D&J Glove Repair honcho Jimmy Lonetti, who was featured here on the blog earlier this month, recently came across this 1963 MacGregor sporting goods catalog. It’s full of interesting stuff, starting with the cover design — love that watercolor painting! Also, as you can see in the top-left corner, MacGregor was part of Brunswick at the time, one of many brands that Brunswick acquired to build what its CEO called “the General Motors of sports.” (You can learn more about Brunswick’s very unusual history — it specialized in making ornately carved bar fixtures and phonographs, among other things, before it got into the bowling and billiards biz — in this article that I wrote 20 years ago for Fortune Small Business magazine.)
Some other notable bits from the catalog:
- I love the “Adjusta Wrist” typography on this glove (and again, note how the label shows the Brunswick logo superimposed over the MacGregor logo):
- The catalog features photos of assorted big leaguers who endorsed MacGregor gloves, including Cleveland second baseman Johnny Temple. Look at the size of the sleeve numbers Cleveland was using at the time (you can get a better view here):
- Another player featured in the catalog: Torre. Not Joe Torre, but his brother — Phillies first baseman Frank Torre. It’s kind of funny to see that big “TORRE” lettering and realize it’s not Joe:
- I really like these gloves that had little illustrations of ballplayers stamped into the palm area:
- Lots of interesting bits on this catcher’s mitt, from the thumb/index construction and the “Place Small Finger Thru Loop” notation to the “Made in U.S.A.” stamp:
- Interesting to see that MacGregor’s bats were “Powerated” — a transparent poach of Louisville Slugger’s “Powerized“:
- Speaking of bats, here’s something I’ve never seen before: the “Practi-Bat,” which looks like it was more of a paddle than a bat.
- Sliding pads! I didn’t realize anyone was still wearing these in 1963. When did they finally become extinct? Has anyone reading this ever worn them?
- Batting helmets — or “head protectors,” as the catalog calls them — were still a fairly new thing in 1963. Lots of interesting details on this page:
- The back cover features something I don’t think I’ve ever seen before — an old-school catcher’s mask rendered in green!
Want to see more? The entire catalog is available for your enjoyment here.