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WW2 Major League Baseball Ruptured Duck patches

Started by ocsfollowme , Nov 16 2013 04:48 PM

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#1 ocsfollowme

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 04:48 PM

Greetings,

 

A friend of mine collects all things "ruptured duck" related so each Christmas I try to find something to add to his collection. The below patch intrigued me a bit and I tried to find out more on it's usage. I personally collect WW2 patches and do enjoy the home front patches as well.

 

5130543_orig.jpg

 

After purchasing this, I searched eBay to see if I could find other insignia of the similiar size and stumbled upon dozens of reproductions of the same patch, but with black background, that are attributed to Major League Baseball. Interesting. I played baseball as a kid.

 

These are what you can buy as reproductions for $9-20.

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8771594_orig.jpg

 

 

In about 8 months of searching on ebay and through google, I have yet to find an original dark colored major league baseball original ruptured duck. I have however, acquired 6 white ones through both sources.

 

With the white ruptured ducks, I have found two versions, and one appears more original to the 1940s.

 

The first patch that I posted is known as version 1. Below is the back. Notice the closely woven cheesecloth.

 

5704201_orig.jpg

 

Here is the front of version 2.

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Reverse of version 2

3670325_orig.jpg

 

Notice the more sparce cheesecloth on the reverse.

 

There are major differences between each version. I own 2x version 1s, and 4x version 2s. I acquired 1x version 1 from a MLB dealer for $100 (marked down from $140) and another one from an eBay auction for $15. Version 2s have gone on eBay for about $15-18 and I have purchased each of the ones sold in the past 8 months.

 

Version 1 and 2 have been sold on sports memorabilia auction sites from $120-437. These obviously have been carrying the premium on the sports world side and not in the WW2 Patches section on eBay or at ASMIC shows.

 

The major differences besides the cheesecloth backing, is in the feathers of the legs and the toes themselves.

 

6223910_orig.jpg

 



#2 ocsfollowme

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 04:49 PM

If you do a google search online, you will find these photos of them being worn.

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In 1945, former servicemen Hi Bithorn, Peanuts Lowrey, Paul Gillespie and Mickey Livingston of the Chicago Cubs, and Aaron Robinson and Red Ruffing of the New York Yankees, each wore a special honorable discharge patch, affectionately known as the “ruptured duck,” on their sleeve.

 

On the below photo, notice the top right player, Mike Ulisney (left shoulder). And bottom left player, Johnny Price

7690913_orig.jpg

 

 

 

Special thanks to: http://exhibits.base...nlists/at73.htm

 

 

Contents of the original letter below

 

 



July 17, 1945

Messrs. Harry Grabiner
Donald L. Barnes
Jack Zeller
Alva Bradley

Gentlemen:

 

I enclose herewith sample of the emblem which the War Department has issued to be worn by boys honorably discharged from the service. The sample I am sending you was prepared by the Chicago Embrodiery [sic] Company, which furnished the shield now worn by our ball players.

 

One Major League Club, at least, The Chicago Cubs, has this emblem attached to the uniform of their players honorably discharged. I will leave it to your judgment as to whether or not this is desirable. There are two sides to it, of course. It may attract too much attention to players who, through no fault of their own, did not enter the service.

 

If you desire any of the emblems, we will be glad to furnish them on receipt of advice with the number.

As I had only four samples, will ask that you return the enclosed at the earliest possible date so that I can contact the four eastern clubs.

 

With best wishes, I am

 

Sincerely yours,

 

{Signature} Will Harridge {End of signature}
President

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Special thanks to: http://exhibits.base..._transcript.htm

 

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Special thanks to: http://exhibits.base...nlists/at57.htm

 

It is my personal opinion that Version 1 is the original 1940s used patch with Version 2 being a later 1950s souvenir patch. Both are still rare. I am led to believe that the above blue patch posted on the baseball HOF website is the most accurate depiction of the ruptured duck that can be seen in the photographs on this posting.

 

If anyone has a dark version of this patch please post the front and back onto this thread. I would also be willing to trade or purchase it from you as well. If you have the white ones in your collection let me know. According to my research, not many of the players wore them, so not many have survived or were produced. I have yet to find a photo of one on an original MLB uniform.

 

Steve


Edited by ocsfollowme, 16 November 2013 - 04:53 PM.


#3 uberguido

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 04:57 PM

That is cool!



#4 patches

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 10:43 PM

Very interesting, I never heard of this, and I had that really great book on Baseball uniforms, it covers everything, to include the 1939 patches worn by all the players, but it did not mention the RD post war in it.

 

To show you what book I'm talking about.

 

3148657.jpg



#5 fstop61

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 05:21 AM

Great topic ocsfollowme-I had no idea that these patches exisited. Thanks for sharing.



#6 ocsfollowme

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 07:29 AM

I forgot to mention this.

 

http://www.ebay.com/...984.m1438.l2649

 

I have owned two of these. They are about 2 inches wide and come in light and dark blue. This one is being sold by worldwarpatches on ebay right now for $20. 4-5x of these have sold on ebay in the past 6 years. I bought two of them in both shades of blue.

 

I honestly have no clue what these were used for. When I first found one, I thought that these were what the baseball players used, though at the time, I had not seen any of the photos of them being worn. Working on rumors.

 

The ones for the MLB uniforms are 5.5 inches wide.

 

A friend of mine has about 60 different metal ruptured duck pins and I gave him one of these patches which he has never seen before. I have never seen a photo of these 2" versions being worn, other than the normal honorable discharge patches that you see.


Edited by ocsfollowme, 19 November 2013 - 07:30 AM.


#7 Leatherwringer

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 10:23 AM

excellent thread and info! I also had no idea that veteran ballplayers wore these on their uniforms! how cool



#8 firefighter

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 04:33 PM

Very interesting and cool item.I never heard of the patch before.I think they should bring something like that back now.It would be cool to see football, baseball, etc. with a patch to show their service to this country.



#9 patches

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 08:23 PM

Very interesting and cool item.I never heard of the patch before.I think they should bring something like that back now.It would be cool to see football, baseball, etc. with a patch to show their service to this country.

Great idea FF, but  just how many Pro Football and Baseball players were recently in the Service? not many I'm thinking, in fact I,ve found none, Tillman of course, but he's unfortunetely dead, a NBA player named Bernard James I seen though and a former NBA player named Tim James were in the Army there, but that's all I found so far.



#10 ocsfollowme

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 09:49 PM

Found this website with a list of players that served. There is a lot more people on this list that I would have thought. And still quite a few that paid the ultimate price.

 

http://www.baseballi...served_atoz.htm



#11 ocsfollowme

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 10:16 PM

Great video. You MUST watch this. Tom Brokaw's tribute to WW2 veterans in MLB.

 

http://wapc.mlb.com/...9203&topic_id=0



#12 ocsfollowme

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 07:06 PM

The MLB HOF returned my inquiry into the blue patch and the white patch. They do not have any white versions in their treasure trove of artifacts. Here the blue one, twill base, stunning as ever. 

 

I'm up to 3x Version 1s of the White variation and 6x Version 2s. 

 

As always, email me at [email protected] if you ever get the blue version below. 

 

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#13 David D

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 01:09 PM

Interesting, you learn something new everyday.

 

-Dave



#14 Allan H.

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 02:07 PM

I have found this thread to be very interesting and very well written. Kudos to you OCSfollowme. I am interested to know if you ever found any photographic evidence that these white background ruptured ducks were worn on baseball uniforms? Perhaps they were worn by veterans of other sport like basketball or football?

 

Thanks for taking the time and effort to start this thread.

 

Allan



#15 Ed Fedory

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 06:10 AM

That was a great read!  Thanks for sharing the history and information...you never know when one of these will appear on a back shelf in the local antique store!



#16 ocsfollowme

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 11:54 AM

Alan,

 

No, I have yet to find a photo of the large white ruptured duck being worn. 

 

1. Initially, when I got my first one, I searched and searched for a similar and the only place on the internet were two sports auction houses that sold them as being worn by MLB veterans in WW2. 

     A. I have a friend that collects ruptured ducks. In 40 years of collecting, and I have helped him in the last 9 years from eBay, he has over 140 variations of ruptured ducks. He would buy anything with the insignia on. He has yet to find one of these. 

     B. I have about $120 tied up in about 9x of these large white ruptured ducks, so yes, I am hoping that it is tied to the MLB. I can keep one and sell the rest. I am planning on donating one to the MLB HOF too. 

     C. The MLB HOF does not have a white version in their collection. 

 

2. From what I have read, many of the veterans chose not to wear these ruptured ducks. Even some MLB executives thought that the veterans should not wear them, as it would create rivalries between players who served, and did not serve. Some players were unable to serve. From photographs that I have found, it appears that less than 20 MLB actually wore them. And I am being generous. Could be closer to around a dozen. 

 

3. Now, throughout the history of MLB, there have been several dozens patches authorized by MLB to be worn on the uniform. I believe all of these were only worn on the home uniform. World Fairs, 300th birthday of Boston, etc. Now, all home jerseys in MLB are white, and the white ruptured duck would not have been distinct and visible, which is why all of the photos we see are of home jerseys (white) with the blue ruptured duck. 

     A. Maybe several hundred of the white ones were made, but since players decided not to wear them they may have been destroyed or someone is sitting on a large box of them still? 

     B. I wonder if any of the players that we see wearing them have any in their memorabilia collection (in museum or passed down to family members)? 

4. It could be possible that a football team could have worn them. I would have to contact the NFL office or HOF. 

5. Ruptured ducks were passed out at the end of ones time with the military at the end of the war. I just wouldn't think that you'd really see these in the PX store. 

     A. I was at vintage productions on friday and Bob has a really nice homemade large white ruptured duck in a riker mount. Beautiful. Maybe these were out there. I have purchased 9 out of the 11 that I have seen sold on ebay in the past 8 years, and Soldierstrunk has sold all of the version #2s (BIN between $12-17). 

 

 

So if I had to make a best guess, I would say that the MLB front office thought that they would wear them on both home or away jerseys, but players decided to wear them just on home jersies, and the white ones just faded off to history. I just thought about the home/away jersey on my drive up to Orange County from San Diego on Friday after you posed that question, Alan. 

 

My two cents anyways. 

 

Steve

 

I have found this thread to be very interesting and very well written. Kudos to you OCSfollowme. I am interested to know if you ever found any photographic evidence that these white background ruptured ducks were worn on baseball uniforms? Perhaps they were worn by veterans of other sport like basketball or football?

 

Thanks for taking the time and effort to start this thread.

 

Allan

 



#17 ocsfollowme

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 12:06 PM

Unless I can find a photo of a player wearing a white one. 



#18 Mr.Jerry

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 03:54 PM

I just came across this one in an old patch collection. Smaller size about 3" across. Not sure of its for the same purpose but thought I would share

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#19 ocsfollowme

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 07:27 PM

I just came across this one in an old patch collection. Smaller size about 3" across. Not sure of its for the same purpose but thought I would share

 

Jerry,

 

These came in dark blue and light blue. I have no clue to what they were used for as I have searched and searched for photos of these being worn to no avail. The baseball ones were about 5 inches in width. Last week a Blue Star Banner with about 9 of these sold for $100. I wanted to put a bid, but saving for ASMIC.

 

Here it is.

 

4435126_orig.jpg
 



#20 Mr.Jerry

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 05:59 PM

D'oh!

That would have been a good one for my book...

anyone here get that?



#21 ocsfollowme

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 06:10 PM

What's your book going to be on?

#22 Mr.Jerry

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Posted 07 September 2014 - 05:05 AM

My working title is "Flags of War: The Home front flags of WWI & WWII"

 

The majority of it is on service flags and variants, but I also go into production award flags, army-Navy E, bond drive, scrap drive, etc, etc.  I even have a chapter on foreign flags that parallel the US ones. I have over 400 flags photographed. I keep making headway, but it is a work in progress. That's why I am always impressed when I have seen something that I haven't seen before!



#23 67Rally

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Posted 07 September 2014 - 07:45 PM

I love this thread. Baseball during wartime is one of my pure interests. I began my childhood collecting with baseball so it is fitting that I connect my passions (military and baseball).

#24 mvmhm

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Posted 11 September 2014 - 02:28 PM

This afternoon, I decided I'd write to the company that made these patches to ask them if they knew anything about how many were produced, in what colors, and of course, if they had any new/old stock.  They sent an answer in quick order:

 

Mark,
 
Thank you very much for your note.  We did make quite a few emblems for various branches of the military in WWII, although I was not familiar with the "ruptured duck" patch. 
 
Unfortunately we have very little in the form of the history of our company and making WWII patches.  We have no artifacts to speak of and what history we have is oral from the grandson of the founder, who was probably an infant in WWII.   I wish we had more to share with you in that regards.
 
I purchased the company from the grandson and we are supposed to have breakfast soon, I'll ask him if he has any recollection of the WWII patches we made.
 
I've copied Jerry Ostergaard on this email, he is head of our PR.  He may have some information too.
 
Best regards,
 
Rob
 
Rob Faurot
President
The Chicago Embroidery Company 

 

 

Mark sends



#25 ocsfollowme

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Posted 11 September 2014 - 02:34 PM

Mark, how did you know the company that made these?




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(February 17, 1949 - March 5, 2011)