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Rare Antique Tobacco Felt/Pennant Del Baker Detroit Tigers - $65 (west of Ann Arbor)

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condition: good
make / manufacturer: Del Baker tobacco pennant/felt
model name / number: Detroit Tigers
size / dimensions: 5 inches square

Note: The following historical info came from Rob Neyer’s article for the Society of American Baseball Research.

Del Baker came to the Tigers in 1914 as a backup to Detroit’s first-string catcher, Oscar Stanage. Baker wasn’t a great hitter (.209), but he was known as an expert sign stealer. He played with the Tigers until 1917, when he sent to the minors.

Baker joined the Navy and after returning, he bounced around the minor leagues, mostly as a player-manager. In 1933, Baker became a third-base coach with the Tigers. He was responsible fro Hank Greenberg becoming a better fielder. Apparently, Greenberg had trouble with pop flies.

Baker also helped Greenberg’s hitting. He could steal signs from the catcher and/or could predict what the pitcher was going to throw next, based on the pitcher’s grip. He would then relay to Greenberg what pitch was coming. Greenberg’s batting average and home run production skyrocketed.

Baker eventually managed the Tigers in 1936 for most of the season, and took over for Mickey Cochrane in 1937. Cochrane came back as a manager in 1938, but Walter Briggs fired him, naming Del Baker as the new Detroit Tigers manager. That year, the Tigers finished first in their division.

In 1940, Baker took the Tigers to the World Series. Detroit lost to Cincinnati in seven games.

This felt square/pennant came from Baker’s playing days (1914-1917) with Detroit. As you can see from the photos, it’s in great condition and measures approximately five inches square. Originally, it came folded in a pack of cigarettes as a promotional item.

On the felt appears a likeness of Baker next to a Detroit and American League pennant. Each corner has something baseball related: a catcher’s mask, a baseball, crisscrossed bats, and a baseball mitt.

This pennant/felt is a great piece of Detroit Tigers baseball history, especially since it’s over a hundred years old.
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post id: 6979640624

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