Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A hole in the glove

A glove on display at the Hall of Fame museum with a
hole in the palm. I think this one is Frank Frisch's.
A few days ago, in writing about the mass of material at the Hall of Fame, I said I was still picking up on stuff during repeat visits to the displays. Here's an example:

In his autobiography, "Nice Guys Finish Last," Leo Durocher (Hall of Fame manager) tells of growing up in the same city in which Rabbit Maranville (Hall of Fame shortstop) made his offseason home. (Durocher and Maranville were essentially the same player — outstanding defensive shortstops with flamboyant personalities who couldn't hit a lick, and their playing careers overlapped a few years.)

The black glove is Rabbit Maranville's. It does not
have a hole cut into the palm.
Maranville advised the young Durocher to cut a hole in the palm of his glove; this, Maranville said, would give him a better feel for the ball. And Durocher did so, playing for years with his palm exposed. Then, Leo relates, as he was about to cut out the palm of a new glove, he asked himself why he was doing this — and opted instead to thin the leather instead of removing it all together.

So ... now I'm looking at gloves on display in the Hall of Fame museum, and I start noticing a number of infielder gloves from that era with holes in the the palm. Frank Frisch, for example — Durocher's manager and double play partner on the Gas House Gang — his glove has a hole in the palm.

Know whose displayed glove doesn't have a hole? Rabbit Maranville. Go figure.

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