"All in a Single Afternoon"

"Minor League Day" Eddie Sawyer

Eddie Sawyer's Rawlings uniform
Eddie Sawyer's Rawlings Uniform

As a collector I knew that on July 9, 1939 National Association Day was celebrated in Cooperstown. Each league was represented by two teams, the Cartwrights vs. the Doubledays. The Cartwrights uniforms were red, white and blue with a dark blue vest and blue pants. The Doubledays were represented in white uniforms with blue and red trim.

I knew from the box scores that Eddie Sawyer wore this uniform. The mystery was why was he wearing a Northern League uniform, for he was the player manager for the Amsterdam Club of the Canadian American League. I wanted to find out why Mr. Sawyer was wearing a Northern League uniform instead of the Canadian American League.

Nervously I called Eddie Sawyer to find out why he had worn the uniform. Mr. Sawyer explained that Herb Pennock, general manager of the New York Yankee's, had called him and asked if he was available for the July 9th Minor League Day at Cooperstown. Sawyer had a close relationship to Mr. Pennock, he explained, and he didn't want to disappoint him. He remembered that Father Martin (Harold J. Martin), President of the Canadian League, officially asked him to represent the Northern League. He reminisced that in 1939 the Yankee organization had won all its division titles and had lost Jake Rupert that year which dramatically changed the Farm System. He also explained that Herb had given him the opportunity to manage the Philadelphia Phillies in 1948 and the reason he had kept the uniform for all these years was because he felt it had something to do with his success and winning the Manager of the Year in 1950 (the first pennant won in 35 years by the Philadelphia Wiz Kids). I asked if he would mind signing the cap and he laughed and remarked, “that uniform has sat in my attic for 50 years, and now you want to send it back to me”? He agreed to sign the cap and some photographs of him wearing the uniform, and returned the items to me in late March 1997. Eddie passed away in September 1997.

1939 Minor League Day Eddie_Sawyers Cap
Eddie Sawyer's Signed Cap
1939 Minor League Day team photo
1939 Minor League Day Team Photo
1939 Minor League Day Eddie Sawyers uniform - back view - Representing the Northern League
1939 Minor League Day Eddie Sawyers uniform - back view - Representing the Northern League