Monday, January 20, 2014

One Step Closer

I recently came a bit closer to completing my BALTIMORE COLTS Press/Media Guide collection by adding this 1955 edition. It's really in outstanding shape, better than the scan of the cover makes it appear. For some reason the shiny silver material reflects the light in such a way that the thing looks crumbled. That's kind of weird, it looks so much better in person. It's so nice I was not afraid to flatten it out to scan it as I would be with some of my other guides which are in more delicate condition.

Anyway, here is a peek inside:
Inside the front cover we see Ernie Harwell and Chuck Thompson. Two of the greatest announcers ever. Ernie of course gained fame as the Voice of the Tigers but most forget he was in Baltimore for years doing Orioles and Colts games. And Chuck Thompson, well he is Baltimore to me in so many ways.

The Colts were an All-America franchise before they were in the NFL. This two page spread tells some of that story and features the team's fight song.

Yes, I said fight song.

Personnel pages follow.....

That office secretary, hubba hubba

Lots of stats. I found it interesting that they included sections for the team's days in the AAFC. And they pointed out the best performances from that league.

Several pages of player bios. I love the helmets without facemasks. Some players on this club went on to fame with the Colts' championship teams that came a few years down the road.... Ameche, Berry, Donovan, Dupree among them.

The team roster takes up the centerfold. I had never heard of Frank McDonald yet he came from Nutley, N.J. where I spent most of my growing-up years (edit: it turns out McDonald was an All American from Miami U. and was cut by the Colts late in training camp). Alex Esquivel from Mexico Sity College? His bio (above) says he was the first NFL player drafted out of Mexico. He was a 24th(!) round pick in 1955. A bit of Googling on Esquivel showed he was actually from Alvin, Texas (not far down the road from me) and went to Mexico City College on a scholarship, and after football settled in Montebello, California where he was honored at the age of 71 for his civic contributions.  

There are a couple of pages devoted to ancillary groups like the Colt Marching Band and cheerleaders.

 Back cover... first one in my collection that has a stamp and addressee like this one. Harold Weissman served as the Mets' PR Director after his sports-writing days at the New York Mirror.  

Adding this leaves me four short of a complete run of the Colts' NFL guides from 1953 when they were reinstated as a league member until 1982 after which dipshit drunk lying asshole gutless Robert Irsay stole out of town in the middle of the night taking my team with him. I lack '56 through '58 and oddly, the 1977 guide. I never see the '77 for sale anywhere but it'll pop up sooner or later.

The Colts played in the AAC until 1949 and there are guides from that franchise but I don't have plans to collect those. They played in the NFL in 1950 before the franchise went belly-up and remained inactive for two seasons before cranking up again in 1953.

There is a 1950 Colts Press Guide from their first year in the NFL but it's very rare and close to being out of my price range and I don't have it on my wantlist. There is one on eBay with the seller asking $250. Maybe some day.

Robert Irsay R.I.H


  1. The story of Colts band was on one of the first episodes ESPN 30 for 30.

    1. It's a good one. Kind of melancholy for me though

  2. Very cool. Best of luck on tracking down the final four.

  3. Nice! Here's a back of the end zone observation: Girls names have changed. The lovely majorettes are Carol, Roberta, Doris, Margaret, Betty and Betty.

    1. Ha! My first two girlfriends were both named Carol. I don't think I've known one Carol since and it's been a long time since I knew them.

      I looked at a list of the most popular names for girls for 2013 and none of those names were on it (although Caroline is listed towards the bottom. Hell, 'Brooklyn' is #29. That page has a nametracker that lets you see the ebb and flow of any name. 'Carol' peaked in the 40s'/early 50s (when both of my gf's were born) and is off the chart now.