Artifact of the Month

Baseball Mascot Shirt
Donated by Susan and Orville Hall Jr.

Circa 1940 baseball mascot shirt

As a kid growing up in Fayetteville in the 1930s and 1940s, Orville Hall Jr. was surely the envy of all his buddies when he wore this snazzy shirt emblazoned with professional baseball team mascots of the day.

Seen on the shirt are several teams no longer in existence. The Milwaukee Brewers moved to St. Louis in 1902 and became the St. Louis Browns. The Browns moved to the National League in 1892 and became the St. Louis Cardinals in 1900. The American League-based St. Louis Browns moved to Baltimore in 1954 and became the Orioles.

Washington Senators is a name that was used by three different baseball teams in Washington, D.C. From 1905 through 1956, the official team name was the Washington Nationals, but few people referred to them by that name, opting instead for the Senators. The Senators mascot seen on this shirt shirt harkens to the team that existed from 1901 until 1961, when they moved to Minnesota to become the Minnesota Twins.

Also seen on the shirt is an image of a baseball with the New York Giants logo coupled with the Giants' stadium, known as the Polo Grounds. Over the years there were several Polo Grounds. The one illustrated here was constructed in 1911 after the previous Polo Grounds caught fire. The 1911 Polo Grounds had a capacity of 54,555 and cost $300,000 to build.

The New York Giants team was originally called the New York Gothams (founded in 1883). In 1885 the name was changed to Giants. The Giants remained in New York until 1957 when they and the Brooklyn Dodgers moved to California. The Polo Grounds remained in use for several years, closing for good in September 1963 and demolished in April 1964.

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