Thursday, February 4, 2010

Programs from the Past: 1951

Click Image for Larger Version

This was the cover of the Visalia Cubs' 1951 official program. It's interesting to contemplate the fact that baseball was already celebrating 75th anniversaries in the early 1950s. While it may be initially unclear why they chose 1876 as the beginning of baseball (the sport had been evolving since a few decades prior), it's likely that they were referencing the formation of the National League, which was indeed founded in 1876 after the old National Association had folded. Major League Baseball still considers 1876 to be its founding year (even though the American League wouldn't join forces to create the familiar two-league system until 1901).

Full contents of the '51 program are viewable after the jump.
As always, you can click each page to view a larger version of it. 

Page 1

Pete Shepherd wasn't just the club president; he was also one of the driving forces in bringing professional baseball to Visalia after World War II.

Also, Pioneer Jewelers submits a strong entry into the "How many taglines and slogans can we possibly fit into one ad space?" sweepstakes.

Page 2

Don't miss the complete concessions menu at the top left, featuring "Western" beer for 30 cents, and premium "Eastern" beer for 35. In fact, since it's so good, here's an isolated, blown-up version of the menu:

I can't imagine the 10-cent cigars being of a very high quality, even in 1951.

Page 3

Here's the top half of the scorecard itself (which was hand-stamped into each program every day; the Cubs were playing the Ventura Braves when this program was sold). And when scoring became thirsty work, you could always reach for a Hires Root Beer "for that refreshing flavor of real root juices"!

Page 4

Another example of bygone times: how many stores can still (legally) claim to feature "Nationally Known Brands of Tobacco and Candy"?
Page 5

The ticket prices on page 5 are definitely worth noting.
Page 6

Back Cover

A Selma Frankfurter in a Holsum Bun with a cold bottle of 7-Up: six decades later, it still doesn't sound too bad.


  1. Ohhh, it was so long ago. Sweet memories, sweet times. Want to get it back

  2. In my opinion, compared with the present, professional baseball in the early twentieth century was lower scoring and pitchers, the likes of Walter Johnson and Christy Mathewson, were more dominant.