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Rawlings No. R1 Official League Baseball
Rawlings No. R1 Official League Baseball 


  Rawlings No. R1 Professional Base Ball Fund WWII "Baseball Equipment Fund" Baseball
 
Rawlings No. R1 Professional Base Ball Fund Baseball
Rawlings No. R1 Professional Base Ball Fund Baseball
Item Details
  • CIRCA - 1942
  • MANUFACTURER - Rawlings
  • SIZE -  9 inches - 9" - 5 ounces
  • PRICE GUIDE - $150.00 - $250.00
    Excellent-Near Mint Condition
    Because of the scarcity of this baseball and lack of sales data the value is estimated based on selling prices of baseballs with similar history and age.

Information Provided by:
Keymancollectibles.com

 
 
NOTES:
 
   This is a Rawlings No. R1 "Professional Base Ball Fund" baseball that was made for the WWII "Baseball Equipment Fund" headed by Clark Griffith in 1942. Along with the No. RO, "Cork Center," the No. R1 Duo-Center, Official League ball was the highest quality baseball in the Rawlings catalog, made to the exact specifications of the National Commission of Baseball Leagues. The "Duo Center" Baseball was patented and manufactured by the J.H. Grady Manufacturing Co. a subsidiary of Rawlings Sporting Goods. In 1946 Rawlings acquired J.H. Grady which paved the way for Rawlings to develop into the official baseball of Major League baseballs in 1977.

  With the onset of the U.S. involvement in WWI in 1917, Washington Senators owner Clark Griffith launched a plan to support our troops by raising money to purchase athletic equipment, mainly baseball gear, to outfit every U.S. military training camp. Baseball was considered essential to morale. The Y.M.C.A. shipped 144,000 bats and 79,680 balls to the troops overseas with the money raised by Griffith.

 Since its inception in 1933, All-Star game profits were funneled to a relief fund benefiting retired indigent ballplayers. In 1941, the profits were sent to the USO, to buy athletic equipment for servicemen. Four days after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, baseball executives established the WWII version of the Bat & Ball Fund, renamed the "Baseball Equipment Fund" Once again Clark Griffith took charge along with National League President Ford Frick.

 With $25,000 raised by Major League baseball, contributions by the writers association of America, and all the proceeded generated by the 1942 All-Star game Clark Griffith contacted several Sporting Goods companies. Griffith obtained a discounted price for equipment from Louisville Slugger, Goldsmith, Spalding, Wilson, and Rawlings Sporting Goods Companies.

The first order was for 18,000 baseballs and 4,500 bats. The equipment was to be distributed among military camps at the discretion of the joint Army and Navy Committee on welfare and Recreation. There were two types of Kits put together during WWII. Kit-A included a dozen baseballs and three bats; Kit-B contained the catchers gear, a mitt, mask, chest protector and shin guards. It was reported by the Sporting News that 6,000 kits were shipped over seas, but 35 kits were lost at sea as a result of a submarine attack.

 
 
MORE PHOTOS
Rawlings No. R1 Duo Center Baseball Rawlings Professional Base Ball Fund Baseball Rawlings 100% Wool Duo Center Baseball
Rawlings No. R1
Duo Center Baseball
Rawlings Professional Base Ball Fund Baseball Rawlings 100% Wool
Duo Center Baseball

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  References: Excerpt from Clark Griffith: Baseball's Statesman by Brian McKenna, and the 1943 Sporting News Baseball Guide & Recordbook.  
 
 
 
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