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  Rawlings ACP Pro Model Special Services U.S. Army Catchers Chest Protector
 
Rawlings RCP Pro Model Special-Services U.S. Army Catchers Chest Protector
Rawlings ACP Pro Model Chest Protector
Item Details
  • CIRCA - 1942-1945
  • MANUFACTURER - Rawlings
  • SIZE - Adult
  • PRICE GUIDE - $100.00-$175.00
    Very Good - Excellent condition
    (with "Special Services U.S. Army" stamping)

Information Provided by:
Keymancollectibles.com

 

 
 
NOTES:
 
   The Rawlings catalog designation ACP Pro-Model Catchers Body Protector features fine water repellent tan color 9 oz. Army duck. Cross stitched to form parallel ribs which is firmly stuffed with kapok fiber, and leather bound. The protection comes well up over shoulders and fits the body perfectly. Adjustable back and body straps. Will resist the hardest blow. Along with the Rawlings manufacture markings on the backside has the "Special Services U.S. Army" stamping, which ties it to the WWII "Baseball Equipment Fund"

 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 and the Wilson 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.


 
 
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Rawlings RCP Pro Model Special-Services U.S. Army Catchers Chest Protector
Rawlings ACP Pro Model Special-Services U.S. Army Catchers Chest Protector

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