Ford Frick

Birthdate 12/19/1894
Death Date 4/8/1978
Debut Year 1934
Year of Induction 1970
Teams MLB, National League
Positions Commissioner, Executive, League President

Ford Frick was President of the National League, Commissioner of Baseball, and a co-founder of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

In the collection:

Letter from NL President Ford Frick to autograph collector requesting Mathewson's signature

Letter from NL President Ford Frick to autograph collector requesting Mathewson's signature

Collectors of Hall of Fame autographs got started early. In this letter National League President Ford Frick responds to a fan’s request about obtaining a Christy Mathewson signature. The letter is dated August 2, 1939,
Ford Frick letter to Dodgers regarding first-year pros including 17-year old Joe Moeller

Ford Frick letter to Dodgers regarding first-year pros including 17-year old Joe Moeller

Commissioner Ford Frick wrote this letter in 1960 policing the Dodgers on their policy after first signing players to pro contracts. Each team had a limit of the number of players for their system. The Dodgers found a way to enhance
Second page of Ford Frick letter to Dodgers

Second page of Ford Frick letter to Dodgers

In the second page of the letter Ford Frick asks Fresco Thompson about their handling of a recently-signed prospect from Texas. The final paragraph speaks of rules specific to the California High School authorities. Frick has signed his name at the bottom of this second page.
The 19th Lifetime Pass ever issued by Ford Frick and MLB, this one to Sliding Billy Hamilton

The 19th Lifetime Pass ever issued by Ford Frick and MLB, this one to Sliding Billy Hamilton

This is the lifetime pass that Billy Hamilton received, the 19th ever issued as evidenced by the numbering in the top right corner. The original passes are the only of the lifetime variety that were paper. Later incarnations of the passes were issued on solid gold, sterling silver, metal, and leathe
Bobby Wallace's solid gold MLB lifetime pass, one of only 17 initially issued by Ford Frick

Bobby Wallace's solid gold MLB lifetime pass, one of only 17 initially issued by Ford Frick

Roderick John “Bobby” Wallace was part of an elite group of players to receive one of the initial Lifetime Pass made out of gold. Ford Frick award these gold passes to players with 20 or more years of MLB service in 1935. Only 17 players were issued such passes, including Wallace, Ty Cobb, Eddie
Joe Sewell's solid silver lifetime pass issued by Ford Frick

Joe Sewell's solid silver lifetime pass issued by Ford Frick

Imagine having a pass that gives you admission to any regular season Major League game for life. That’s what Joe Sewell had in this solid silver lifetime pass. By virtue of having played ten or more years by 1934, Sewell was among the first players to receive the gift. A master of bat control, Sewell never struck out more than 20 times
Honus Wagner thanks Ford Frick for his lifetime pass in 1935

Honus Wagner thanks Ford Frick for his lifetime pass in 1935

Imagine having a lifetime pass to any game in the National League. That’s what NL President Ford Frick bestowed upon Honus Wagner 18 years after the Flying Dutchman retired. Overjoyed by the gesture Wagner, one of the first five Hall of Fame inductees, sent a handwritten thank-you letter to Frick
Walter Johnson handwritten letter to HoFer Ford Frick thanking him for the lifetime pass

Walter Johnson handwritten letter to HoFer Ford Frick thanking him for the lifetime pass

Walter Johnson expressed his gratitude to NL President Ford Frick after receiving a solid gold Lifetime Pass for admission into all National and American League games. Johnson was one of 17 players to receive a golden pass. Johnson’s 21 years with the
Fred Clarke letter to Ford Frick thanking him for the lifetime pass

Fred Clarke letter to Ford Frick thanking him for the lifetime pass

When the NL and AL got together to award Lifetime Passes, men who played 20 or more years received solid gold passes. Only 17 were initially issued. Upon receiving his gold pass Fred Clarke, a veteran of 21 Major League seasons was so pleased that he was compelled to write this thank-you note to NL
Ford Frick letter to Walter O'Malley

Ford Frick letter to Walter O'Malley

In the collection is this letter that reveals a bit of the business side of baseball. Commissioner Ford Frick writes to Dodger owner and fellow Hall of Fame executive Walter O’Malley to invite him to an informal meeting of club presidents. Dated 11/5/1954, the correspondence between the two re

A Story about Ford Frick

Lifetime passes were the brainchild of NL President Ford Frick; here’s a pictorial history

June 18th, 2016

Lifetime pass

A newspaper man turned league publicist turned league president came up with a brilliant idea in 1934 — reward longtime National League players with a lifetime pass to all NL games. Senior Circuit owners approved Ford Frick’s proposal at the league meeting in December of ’34. A few months later, Frick sent out ornately decorated paper Lifetime Passes to the NL’s greatest players. He even sent one to Babe Ruth who appeared in all of 28 games for the Boston Braves in 1935. A 21-year veteran of the American League, the Babe was grateful if not surprised when he remarked, “At least the National League has a heart”. An image of the original paper pass presented to Hall of Fame outfielder Sliding Billy Hamilton can be seen below. A similar pass curiously issued to Stan Coveleski, a lifetime American Leaguer is also shown. Perhaps shamed by Ruth’s remarks, the American League joined forces in 1936 to issue a pass to all Major League contests. Players with twenty or more years of service received a solid gold pass. Seventeen men qualified for the true “golden ticket” — Ruth, Fred Clarke, Ty Cobb, Eddie Collins, Bill Dahlen, Harry Davis, Red Faber, Walter Johnson, […]

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"Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball…"

~Jacques Barzun, 1954