Not long ago I received an envelope from 'Friend of Everyone's Blog', Mark Hoyle. In that envelope was this beauty, a 1957 Gillette-sponsored 'flip book' featuring Orioles manager/GM Paul Richards demonstrating baseball signs. Mark sent an item that is right in my wheelhouse as he knows how much I love adding unique pieces to my Orioles collection. Photos can't do this thing justice. And that's a shame because it's really a cool little book.
This shot gives an idea of the size of the booklet. Yes, I used a Red Sox card intentionally :-)
There are multiple 'movies' that are viewed by flipping the two sets of split pages in both directions. The mini-movies and accompanying text cover all the different signs used in baseball, coaches signaling batters and runners, catchers calling pitches, etc.
I did some digging and couldn't find any Gillette flip books on other baseball subjects so it appears this was a one-off. Keyman Collectibles has an entry for this and gives the following backstory:
The 1957 Gillette "Signals... The Secret Language of Baseball in Finger-Tip Movies" by Bob Broeg, VP Baseball Writers Association, was a premium flip book that came with a Gillette Super-Speed Razor. The booklet was held in place, below the case with a specially marked, cardboard band. The material in this book is based on a series of articles that appeared in The Sporting News, national baseball weekly and Joe Garagiola served as technical adviser. The booklet has a total of 8 "Finger-Tip Movies" that all feature black and white illustrations of Baltimore Orioles manager, Paul Richards.They also have a picture of the original Gillette packaging which is viewable through that link.
As I said the photos don't really capture the charm of this but I wasn't able to juggle the booklet and take a video of it in action. These pics will have to do.
The timing of Mark's gift was perfect as I am in the process of building a couple of displays of Orioles pieces. They will contain things that don't work well in binders like pins, trinkets, and patches. I'm using glass-front, wall-mounted boxes. This booklet will fit in for sure.
Thanks again, Mark. This little treasure is much appreciated!