop. Without further adieu, here is that interview. I hope this sparks interest in some of the readers of 90 Feet of Perfection to look up the shop and support Pelican!

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1) First of all, give us a little background on Pelican. How did you start, what were your initial goals, etc?

I started Pelican in the Summer of 2012. I co-owned a screen printing and supply company (Anthem Screen Printing) for 2 1/2 years before Pelican and learned the ropes of running a company but also realized I wanted something else. When I started Pelican, my goal was pretty simple. I wanted a studio where I could focus on print and design. I wanted to continue to do commercial work but also wanted to make time to be able to work on my own stuff, surf when the waves are good, play ball, and have a bit of a mellower work environment.

2) When did Baseball come into play in regards to the shop’s products? Was this a goal from the start or did it just kind of happen?

The baseball thing totally just happened. If you told me I was going to be making bat wax two years ago I would not have believed you. I’ve always loved and been pretty obsessed with baseball. Not just scores but stats, players backgrounds, the whole deal. When the Giants won the World Series in 2012, I co-designed a shirt with one of my clients that did pretty well. I sold them through my website and Etsy and that got me going on to do other things. It wasn’t until the past couple months that I finally decided to make the jump and really start pushing to create a brand that is focused on baseball and living in California.

Pelican Print Shop PCL Shirts

3) How did the collaboration with Ebbets Fields Flannels come about? Who approached who? I assume they currently control the rights to the old PCL teams in terms of merchandise and you had to get the green light from them to go ahead with the shirts?

So after the World Series shirt, I thought to myself “Ok I got lucky. I sold an un-licensed Giants shirt and didn’t get rung up by MLB or anyone else with MLB rights.” I got a great deal of satisfaction from making and selling that shirt and wanted to keep going but didn’t want to dance with the risk of getting sued. I love baseball history and there are so many teams that aren’t on the radar anymore but paved the road for the teams today that I wanted to pay homage to. I was aware of Ebbets and their shirts but I didn’t want to take an old logo and slap it on a shirt. I spent some time playing with some ideas and re-worked the Mission Reds shirt first. After I got to the Seals and the Oaks done, I received an email from the President at Ebbets saying that I can’t sell these shirts because I didn’t have a license. They offered to license them for me through MiLB and manufacture the shirts through their printer up in Seattle. I did an initial run and the shirts didn’t come out so hot so we worked it out so I was allowed to do the printing as long as they were co-branded with Ebbets. I paid them a royalty up front, sent the shirts to Seattle to get tagged and that was that. They’re nice people and I look forward to moving on to hats and more shirts with them in the future.

4) While the Seals, Missions and Oaks shirts all make sense as you are a Bay Area based company, what made you decide to do a Albuquerque Dukes shirt?

I lived in Albuquerque from 2002-2007. The Albuquerque Isotopes are the triple A affiliate for the Dodgers but before the ‘topes, there were the Dukes. There’s something about the Dukes that the people of ‘Burque don’t want to let go of. First off, their name just sounds so tough. Their logo was very simple and it’s easy to connect with New Mexico. Everyone in SF wears a SF hat while people in Albuquerque continue to wear Dukes gear even though the team is long gone. It’s just golden old school New Mexico. Some pretty well known MLB players blossomed with the Dukes included Paul Konerko and Darryl Strawberry. When I thought of doing a logo for them, the idea was just there. It wasn’t something I had to think about for awhile so I just went for it.

Pelican Print Shop Shirt

5) Your “Playing Ball ‘Til The Day I Fall” shirt is one of, if not the coolest Baseball shirt I have seen in ages. It instantly hit a soft spot for me as I have a high respect for those who continue to play Baseball well after most people give up on playing the game. Do you want to give me the back story on making this shirt and the response you have received?

This shirt was my first go at doing something separate from something that was baseball related but not team oriented. I play in the Latin League in San Francisco and I’m super psyched on the dudes who come out and play and still carry their youth with them through baseball. Some guys are in their 60′s and have just as much energy as anybody. They just love the game and it’s obvious they’re going to keep playing until their body won’t let them anymore. I’ve gotten some great feedback on it form ball players as well as people who just dig the design.

Pelican Bat Wax 1Pelican Bat Wax 2

6) The Pelican Bat & Board wax. Explain what made you decide to make such a product. Has there been a good amount of interest in this so far? I know this definitely caught my eye as I have a good amount of friends who both surf and play Baseball.

I was just thinking about how both baseball and surfing have this act where you apply something to your bat or your board for traction. They both have this is in common and its part of the sport. I was holding a bar of Tiger Stick and was like, ‘shit I can make this stuff and it will be fun to include on orders.’ I started getting a lot of positive feedback on the bat wax and decided to jump it up a notch and actually develop a product for sale. I was originally going to have a universal bat & board wax but I decided to formulate the wax for baseball. Surf wax is up next. I just released the bat wax today.

7) What would you say are the Pelican product(s) you are most proud of so far?

I’d honestly have to say the Bat Wax. It was a super fun process. I got to meet and connect with a lot of players because of it and I had a great time developing it based off feedback I got from them. It was two different projects in one. I had to design and print the packaging and then develop the formula for the wax itself. I made well over 30 batches to get it where it is now and I’m super juiced on it. If I only sell 2 bars, I’m still glad I invested the time and molar into putting it out.

8) As someone who grew up going to punk and hardcore shows, I must say that I was delighted to see the Swingin’ Utters print you did last year. Have you done prints for other bands that you were genuinely excited about?

I did a Hot Water Music poster but I didn’t do anything with it. I just finished building my press and was so excited to print on it so I designed the Swingin’ Utters poster and cranked it out. I would love to get back into the gig poster game but its going to require some time off from printing commercially.

Pelican Print Shop Seals Shirt

9) What does the future hold for Pelican Print shop? Anything Baseball related?

Jeeez I think about this question probably more than anything. Yes more baseball related clothing as well as other items. I’m thinking of making rosin bags next and some other accessory type items and I’m going to continue to keep working on my new site for all this stuff, pelicansportshop.com. I love baseball and really want to make a brand that’s for the amateur player as well as the professional and kinda revolves around the sport rather then just team names and colors. I think this next year will be exciting!

10) Any last words?

Keep checking back at pelicansportshop.com for baseball related items and pelicanprintshop.com for screen printing services! Ummmm… I just listened to the Romance of Helen Trent by The Killing Tree and I just remembered that its probably one of the best records of all time and… yeah I think thats it. Thanks so much for the questions! I really enjoyed going through all of them and am psyched you’re into what I’m doing over here at Pelican. You da man!

Please check out and support Pelican at the links above and while you’re at it, visit their official Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Ernie Raimondi. Bo Jackson. Ted Williams. Curt Flood. Thurman Munson.

•August 28, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Dick Gyselman & Ernie Raimondi

1936. Dick Gyselman of the Seattle Indians follows Ernie Raimondi of the San Francisco Seals back to third base.  I enjoy this photo for two reasons: 1) It’s a great action photo from the old Pacific Coast League and 2) It features Raimondi, who was a local Bay Area ball player in the late 30s/early 40s who came from a family in which him and 3 of his brothers all spent notable time in the PCL playing with the Oakland Oaks among other teams.

Unfortunately Ernie’s legacy is often associated with the fact that he was killed in action during World War II, just a handful of years after hanging up his spikes and retiring from Baseball. To read a good write up on Ernie Raimondi and his life, click HERE.

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Bo Jackson DiveI came across this photo of Bo Jackson recently and I instantly became nostalgic. I think I speak for most kids who loved the game of Baseball in the late 80′s/early 90′s when I say that guys like Bo Jackson were like real-life super heroes to me. I remember playing Baseball with my friends and brothers and Bo Jackson was always one of the guys we would try to emulate while diving for balls.

The hours of my childhood spent trying to swing a bat or catch a ball in the way that Bo Jackson, Tony Gwynn, Rickey Henderson, Andy Van Slyke, and Will Clark all did are some of my fondest memories from that time of my life. When I see photos like the one above, they always bring back feelings and memories of a time when life was more simple and fun. While the 80′s/early 90′s was far from the Golden Age of Baseball, you can’t deny the greatness of many of those players.

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Ted Williams and Jerry Coleman

September 23rd, 1950. Ted Williams and Jerry Coleman both watch the throw to first base during an attempted double play. Both Coleman and Williams are two of my favorite players of all time due to their West Coast connections, so I was delighted to come across this gem of a photo.

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Curt Flood in colorCurt Flood at-bat and in color. The stirrups, flapless batting helmet, old school cleats and lack of batting gloves all make this an awesome photo worth sharing. Flood is one of those players in Baseball history that I am fascinated with, but not so much for his association with challenging of the reserve clause but for the fact that he was a Bay Area native (Oakland) who had one hell of a career before having it derailed.

On a related note, if you have never seen the HBO special entitled “The Curious Case of Curt Flood,” I strongly suggest checking it out.

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Thurman Munson & Oscar Gamble 1974

1974.Yankee Catcher Thurman Munson tags out Oscar Gamble at home plate during a game against the Indians. Besides the fact that this photo has two of my favorite players from the 1970′s, I feel it is worth sharing simply due to the amount of awesome hair going on in it.

I Love The Old Pacific Coast League.

•August 2, 2013 • 1 Comment

As you’re all probably very aware, I love everything about the old Pacific Coast League. It’s probably because I’m from the West Coast (born in SD & I currently live in SF) and have lived the majority of my life on this side of the country. Add the fact that I’m a sucker for anything related to California history of the early-mid 20th century (this includes Baseball, duh) and of course my interests are forever sparked in regards to the old PCL .

During my childhood I heard stories from my parents and grandmother about watching the San Diego Padres while they were a minor league team in the PCL. For a long time, all I really knew about the league was what I heard from them and that Ted Williams played with the PCL Padres thanks to THIS card from the 1992 Upper Deck Baseball Card set. As I got older, I decided to learn as much as I can through books, documentaries and anything I was able to find on the internet. Let’s just say that I know much more than I ever thought I ever would.

I’ve done strictly just PCL posts in the past (HERE & HERE), but not for a few years now. I feel it’s time to share some PCL photos again that I have collected over time that I really like. With all that said, I hope you enjoy.

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1939 Oakland Oaks

I came across this photo a couple years ago of a player on the 1939 Oakland Oaks. Unfortunately I’ve never been able to figure out who this as the 1939 team photo is not the best quality and I can’t match his face to anyone the team. I assume he must be an infielder, but still this does not help much. One day, I will figure out who this. It’s inevitable.

With all that said, I’m sharing this photo because in my opinion, the 1939 Oakland Oaks wore one of the greatest uniforms of all time. There’s a reason that Ebbets Fields Flannels have recreated this jersey and cap; it’s unique and timeless. I imagine it has to be one of their best sellers.

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JOE CRONIN & BABE DAHLGREN

1934. Joe Cronin of the Washington Sentaors poses with Babe Dahlgren of the San Francisco Mission Reds. This photo caught my eye due to the fact that Dahlgren is wearing a Missions cap along with a Seals Jersey. I imagine this photo was taken during an exhibition game between the Senators and Missions at Seals Stadium as it was quite common for big league teams to come out West prior to the season and play games against PCL teams.

Maybe the Missions uniforms were not ready that day and they had to borrow uniforms from the Seals, who shared Seals Stadium with them? Maybe it was a team made of both Missions and Seals players and they mixed/matched uniforms? In any case, this is the kind of stuff that I find extremely interesting and if anyone out there knows the back story on this photo, please share.

By the way, the name Babe Dahlgren should ring a bell with most readers as he was the man who replaced Lou Gehrig at first base on May 2nd, 1939 and therefore ended his 2130 consecutive game streak. Something else Dahlgren is famous for is that he was the first player in the Baseball to be tested for a non performance enhancing drug. Dahlgren volunteered to be tested in 1943 due to rumors that he smoked marijuana. All tests came back negative yet his image was forever tarnished in the eyes of many. If you’re interested in this story, click HERE.

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1953 Luke Easter San Diego Padres

1953. Big Luke Easter shows his teammates on the San Diego Padres how to hold it down at first base at old Lane Field. Easter is one of my favorite players in Baseball history due to the fact that he played in the Negro Leagues, Pacific Coast League and the Major Leagues. I like to call this the trifecta of great Baseball leagues.

Another reason I admire Easter so much is that he played professionally until he was old (in Baseball terms), which is something that always fascinates me. He retired at the age of 48, after playing his last six years of Baseball with the Rochester Red Wings, the AAA affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles.

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Joe Dimaggio Goodbye Seals

Here we have Joe DiMaggio from a photo that I assume is from 1935 due to the gifts and flowers. My guess is that this is a ceremony celebrating DiMaggio winning the PCL MVP that season. If not that, then it may be a farewell from the Seals as he was on his way to the Yankees at this point. Either way, I really enjoy this photo of a young Joe DiMaggio during his time in San Francisco.

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Steve Bilko 1956

Steve Bilko of the Angels crosses home plate at Los Angeles Wrigley Field after hitting one of his 55 home runs in 1956. Bilko is a PCL legend due to his three years with the Angels (’55/’56/’57) in which he hit a combined 148 home runs. During this three year stretch, Bilko won the league’s MVP each season. Bilko returned to the PCL in 1959 with the Spokane Indians and added an additional 26 home runs to his PCL career stats. He was inducted into the PCL Hall of Fame in 2003.

While he was never able to quite replicate the success he had in the PCL during his time in the big leagues, he did manage to hit over 20 home runs twice as he hit 21 with the Cardinals in 1953 and 20 with the Angels in 1961.

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Seattle Rainiers 1955

A great photo of the 1955 Seattle Rainiers in the dugout at Sicks’ Stadium. I have always loved photos and video of players in the dugout; for some reason it has always intrigued me. Something to take from this photo is that there’s quite a healthy crowd in attendance. Maybe it was opening day or they were playing a team who drew big crowds, such as a MLB team on a exhibition tour? But then again, it would not surprise me if this was just a normal home game against another PCL team.

During the golden years of the PCL (1903-1957), PCL Teams often drew more fans than many MLB teams and in return PCL players often made more than their MLB counterparts. It was not uncommon whatsoever for players to turn down offers to play in the big leagues so that they can continue to play “On The Coast.” The travel was great, the weather was great, the pay was great, and they usually had a longer season. If I was a professional Baseball player back then, I’m almost certain that I would have strived to play in the PCL due to these reasons.

 
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