Ticket to History
The recent passing of baseball player and groundbreaking scout Edith Houghton was noted on our blog late last week. It put me in mind of a beautiful baseball ticket in our collection, one of the few women’s baseball tickets in our collection – or, as far as we know, in any museum’s collection.
Women have been playing baseball since the 1860s, but of the dozens of known women’s teams, very few artifacts have survived. This one also features an astonishing coincidence.
On June 20, 2000, I had the pleasure of meeting Edith Houghton in her Sarasota home to talk a little baseball. We recorded an oral history interview, and she leafed through her stunning scrapbook with me. As the earlier blog post notes, she joined the Philadelphia Bobbies in 1922 at age 10. She toured Japan with them at 13, playing against men’s teams. She played for a couple of other notable women’s teams in the 1920s and ‘30s. After military service in WWII, she became a groundbreaking female scout with the Phillies from 1946-52.
Five days after our interview, I opened the U.S. mail to find a letter from one Sandra Wright of Langhorne, Pa., offering us this beautiful game ticket. The Bobbies played a men’s team from the North Philadelphia neighborhood of Feltonville on Aug. 14, 1929. The numbers handwritten on the ticket presumably indicate that Feltonville won, 7-1.
Sandra’s dad, Harry Griver, played shortstop for Feltonville. Sandra’s mom, Marilyn Griver, donated the ticket in memory of Harry.
“It’s a snapshot in time of an event that documents two teams in a particular time and place of baseball history,” says Susan MacKay, Director of Collections at the Hall. “In particular, it provides a window into the history of women’s baseball.”
Unfortunately, we can’t ask Sandra if there was something particularly memorable to her dad about playing the Bobbies. Sandra Wright died on Sept 11, 2001, while at work on the 102nd floor in the South Tower at the World Trade Center.
Tim Wiles is the director of research for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum