Just a cool photo of spitball legend Burleigh Grimes

Doesn't Hall of Fame pitcher Burleigh Grimes look awesome in this photo? 

The legendary last pitcher to be able to throw a spitball in the major leagues is smoking a cigar in a great three piece suit. 

It was taken on, what what I imagine to be, one of the best days of his life -- October 5, 1936 -- when he was named the manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, replacing Casey Stengel. 

Grimes was born in the little town of Emerald, Wisconsin, which is about an hour northwest of my hometown of Eau Claire. I must be one of the few people in the world with a "Burleigh Grimes baseball cards" saved search on eBay. 

It was through that search that I found this original photo up for auction. Originally from Acme Newspictures, Inc., the image was sold to newspapers looking to use it in a story about Grimes' new job. 

The reverse side has the following cutline about the image: 

"Burleigh Grimes, former spitball pitcher in the major leagues and present minor league manager, is shown above after he had been given a one-year contract as manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Oct. 5. Grimes replaces Casey Stengel, was released at the end of the 1936 season."

Grimes lasted two seasons as manager, leading the team to a 62-91 record in 1937 and a slightly better 69-80 in 1938. Next up for the Dodgers was Leo Durocher, who got the team to the 1941 World Series. 

The Dodgers had five consecutive managers who went on to become Hall of Fame members during that era: Wilbert Robinson (1914-31), Max Carey (1932-33), Stengel (1934-36), Grimes (1937-38) and Durocher (1939-48). 

Grimes earned his spot in the Hall of Fame with 270 victories that included pitching nine seasons (1918-1926) for the Brooklyn Robins, the team that later became the Dodgers. 

One of my favorite recent Grimes pickup is this autographed facsimile of an Exhibits postcard showing grimes pitching for the Robins. The original version is probably out of my price range and so this was a nice way to own a version of probably my favorite trading card image of Grimes.  


Jon said…
Agreed, it is a very cool photo!
Jafronius said…
Nice photo. You gotta smile whenever you see an Acme reference, even though it was a legit operation.