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View Full Version : SABR's Maury Brown: The Joe Cronin Papers (Great Historical Stuff)



Cyclone792
04-20-2006, 04:51 PM
I figured some of you guys might enjoy this so I'm passing it along ...

SABR's own Maury Brown (http://www.maurybrown.com/) recently had the fortunes of coming into contact with a grandson of Joe Cronin, a Hall of Fame Shortstop and former American League President. Cronin's grandson, Chris Hayward, sent Brown copies of several historical baseball documents, and Brown has started a small series of blog posts where he provides images of those documents and discusses the importance of them.

The documents themselves are various telegrams, letters, memos, etc. that were written by various baseball legends and powers of the game several decades ago. One of them so far even involves President John F. Kennedy.

Here is his intro to the documents:


Joe Cronin has been talking to me.

So has Jacob Ruppert, Ban Johnson, Connie Mack, and Clark Griffith.

They’ve come to me through letters and telegrams… my early Christmas gift.

I get a fair dose of emails requesting assistance in regards to research, pretty much everyday. And, when Chris Hayward dropped a line asking for some help researching the business of baseball, I thought it would just be more of the same.

I was wrong.

This email came with the subject line: Greetings from Joe Cronin’s Grandson.

There was something you just don’t see everyday.

Hayward writes:

A brief introduction if I may. I’m the grandson of
Joe Cronin the HOF’er and as you can imagine, a die
hard Red Sox fan. I have been a huge fan of your
writing and reporting and I read Hardball Times,
Business of Baseball and the many other web pages and
blogs constantly. I recently resigned from my Wall
Street job and am looking to chart my own course in
professional baseball.

Cronin played from 1926-1945, managed from ‘37 to ‘47, he was the GM of the Red Sox from end of the ‘47 season to 1958, and… from 1959 to 1973, he was the president of the American League. He has been enshrined in Cooperstown since 1956.

In other words… Cronin is a legend. He’s one of the few that has covered nearly every aspect of the game at high levels. When you get to talk to blood relatives of people like this it’s always privilege.

What transpired over the course of several emails with Mr. Hayward was he got a little business of baseball knowledge from me (not much, to be really honest in return for what I got) and I got a package that would make any researcher blush.

In the Fed-Ex package sent is several folders jammed with copies of historical documents that Cronin had collected as part of his personal collection. Chris’ gift is a treasure trove for those into the historical aspect of the business of baseball. From Commissioner Reports, to ‘46 Radio Contracts, to an investigation into Roger Hornsby and gambling, to stock ownership conflict within the Washington Senators. Chris… a thousand thanks.

Here are the documents and related events he's already discussed:

The Cronin Papers - The Mays/Chapman Incident (http://www.maurybrown.com/?p=128): Documents related to the beanball death of Ray Chapman from a Carl Mays pitch.
The Cronin Papers - Branch Rickey, Expansion Cities Call, Piersall, and President Kennedy (http://www.maurybrown.com/?p=136): Documents related to expansion, an official trade offer sheet including Jimmy Piersall and a letter from President John F. Kennedy to The Sporting News.
Rogers Hornsby's Gambling, Kenesaw Mountain Landis and the St. Louis Cardinals (http://www.maurybrown.com/?p=153): Documents related to a Rogers Hornsby contract for the 1933 season, and a Landis probe into Hornsby's gambling affairs off the field.
More misc. documents from Brown's Cronin collection (http://www.maurybrown.com/?p=160): Personal letter from Red Barber, an offer to Gil Hodges, Eckert's list of candidates for the position of Administrator of MLB Headquarters (Bob Howsam is on the list as a candidate), John McHale's approval for said job and Ralph Houk selected as manager of the New York Yankees.

I can update this thread as Brown posts more images and information about some of the other documents he received.

westofyou
04-20-2006, 04:55 PM
I just talked to Maury today about this, good stuff.

Cyclone792
04-25-2006, 07:33 AM
Another update from Maury regarding the Joe Cronin papers ... this time concerning documents related to a Rogers Hornsby contract for the 1933 season, and a Landis probe into Hornsby's gambling affairs off the field ...

Rogers Hornsby's Gambling, Kenesaw Mountain Landis and the St. Louis Cardinals (http://www.maurybrown.com/?p=153)

Cyclone792
04-26-2006, 07:19 AM
Another round of documents from Maury Brown are up today on his site, including some documents that could have indirectly had a lasting impact on the Big Red Machine. In December, 1966, Bob Howsam was on a list of candidates for the title of Administrator of MLB Headquarters, but he lost out on the job to John McHale. If Howsam would have gotten that job, would the Big Red Machine ever be created? Well, we can always speculate on that ...

More misc. documents from Brown's Cronin collection (http://www.maurybrown.com/?p=160): Personal letter from Red Barber, an offer to Gil Hodges, Eckert's list of candidates for the position of Administrator of MLB headquarters (Bob Howsam is on the list), John McHale's approval for said job and Ralph Houk selected as manager of the New York Yankees.