Sunday, August 2, 2009
Baseball's Bill Norman Chicago White Socks Buckle
My husband served in Viet Nam and then became an Air Force recruiter until retirement age. He's the kind of man you enjoy talking to, and know you can trust. A long time ago, one of his recruits called him. She was still in the military, probably still is since she was staying in till retirement. She remembered he was also an antique dealer. This girl's grandmother had passed away, and the some personal estate was left to her. Well, since she was a military gal, she could not just drop everything and take care of the belongings. Although it had been years since she had talked to my husband, she remembered him, and knew he was the one to help. She brought a van load of items to us. We sat down, and when she told us who her Grandfather was, my husband was ecstatic. I am not a sports fan at all, so I had no idea of why my husband was looking like a kid in a candy store. Even when we unloaded the van, I still had no idea of what was so exciting. The load just looked like a bunch of old scrapbooks to me. I was selling items on the Internet by then, and I agreed to sell her grandfather's things for her. She went back to where ever her military location was , and I was left with a huge room of scrapbook albums and so forth. Well, her grandfather's name was Bill Norman. This fellow lived and breathed baseball. I guess there were at least 25 or more scrapbooks. Thankfully, the first thing I read was the newspaper clipping you see in the photo beside this blog. It was written by Bob Broeg. You may as well say, Broeg opened my eyes to the world of baseball pre 1962. His article told me so much about Bill Norman that I could not have understood any of the scrapbooks' importance without it. I poured through every single page in those scrapbooks. The scrapbooks were made by Norman's wife. He was a fellow that was not home very much because baseball was his life. While he was away earning their keep, she stayed home being the wonderful family wife and loved it to the max. She cut out every newspaper clipping ever wrote that had Norman in it. I felt like I knew him, and honestly, I was so wrapped up in it, I even found his grave site on the net...I auctioned off those scrapbooks and the bidding was fierce which made me so pleased, because he deserved to be acknowledged. He was a baseball scout , a fellow that went everywhere looking for ball players. I was so involved in those scrapbooks that I really had a tough time parting with them...but, they were not mine, and to tell the truth, they belonged to fans of the sports world. If I remember right, most of the scrapbooks went to Wilkesbarr , Pa. My husband arranged to have the scout book and the belt buckle brought for me as a surprise , after everything was shipped out to the winning bidders. I have the 1960 notebook he used with his own hand written notes about different players. And, I have his White Sox belt buckle. He died in 1962 of a heart attack, which is sad, because scouting for the White Sox would have been the highlight of his career . I still do not enjoy sports , but, I have to confess, you just never know where the antique business will lead you. It was one of the most exciting events of my career in antiques. I happened upon the Bill Norman items the other day, and thought, now there's a good story for a blog. Bill Norman, the SABR forgot to include you, but, I will never forget you and your fascination with baseball.