Wednesday, June 12, 2019

"For the Boss", 1944

We're going to step outside our "On This Day" exploration of the Milwaukee Chicks for today, to recount a moment of serendipity that struck me.

I had a wonderful conversation today with the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League on Twitter. It was kicked off by this tweet:

Fantastic picture, no? I remembered seeing something like it, this photo from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, obviously taken at the same time, where Carey and Hunter are joined by Chicks second baseman Alma Ziegler (who is herself the actual subject of the second photo):

A black-and-white photograph of chaperone Dottie Collins (left), manager Max Carey (middle), and player Alma Ziegler (right). Ziegler is a Milwaukee Chicks uniform, while Carey and Collins are in street clothes. Carey is holding the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League championship trophy. On the trophy, the names "Max Carey" and "Milwaukee Chicks" are visible.
But still, something didn't seem right. I looked through my notes and realized that the Hall of Fame's caption wasn't quite accurate.

That isn't the 1944 AAGPBL championship trophy. It was made by (or on behalf of) the Chicks players, and presented to their manager in a pregame ceremony on "Max Carey Night" at Borchert Field. Here's how the Milwaukee Sentinel covered it:

FOR THE BOSS—The Chicks, who have great admiration for their boss, Max Carey, topped off the Carey night celebration last night at Borchert field by presenting the Milwaukee manager with a combination trophy and plaque. Left to right: Alma Ziegler, Merlo Keagle, Dorothy Maguire, Thelma Eisen and Carey. The Chicks also presented Carey with the second half flag by beating Kenosha, 5 to 4.
Sentinel photo.
Gorgeous. We'll talk more about "Max Carey Night" when we get to that part of our "On This Day in 1944" series this September. But in the meantime, we can take a closer look at the trophy itself.

It's topped with a female figure at bat. At the bottom, the words "MILWAUKEE CHICKS 1944". I can't make out the long vertical plaque, but that could be a list of the Chicks players.

The main plaque is of great interest.

I can only make out a few of the words, but the Sentinel's coverage gives us the full inscription. It reads
above a picture of a chain, and this text:
According to the paper, Carey would have his players form a circle before every game, holding hands in a chain as he would recite those words to them. The women obviously took his mantra to heart.

And there we go. Not the 1944 Championship trophy, but something more personal, and possibly even more special. I wonder where it resides today?

You never know what might inspire your research, or where you might find a wonderful story. Sometimes all it takes is the right tweet to send you on your way.

No comments:

Post a Comment