Welcome to the second installment of "Did You Know?"

Here is another group of trivia facts that few collectors have committed to an everlasting memory.

So here it goes:

At age 19, Ken Griffey's signing bonus in 1987 was just under $190,000.

Casey Stengel hit the first home run in Ebbets field.

Rube Walker played for the Brooklyn Dodgers and wrestled alligators in the off season.

Gil McDougald played the infield for the New York Yankees. He not only was a rookie of the year in 1951; but, he was the first rookie to hit a grand slam home run in a world series.

According to Los Angeles Times reporter Michael Kennedy, Ron Shelton, who played minor league ball for five years, wrote and directed the popular baseball movie Bull Durham. Kennedy further relates that the comedy character Sergeant Bilko, in the Phil Silvers television series, was named after major leaguer Steve Bilko.

Andy Carey, best known as a New York Yankee, is now 73 years old and lives in Southern California. After his playing days, he became a stockbroker. Later, he was in the fishing business in Minnesota.

After his baseball career, Vince DiMaggio, Joe DiMaggio's brother, managed a minor league team and became a Fuller Brush salesman.

Tony Lazzeri was good with his fists and, at one time, trained to be a prize fighter.

Hank Greenberg was the first major league baseball player to enlist in World War II. Greenberg gave up a $50,000 baseball salary for a U.S. Army salary of $50.00 a month.

Warren Spahn and Hoyt Wilhelm won purple hearts in the Battle of the Bulge.

Willie Wells, a Hall of Famer shortstop, while in the Negro league in 1939, was the first to wear a batting helmet in a game. He wore a miner's helmet.

In 1905, Reach Sporting Good patented a pneumatic leather batting helmet. The style of the helmet resembled a leather football helmet which had an earflap on the side, depending on whether you were right or left handed. Roger Bresnahan, a catcher, tried unsuccessfully to wear the leather helmet in spring training.

In 1952, the Pittsburgh Pirates were the first to make available batting helmets for all the Pirate players.

Eddie Mathews, the Braves third baseman, and Bob Buhl, the Braves pitcher, were best friends. Both men, more so Mathews, were "tough guys" and other ballplayers were careful not to get on the wrong side of these fellows.

Early Wynn was called "Sea Lion" by his teammates when he pitched for the White Sox because he was a pudge.

Dick Groat, a shortstop for the Pirates, was an All-American basketball player at Duke.

Bob Feller played an important and aggressive role on behalf of major league ballplayers in the fight that led to a player's pension fund.

Who are baseball's first Afro-American players?

 

Team
Brooklyn Dodgers
Cleveland Indians
St. Louis Browns
New York Giants
Boston Braves
Chicago White Sox
Philadelphia Athletics
Chicago Cubs
Chicago Cubs
Pittsburgh Pirates
St. Louis Cardinals
Cincinnati Reds
Washington Nationals
New York Yankees
Philadelphia Phillies
Detroit Tigers
Boston Red Sox
Player
Jackie Robinson
Larry Doby
Hank Thompson
Hank Thompson
Sam Jethroe
Orestes "Minnie" Minoso
Bob Trice
Ernie Banks
Gene Baker
Curt Roberts
Tom Alston
Nino Escalera
Carlos Paula
Elston Howard
John Kennedy
Ozzie Virgil
Elijah "Pumpsie" Green
Date of 1st Game
April 15th, 1947
July 5th, 1947
July 17th, 1947
July 8th, 1949
April 8th, 1950
May 1st, 1951
September 13th, 1953
September 17th, 1953
September 20th, 1953
April 13th, 1954
April 13th, 1954
April 17th, 1954
September 6th, 1954
April 14th, 1955
April 22nd, 1957
June 6th, 1958
July 21st, 1959

 

Now You Know.


As the ultimate advanced collector, Marshall Fogel has assembled a sportscard and memorabilia collection that is widely considered the finest in the world. From some of the finest PSA graded sets to the most comprehensive Hall of Fame bat collection in the world, Fogel has a collection worthy of museum display and his knowledge exceeds the enormity of his sports shrine. Fogel, an attorney, continues to add to his unrivaled mass of top quality sports collectibles and often contributes to Sports Market Report.