Detroit Tigers: Detroit, 1957-1959, 1961-1969 and 1972. Paperback. Very Good. Item #22-0691
Illus., size varies from 10.5 x 8" to 11 x 8.5", pict stapled wraps, pagination varies. Condition: 1957: covers creased, worn with minor chipping, lacks lower corners of last two pages. 1967: front cover and first two pages have edge tears. 1972: covers worn, soiled, creased, rubbed, centerfold loose. The remainder of the yearbook covers have light wear, creasing and soiling, contents are toned else good to very good condition. The Detroit Tigers were the next-to-last team in the majors to integrate due to their owner, Walter O. Briggs' refusal to be inclusive. Upon his death, the team was sold and the new owner contributed a large sum of money to develop black players in the team's minor league system. Ozzie Virgil, hired in 1958, became the first black Tiger. He was joined in 1961 by the second and third black players for the team, Jake Wood and Bubba Morton (who also happened to be one of the first black players for the minor league team the Durham Bulls). Three of their later hires had played for the Negro League: George Smith (Indianapolis Clowns), Ike Brown (Kansas City Monarchs) and Willie Smith (Birmingham Black Barons). Some of the other black players featured in the yearbooks: Billy Bruton, Willie Horton, Gates Brown, Wayne Redmond, James (Jimmie) Murray Brown. The yearbooks occasionally had casual photos of the player's families, usually white, but there are three black families shown; Janice Wood (Jake) and their daughter and families of Ike Brown and Tony Taylor. Other items of interest: in 1961 the Tigers' training facility in Lakeland, FL was finally completed (photo), in 1972 there's a drawing of the proposed domed baseball stadium to be built west of Cobo Hall on the waterfront and the Tigers won the World Series in 1968 (photos in the 1969 yearbook). Interesting history. A total of thirteen yearbooks sold as a lot only. Some of the issues are SCARCE.