Keep Calm And Cheer On!
The third week of July only marks the halfway point in the 2013 Major League Baseball season! As a Boston Red Sox fan, week 17 proved positive, as the team took first in the American League East. Another team to top their division in week 17 was the Atlanta Braves in the National League East. However, the two teams have a closer connection than sharing the top spots in their divisions in mid-July.
The Red Sox and Braves both have their founding roots in Boston, Massachusetts. The Braves called Boston home from 1870 to 1953. The National League team was known as the Boston Red Stockings and the Beaneaters early in franchise history, and is the oldest continuously playing team in American professional sports.
The Beaneaters were desperate for change and fans after another losing season and the founding of a Boston-based American League team in 1901 (which would become the Boston Red Sox in 1907). The team was purchased by the Dovey brothers and became the Boston Doves in 1907. Besides taking the name from the team owners, the nickname also came from the all white uniforms the players began wearing during the 1907 season to separate themselves from the Boston Red Sox and their red uniforms. In 1908, the Boston team adopted the old english “B” to their uniforms, as seen on Cecil Ferguson and Buck Herzog below. The adaptation was twenty five years before the Boston Red Sox would begin to use the now iconic symbol.
The Boston Doves 1908 Uniforms
The iconic Boston “B” can be found in the collections at the Valentine Richmond History Center today. The museum is home to a large collection of cigarette baseball cards distributed from Factory 25 (Allen & Ginter, Co.) in Richmond, Virginia. The Boston Dove player cards were part of the T-206 baseball card series published by the American Tobacco Company of Chester, Virginia in 1910. Examples of the players cards from the collection are below.
For those of you that aren’t Boston fans, the T-210 baseball card series published by the American Tobacco Company includes players cards from the Richmond Kentucky Pioneers and the Richmond Colts. These were Minor League teams that were part of the Blue Grass League. Examples from this collection are below.
As the 2013 season moves past the halfway mark: Keep calm, and cheer on!
Graduate Intern and Student at Harvard University Extension School
Valentine Richmond History Center