Posted 6 years ago
I found this incredible find at a local DAV. When I got it home and examined it closer, I had noticed that what I thought were Chicago Cubs stickers, were actually not stickers at all but a printed logo. I also noticed the number 29 sticker in the ID frame. When I opened it to look inside I had also noticed that in the bottom, painted in white, was the number 52. All of these things made me question whether this had been a commercially available item or something more.
I sent an email to the Chicago Cubs fan services to see if they could help me put this question to rest and am still waiting to hear back from them. They have sent the photos to the Chicago Cubs archives. I am anxious to see if I hear back from them. I also reached out to the MLB Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown NY. They have replied with the following email:
"Good afternoon Mr. Cass,
Thank you for contacting us with your inquiry. First, I have to say what a cool piece you have. Personally, I have never seen anything like it. And in what appears to be in excellent condition.
Based on an alternate logo I was able to find of the Cubs and after talking with our director of collections, we believe this logo, and therefore the trunk, to be from the 1950s. She says that the type of trunk fits with the 1950s-60s time period and the logo was in use from 1949-1961.
We also believe that it wasn’t something commercially produced to sell. It was most likely given to a player to use through the season and then he was probably required to return it at the end of the season. If the numbers represent uniform numbers, then baseball-reference.com has a uniform number database for each team. The link for that follows here: http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CHC/uniform-numbers.shtml. However, the numbers (especially the one on the inside) might be an inventory number.
Steamer trunks like this for baseball teams aren’t well known. We don’t have any in our collection and our director of collections says she hasn’t seen very many. We were speculating that, if the trunks were owned by the team, they might be sitting in storage somewhere, but that is pure speculation on our part. She did ask me to pass along that, if you are ever interested in donation, to not hesitate to reach out. Here is more information on how donating an item works:http://baseballhall.org/support/donate-artifact.
I hope this information is helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions or if there is anything else I can do to be of further assistance.
Have a great day,
National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
25 Main Street
Cooperstown, NY 13326
I also contacted a trunk collector and appraiser who has confirmed the dating of the trunk. I am anxiously hoping to hear back from the Cubs as well. I have had several other well known sports memorabilia experts support the statements in the email from the HOF.
Given this information, the players who wore the number 29 during that time period were: Emil Kush, Preston Word, Ray Blades, John Andre, Tom Poholsky, and Taylor Phillips.
The trunk measures 91/2" Deep x 25" Wide x 20" Tall. Overall it is in excellent condition given its age. The brass hardware has a nice patina. The interior is complete with two dividers whose straps are in perfect shape. It is wood construction with some sort of covering that I am not exactly sure what it is. One side is slightly bowed and has a small hole in it but not completely broken through.
I am still reaching out to anyone that can provide mroe information and confirm the authenticity but regardless of what I hear back, this was probably the coolest find I think I will ever come across. It has already provided hours of enjoyment researching it and for a baseball fan like me, well it's just COOL!