Friday, May 25, 2012
Before The Braves, there were Crackers
Hey everybody. Just keeping you all up-to-date today, on one of the more recent fitted acquisitions to the ever growing collection. This is an Atlanta Black Crackers inspired New Era 59/50.
This particular 59/50 was most recently worn by the the Atlanta Braves in a 1997 "Turn-Back The Clock" game against the Philadelphia Phillies (playing the part of the Philadelphia Stars). The game paid homage to two former Negro League teams from before the breaking of the color barrier by Jackie Robinson in 1947.
The Black Crackers operated from 1919-1952. Their stint as a member of the Negro League, was sandwiched around a couple runs as an independent club. They adopted their moniker from the all white club in town (the Atlanta Crackers), whom they shared their home park with.
The original Ponce de Leon Park was first constructed for the 1907 season. The 20,000 seat ballpark lasted up until 1923 when a fire ravaged the venue. A second edition was re-created for the 1924 season, although this time it was dubbed Spiller Park, in honor of the Atlanta Cracker's owner Tell J. Spiller. The unique aspect of the park, which was demolished in 1965, was a Magnolia Tree located in the outfield. The interesting quirk of this obstacle was that balls hit into the tree were deemed in-play up until 1947. The historic tree, which had seen players the likes of Babe Ruth lodge balls among its branches, still stands in the parking lot of a shopping plaza now on the site.
The only championship the Black Crackers captured was the 1938 second half title in the Negro American League. Unfortunately, their championship series with the Memphis Red Sox was subsequently canceled following "Umpire Controversies" surrounding the games.
The cap above features a navy brim and crown, with a bold all-white uppercase "A" front and center representing the city of Atlanta. On the rear of the crown, is the New Era adopted Negro League logo, which is branded across their wide range of league related caps.
I found this cap at http://www.4ucaps.com/ , where they have a solid selection of Negro League caps to choose from as well.
I hope I was able to share some knowledge on today's subject to make your Friday slightly less painful. Have a safe and great Memorial Day Weekend!