Blog Bat-around: My Favorite Possession, Part II

Part II: The Indians

The number of autographs in my father's book compels me to split up the entries that detail all the autographs into several posts.

The first part of the book, proving my father's love for the Indians and devotion to its players, has all the Indians signatures.

The first two pages after the Indians logo and Roger Peckinpaugh autograph (the Indians manager in 1941, shown in the original post) have the autographs of:
  • Jim Bagby, Jr.
  • Joe Heving
  • Clint Brown
  • Harry Eisenstat
  • George Susce
  • Beau Bell
  • Ken Keltner
  • Roy Weatherly
  • Oscar Grimes
  • Soup Campbell
  • Joe Krakauskas
(For reference, the 1941 Indians roster can be found in the Baseball Almanac.)

My favorite autograph of the Indians is Soup Campbell. What a great name from an era of great names, like Goose or Chubby, Dizzy and Dazzy, Red and Spud and Frenchy. Nothing like that now, at least not in that quantity (or quality).

The most important autograph on that page, to me and certainly to my father, is that of Ken Keltner. He is thought of as the "Man Who Stopped Joe Dimaggio's Hitting Streak" with several outstanding plays at third base. But pitchers Jim Bagby, Al Smith and Joe Krakauskas also kept the Yankee Clipper at bay.

The next three pages detail a few other Indians, some that may be recognizable:
  • Bob Feller
  • Al Smith
  • Ray Mack
  • Jeff Heath
  • Gee Walker
  • Oscar Grimes
Of course, the Feller auto is the most significant. If you ask my father, though, his signature is almost worthless because he signed so many in fifty years or so after his playing days were through. To me, though, this is near the beginning of his career that started when he was only 17. Does anyone think we will ever see a 17 year old pitch in the Majors? His story was The Natural before The Natural. Farm boy from Iowa who could throw the ball through the side of a barn. Signs with the Indians. Goes right to the majors, and strikes out more than 10 batters! Amazing.

The last page with predominantly Indians players contains the following:
  • Mel Harder
  • Luke Appling
  • Larry Rosenthal
  • Lou Boudreau
  • Al Milnar
  • Ken Keltner
This is a pretty impressive page of signatures. Two Hall of Famers, that guy mentioned above again, and a 223 game winner. Of course, Appling was playing for the White Sox at the time, so he must have come out of the locker room at the same time as the Indians. In fact, his autograph appears three times in the book.

These are all very nice-looking signatures. I like Harder's auto best, personally, but Lou Boudreau will always be special to the fans of the Indians. And believe me, they have a long, long, long memory.

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