Final Day of Symposium Features a Giant Presentation

By BILL FRANCIS

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – Friday was the third and final day of the 24th annual Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, which featured almost 30 presentations on such wide-ranging subjects as Lou Gehrig’s scrapbooks, a minor league mascot called Mr. Celery, black baseball at Yankee Stadium, and the first black journalist issued a press pass by the Boston Red Sox.

Co-sponsored by the State University of New York College at Oneonta and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, the three-day symposium examines the impact of baseball on American culture from inter- and multi-disciplinary perspectives. Also among Friday’s varied presentations was a conversation with Ed Logan Jr., the last batboy of the legendary New York Giants before the franchise moved to San Francisco in 1958. In Logan’s talk, before a standing room only crowd inside the Hall of Fame’s Learning Center, he tried to communicate what it was like to be inside baseball versus outside baseball.

The players running off the field as the crowd converges on them after the final game at the Polo Grounds before the Giants moved to San Fransisco. (National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)

Logan came from a family with baseball in its blood, as his grandfather, Fred Logan, worked the Giants clubhouse from the late 1880s before becoming clubhouse manager for both the Giants and Yankees. His father, Eddie Logan Sr., was the Giants clubhouse manager for the Giants in both New York and San Francisco

While the 16-year-old Logan became the Giants’ batboy in 1957, he had been in and around the team long before that.

“I was a junior in high school, got a work permit to get out of school early and come to the game,” Logan would later explain. “Another part of the batboy’s benefits was you got a two-week road trip during the summer so I went around to all the other stadiums and played visiting batboy.”

And Logan has lasting memories of the Giants’ final game at the Polo Grounds before moving to California the next year.

“In the last game against Pittsburgh in late September in 1957, just before the last out, (Giants trainer) Doc Bowman said, ‘Eddie, as soon as the last out is made, stay by me. Just stick by me. Take your cap off because we’re going to run to the clubhouse. Be careful, because everybody is going to run on the field and the first thing they’re going to want to do is steal your hat,’” Logan recalled. “Sure enough, that’s what happened. My father and grandfather were there all the time but they were never on the field. I was on the field for that one season.”

While in Cooperstown, Logan had the opportunity to see his grandfather’s Yankees hat that he wore in the clubhouse.

“To me it’s like coming to Mecca,” Logan said when asked about visiting the Hall of Fame for only the second time in his life. “I’d get a house next door if I could.”

Bill Francis is a library associate at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

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