Saturday, May 26, 2012

Equipment from Spalding

The 1898 Spalding Baseball Guide listed prices for many different products, along with great illustrations and descriptions (a few illustrations are linked below). A sampling of what the men in 1897 would have used to play the game is summarized below. The high-end item and the low-end item are listed together for each product.

Boys could buy a kid's ball or a bat for just 5 cents, a catcher's mitt for 10 cents, and a first baseman's mitt or infielder glove for 50 cents.

*A rough adjustment for inflation says a product that could be purchased for $1.00 in 1897 would cost about $25 today. See:

Spalding Official League Ball
“Warranted to last a full game without ripping or losing its elasticity or shape.”
Regulation size “Victor” ball

Spalding League Model Bat
“Made of finest selected timber, oil finish”
32, 33, 34, 35, or 36 inches
Spalding Black End “Antique” Finish Bat

Black Enameled Sun Protecting Mask
With patented “sunshade”
“Highly endorsed by the leading catchers.”
Spalding Men’s Mask
“Heavy wire, well padded”
Spalding Catcher’s “Mit”
“The PERFECTION of Catchers’ Mits”
Spalding’s Amateur Mit
“Made of extra quality asbestos buck”
“Adapts itself nicely to the conformation of the hand without undue straining”
Spalding’s Basemen’s and Infielders’ Mit

“Made throughout of specially tanned buckskin, lined and correctly padded with finest felt.”
Spalding Men’s Infielders’ Glove
“All leather”
$.40 - $1.00
Chicago, College, Boston, and University Styles
Spalding’s Baseball Shoes
“Hand-made throughout, and of specially selected Kangaroo leather”
Metal plates on the heel and sole
Amateur Special Shoes
“Made of good quality calfskin, machine sewed.”
Official Uniform
Shirt, belt, pants, socks, and cap included
Amateur Special Uniform
Shirt, belt, pants, socks, and cap included

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