For the select few heroes who are both athletically gifted and fortunate enough to be part of a roster that advances to the October spotlight, World Series hardware is more coveted than any other prize. Also, the Fall Classic dream is not limited to the participants on the diamond. For former Associated Press Sports Editor Ted Smits, writing baseball headlines was as much a part of the game as the home runs and heroes who inspired them. During his 23 years in the above-mentioned capacity, Smits was on hand for the game’s marquee events. His respect, adoration and love for baseball and its every last element are evident on this unusual and appealing accessory. Gathered over a six-year period (1952-1957) marked by Mantle, Musial and Gotham City postseason dominance, this World Series and All-Star Game press pin bracelet speaks volumes about a respected scribe consumed by the grand game.
The individual gathering of these trinkets was surely a labor of love. One will readily recall seemingly annual Bronx Bombers conquests of their Flatbush neighbors. While this held true over a repeated series of calendar years, each installment had a life of its own: an arduous pennant chase flecked with detours, temporary setbacks and day games in oppressive heat with thick flannel uniforms. The All-Star game, too, took on a completely different meaning, with combatants playing for pride, earnestly performing only for the sake of circuit bragging rights.
And so Smits treasured his annual prizes which, to him, were obviously far more than simple credentials to facilitate his craft. One by one, he added these press pins to a stainless steel bracelet until finally, the sum of the parts comprised an absolute gem which Smits presented to his wife. Crafted by renowned jewelers such as Balfour and Dieges & Clust, the metallic decorative pieces feature appropriate team logos and/or relief likenesses of the hosting venues. Attached to this particular bracelet are pins from: (2) 1952 Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees (World Series); (3) 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees (World Series); and All-Star Game (Cincinnati); (3) 1954 Cleveland Indians and New York Giants (World Series); and All-Star Game (Cleveland); (3) 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees (World Series); and All-Star Game (Milwaukee); (3) 1956 Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees (World Series); and All-Star Game (Griffith Stadium); (3) 1957 Milwaukee Braves and New York Yankees (World Series); and All-Star Game (St. Louis).
From the Yankees’ stars-and-stripes themed “Top Hat” logo to Brooklyn’s trademark “B” to Milwaukee’s “Laughing Brave,” the colorful facings of these charms conjure up memories of an era in which uniforms (and attitudes) put an emphasis on the team name rather than the player name. While the pieces are impeccably preserved, we note for accuracy that the threaded posts on the reverse sides have been soldered. Additionally, metallic attachments have been melded to facilitate attachment to the chain link bracelet. While each and every World Series souvenir in this gathering carries its individual appeal, together, they form what is truly a one-of-a-kind diamond award.