A great hobby mystery

North Carolina GuyWhen our consignor approached us with the material that makes up this incredibly interesting lot, we felt we were absolutely up for the challenge.  The consignment consisted of a number of items, all initially purchased from an estate whose name has been lost to history, and included a large black and white photograph of a member of what we believe to be the Winston-Salem Twins of the North Carolina State League.  Also included was a side-written 1910-15 era Louisville Slugger bat, a well-worn pair of flannel baseball pants, a pair of heavy, red stirrup socks, and a pair of baseball spikes.  We had the player’s picture, his bat, his pants, his socks and his shoes – but not his name.

The only hint is side-written on the bat: in grease pencil, appears the first name “Glenn” and a last name that appears to begin with the letter “S.”  By heavily manipulating the bat image, there are a number of possible letters we can make out, but we cannot hazard a guess as to what it might be.

Winston Salem Player PhotoThe photo, framed to approximately 18 1/2″ x 23″, is large, and in its original, vintage frame, from McElfish Artistic Framing of Frostburg, MD.  While we could easily remove the backing from the frame to examine the back of the photo, doing so would likely ruin the frame and would certainly destroy the brittle backing, and so we are not likely to do it.

Winston Salem Bat BackThe bat is in very good condition, a gorgeous, early Louisville Slugger that has a crack on the reverse handle that has been repaired by a number of nails (quite long ago, as the nails are blended nicely into the bat’s patina), and there is quite a bit of grain separation, on both the front and back barrel.  The flannel pants are Spalding pants, soiled with age but in excellent condition, as are the socks.  The spikes are well worn but still intact, with some rust on the spikes themselves; our ball player had very small feet.  The photo is lovely, in what appears to be its original frame.  An outstanding collection, and an awesome mystery that we are still trying to solve!

8 thoughts on “A great hobby mystery”

  1. Really tough to say. The first letter appears to be an S. The second letter isn’t as easy – could be a TR, could be a W, could be an IR. Fourth letter is probably an A. If you enlarge the photo of the bat barrel in your browser, that’s about the most detail I can get out of the photo. And of course I can’t seem to find anyone on the team – in any season – with a name that’s close.

  2. What I was thinking is, wonder if he was one of those trial players they signed. Back then they signed people on their word hey I am a good playe4. Maybe he didn’t play at all. Just rode the bench and disappeared. That happened alot back then too.

    1. It’s entirely possible. The bat is what makes it interesting to me, since it’s clearly a side-written, pro-model bat. How did the player wind up with this bat? Does the side writing even belong to the player? I suspect we might have better luck looking at the picture of the player than the bat. Pictures from these teams are tough to find, though.

  3. I won this lot and am going to see if there’s anything written on the back of the photo by having it professionally removed from frame. Good possibility players name is on back of photo!

    1. Please let us know, AJ – I didn’t want to take it out of the frame, but it’s very likely that there’s writing on the back. Good luck!

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