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Old 07-26-2013, 07:34 PM
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Default Negro League and Brooklyn Bushwicks Autograph Album

I originally posted this autograph book a few years ago. Since I don't collect signatures, I would like to sell this album to someone who appreciated the obscure signatures within. I'm not sure whether I should split the book up or keep together. In this thread I photographed each page and wrote a short bio of each player. I look forward to your opinions...



This was a great little autograph book I picked up because it had a bunch of Brooklyn Bushwicks players in it. I was always fascinated by the vibrant and competitive semi-pro leagues that operated in the Metropolitan area before World War II and pick up whatever pieces of memorabilia I can. Since I am a baseball illustrator, I specifically grabbed this up because it included a newspaper photo of one of their players, showing the cap, which I will use for a drawing down the road. Bushwick players’ pictures are hard to find. When it arrived, it had much more in it than I expected. The album belonged to a Brooklyn girl named Marilyn who carried it to games at Dexter Park in the summer of 1944. Marilyn must have been a big baseball fan since her book notes the players positions and uniform numbers. Most of the players that are represented on its pages are life-long New York City semi-pros, some of whom had a short stint in the big leagues.
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Last edited by jerseygary; 06-07-2018 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 07-26-2013, 07:36 PM
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Page 1

Signature of “Bots” Nekola
1929 and 1933 New York Yankees pitcher Bots Nekola was the Bushwicks ace during the late 1930’s-early 1940’s. The girl who collected the autographs notes “The best pitcher on the team”, his uniform number “8”, his pitch “spit ball” and a nice drawing of the “B” on the caps worn by the Bushwicks.
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Old 07-26-2013, 07:37 PM
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Page 2

Signatures of Ed Detz, Jack O’Neill and Wally Holborow

Ed Detz was a NYC semi-pro 3rd baseman who played minor league ball in 1947. Played for the Bay Parkways before coming to the Bushwicks in 1943. Wore number “6”.

Jack O’Neill was the Bushwicks 1st baseman. Played with Little Rock in 1936 and 1937. After 1946 became a coach for the Bushwicks. Wore number “7”.

Wally Holborow was a NYC native who, as a 30 year-old Senators rookie, threw a 2 hit shut-out against the Red Sox. Played in a total of 21 big league games with the Senators and A’s, finishing with 2-3 record. Passed away in 1986. Wore number “14” with the Bushwicks.
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Old 07-26-2013, 07:38 PM
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Page 3

Signature of Buddy Hall

Buddy Hall was the right fielder since 1936. Hall was a Yankees prospect and played throughout their farm system, Norfolk, Newark, Binghamton, etc, from 1931 to 1936. Wore number “5” with the Bushwicks.

The other page has 2 loose newspaper clippings from the Daily News. One is unidentified and the other shows Gene Hermanski in his Coast Guard uniform visiting the Dodgers training camp.
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Old 07-26-2013, 07:39 PM
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Page 4

Signature of Mickey McBride

Played for Muskogee and Union City in the Cincinnati Reds system in 1937 and 1938 before tiring of the life of a minor leaguer. He returned home to the NYC area to play semi-pro ball. Despite being scouted by multiple scouts, McBride refused to leave home to play ball.

Page 5

Signature of Gene Walsh, aka Gene Hermanski

A neat find in this book was the signature of “Gene Walsh”, the alias used by Brooklyn Dodgers and Chicago Cubs outfielder Gene Hermanski. Hermanski was stationed on Long Island with the Coast Guard and would play left field for the Bushwicks on weekends, in one afternoon making his entire monthly Coast Guard salary. Apparently the owner of the autograph book wasn’t fooled since she wrote his real name under his pencil signature along with his number “2”.
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Old 07-26-2013, 07:40 PM
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Page 6

Signatures of Hugh East, Danny Reagan, Sammy Gentile, Michael “Gunner” George and Joe King of the Camp Endicott Navy Sea Bees team. Most Army and Navy bases had competitive baseball teams stocked with former pro ballplayers. The Endicott team that visited Dexter Park in the summer of 1944 was no exception...

Hugh East pitched for the New York Giants in 1941-1943.

Danny Reagan played in the Yankees farm system before the war.

Sammy Gentile was a St. John’s grad and former Boston Braves outfielder.

Michael George, according to the accompanying article, was a catcher for the ST. Louis Browns. Unfortunately I can’t find and mention of him in the records...

Joe King as far I can find never played pro ball.
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Old 07-26-2013, 07:41 PM
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Page 7

Signature of Tony DePhillips

NYC native and Fordham grad Tony DePhillips played for the 1943 Cincinnati Reds in between being the Bushwicks starting catcher from 1942 to 1949. The owner of the book marks his uniform number as “18”.


Page 8

Signature of Emil Moscowitz and Al Cuccinello

Emil Moscowitz had a long pro career in the Yankees farm system starting in 1929. By the time he joined the Bushwicks in 1942 he was a well-known semi-pro pitcher-for-hire. He wore number “16”.

Al Cuccinello was a former New York Giants player. Wanting to stay close to his Queens home, Al quit pro ball to work for the Sanitation Department and play ball for them and other semi-pro teams throughout the city. By 1944 he was the Bushwicks utility player and wore number “20”.
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Old 07-26-2013, 07:41 PM
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Page 9

Signature of Gene Philipps

Ambidexterous submarine pitcher who had a long career in the Metropolitan semi-pro circuit lasting from 1935 to 1955.


Page 10

Ink signature of “Bots” Nekola

Another autograph by the Bushwicks’ ace. Attached is a newspaper clipping showing Nekola in a Bushwicks cap with the same “B” the owner sketched on page 1.
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Old 07-26-2013, 07:42 PM
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Page 11

Signature of Timmy Adams

The Bushwicks center fielder was one of the NYC area’s most in-demand guns-for-hire. The left-handed lead-off hitter has a 41 game hitting streak in the early 1940’s but chose to stay in the NYC area instead of playing pro ball. The owner of the album marks that he wore number “3” as a Bushwick.
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Old 07-26-2013, 07:43 PM
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Page 12

Signature of Emil Gall

Emil Gall played in the Yankees farm system from 1934. By the late 30’s he was the Bushwicks catcher and work number “17”. After the war he rejoined pro ball and played in the St. Louis Browns farm system then became a minor league manager.
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