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Baseball News: 1952

Baseball News: 1952

September 1952. "Brooklyn Dodgers manager Charley Dressen the locker room with Jackie Robinson." Acetate negative from photos by Arthur Rothstein for the Look magazine assignment "Charley Dressen -- Genius Along the Gowanus." View full size.


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Today’s Top 5

But Where?

Dodgers are wearing their road grays here, and in September 1952 were only away to play that month in three stadiums: Shibe Park in Philly, the Polo Grounds in NYC and Braves Field in Boston. First guess, based on LOOK magazine assignment was New York, but almost 100 percent sure it's Boston, as the Braves home locker room photos of the era show the same pull-down single pane windows (great air flow-not!) and the small lockers below them with personal item numbered bins above. Chalked on for the visitors in this photo. Braves Field, long gone for baseball, still lives on as a part of Nickerson Field for Boston U sports.

[New York. That newspaper is the New York Herald-Tribune. - Dave]

My favorite team in the 50's

My favorite player on this team was Gil Hodges, arguably best fielding first baseman of his time and a great power hitter. He also managed the New York Mets to the championship in 1969.Finally in the baseball Hall of Fame.

Auto Safety Signal

Here is a reasonable explanation of the device in the ad. I recall them from my misspent youth. I opted for the Wolf Whistle (A guaranteed girl getter they said)

"Your idea for a light that indicates a car is decelerating has merit, but I’m quite sure it’s been done before. I seem to remember an accessory that resembled a small traffic light, with red, yellow and green lenses. It was to be displayed in the rear window, with the red light wired to the car’s brake lights and the yellow and green to a vacuum-operated switch connected to the intake manifold. High vacuum (closed throttle on deceleration) would activate the yellow light, and low vacuum (wide or partially-open throttle) would show green. As I recall, you could buy them in accessory stores such as Western Auto, or order from the legendary J.C. Whitney. Whether the device was patented, I don’t know."


Yeah, I can imagine what the Auto Safety Signal was. Somewhere in this house, in a room I cannot currently access, I have an anthology of John Updike's early short stories. In one of them, circa 1951-1952, a character brags that his new car has "directional signals". I think those would be the blinky-blinky things we now take for granted. Before that, there were
trafficators. Or, as I learned to call them from VW magazines in the 80s, semaphores. No driver trained in the last 60 years would have any idea to watch out for those.

I had to look it up to be sure I hadn't imagined it. This is from the 1978 JC Whitney catalog, bought a few years ago on eBay, in a fit of childhood nostalgia.

The other guy in the picture, Charley Dressen

Charley Dressen was an NFL quarterback, as well as a major league third baseman. Pretty impressive for a man 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighing 145 pounds.

Standards then and now

Imagine a major league locker room looking like that today.

Brooklyn (Trolley) Dodgers

What kind of a name is "Dodgers" for a baseball team? Back when electric streetcars were first introduced to Brooklyn, there were so many routes and streetcars that residents of Brooklyn became known as "trolley dodgers". In the early years there were quite a few related deaths. The baseball team eventually adopted the nickname. The full story is here.

It looks like the ad for the Auto Safety Signal is a device to go in the rear window of a car. Is it an early type of turn signal / brake light?

The original Amazon!

Back pages of daily newspapers -- ever changing and updated products for mail order, unlike the Sears, Montgomery Ward or Penney annual catalog.

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