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1905-06 Pittsburgh Pirates Baseball Warm-up Coat
Worn by Arthur "Dutch" Meier. Spectacular condition.
One of the earliest known Pittsburgh Pirates game-used warm-up coats. This beautiful and well-preserved double-breasted pea jacket was worn by Arthur Ernst "Dutch" Meier, who accumulated a single season of statistics in 1906 for the Pittsburgh National League baseball club. Meier, however, also participated in numerous exhibition and barnstorming games for the Pirates in 1905 so it is probable that it was first worn that season. Historical player and team images also confirm 1905 as the likely year of issue.
This type of coat, with its short length, broad lapels, and large wooden, celluloid, or mother of pearl buttons, was favored by both college and professional baseball teams during the deadball era and is represented in many images and on various baseball cards, including, most prominently, the T210 Old Mill Joe Jackson. Though some baseball coats from this era (1900 to 1910) still exist, nearly all have moth damage and significant wear, which is typical for wool clothing of such an advanced age. This fabulous coat, however, seems to have defied time itself, and remains in simply remarkable, museum-like condition. It is, quite possibly, the best of its kind. There are no rips or tears or holes of any measure and the original lining is completely intact. There are some minor period repairs to one of the pockets and one of the backing buttons is cracked. All eight buttons on the outside of the jacket are original as is all detailing and tagging. One of the buttons may have been reattached. Only the slightest wear exists on part of the "P" sewn on the left breast pocket. Some light brown spots are present in several places on the outside of the coat. Manufactured by A.G. Spalding & Bros. of Chicago, Illinois.
This coat, along with a 1906 Pittsburgh Pirates game-worn cap, 1911 old-timers pillbox cap, and game-used Princeton University baseball memorabilia (i.e., Princeton sports banner, game-worn coat, game-used pants, and game-worn leggings) were all obtained directly from the family of Dutch Meier.
Meier first gained national prominence as a .400 hitter at Princeton and was named team captain as he led the 1901 squad to the college championship with a dramatic two-out hit with the bases loaded, driving in a pair of runs against Yale and winning the game for the Tigers. Meier would go on to coach the Princeton baseball team in 1908.
It is interesting to note the Meier may have played additional seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates under a number of assumed names since he appears in team pictures as late as those from the 1912 season. One newspaper report (Pittsburgh Daily Post, April 20, 1910, p. 9) also suggests he played in some capacity with the Pirates in 1907.
Meier was a 5-tool player and one of the most talented college baseballers of his time. He was such a phenom that he received substantial contract offers from many different American and National League teams. If his parents would not have been so opposed to a professional sports career, he likely would have been one of the biggest major league stars of his era. Instead, his talents were encapsulated in a single, partial season with the Pirates and several other seasons with semi-professional teams in Chicago, his place of residence after college. Meier was close friends with Charlie Grimm and spent most of his life in Chicago, regularly meeting Honus Wagner and his former Pittsburgh teammates when they came to town to play the Chicago Cubs.
Arthur "Dutch" Meier first appeared in a 1905 photograph with the Pittsburgh Pirates (seated, second row, next to Honus Wagner). He is also in team photos from spring training in 1906 (standing, last row, third from right), 1911 (seated, second row, far left), and 1912 (standing, third row, far right). His earliest known cardboard appearances are on the W601 Sporting Life Premium and postcard.
Front of Pirates Baseball Coat
Back of Pirates Baseball Coat
Baseball coat detail
Coat pocket detail
Coat collar detail
Detail - inside of coat
Circa 1905 Pirates Photograph
1905 Pirates Team photo with Dutch Meier
1906 Pirates Team photo with Dutch Meier
1911 Pirates Team photo with Dutch Meier
1912 Pirates Team photo with Dutch Meier
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