Joe Cronin

Birthdate 10/12/1906
Death Date 9/7/1984
Debut Year 1926
Year of Induction 1956
Teams American League, Pirates, Red Sox, Senators
Positions Executive, League President, Shortstop

Joe Cronin played, managed and served as general manager, American League President, and on the Hall of Fame’s board of directors.

In the collection:

Joe Cronin's lifetime pass to all professional baseball games

Joe Cronin's lifetime pass to all professional baseball games

Most people can only dream of a lifetime of free admission to Major League Baseball games. For Joe Cronin, that dream was a reality thanks to this lifetime pass. Issued toward the end of Cronin’s 15-year reign as American League President, the pass features the facsimile signature of Chub Feeney as NL president
Reverse of Joe Cronin's lifetime pass

Reverse of Joe Cronin's lifetime pass

Most Lifetime Passes have blank backs. Not this one. Here baseball’s policy is clearly stated, “GOOD FOR ALL REGULAR SEASON GAMES. NOT HONORED FOR EXHIBITION, ALL STAR, PLAYOFF, OR WORLD SERIES GAMES”. Cronin finished with a .301 lifetime average, 2,285 career hits and was seven time all
Joe Cronin letter with outstanding content

Joe Cronin letter with outstanding content

A lifelong baseball man, Joe Cronin enjoyed a 20-year playing career then held at various time the role of  manager, general manager, American League President, and member of the Hall of Fame’s board of directors and Veteran’s Committee. In this handwritten letter Cronin writes about the great
Joe Cronin writes about his career-ending injury two weeks after it happened

Joe Cronin writes about his career-ending injury two weeks after it happened

Joe Cronin enjoyed a 20-year career that ended just three games into the 1945 season. On April 19, 1945, Cronin went 0-for-2 with a walk and a run scored. In the top of the 7th, he reached first on an error by Yankee second baseman Snuffy Stirnweiss. The next batter hit what looked like a double pla
AL President Joe Cronin responds to autograph requests of other AL Presidents, mentions 3 predecessors 

AL President Joe Cronin responds to autograph requests of other AL Presidents, mentions 3 predecessors 

Three years after his induction to Cooperstown in 1956, seven-time All Star Joe Cronin was named president of the American League. It was in this capacity that Cronin signed this letter to an autograph hound seeking the signatures of the first and second AL chiefs. The American League began in 1901
AL chief Joe Cronin shakes hands with 11-time All Star Bill Freehan, both have signed this photo

AL chief Joe Cronin shakes hands with 11-time All Star Bill Freehan, both have signed this photo

After completing a 20-year playing career that culminated in election to the Hall of Fame, Joe Cronin went on to manage for 15 seasons. Then in January of 1959, Cronin became the first former player to be named league president when he took the highest office in the AL. It was in that position that Cronin is shown in this picture shaking hands with
Joe Cronin telegram congratulating Warren Spahn on 300th win

Joe Cronin telegram congratulating Warren Spahn on 300th win

When Warren Spahn became the 5th pitcher to notch 300 wins he received telegrams from all sorts of baseball dignitaries. Direct from Spahn’s estate is this telegram sent by American League president Joe Cronin who writes to career National Leaguer Spahn, “Heartiest congratulations on your 300 victories. We in the American League are proud of your contribution to baseball
Letter/contract for the Red Sox 1954 television rights

Letter/contract for the Red Sox 1954 television rights

This letter dated September 18, 1953 is an agreement between the Boston Red Sox, the Matheson Radio Company and the Narragansett Brewing Company. Under the terms of the deal the Sox received $240,000 in six installments of $40,000 each. Television station facilities from
Second page of Red Sox 1953 TV letter/contract

Second page of Red Sox 1953 TV letter/contract

The second page of the letter/contract has the stipulations for the games to be broadcast. The letter closes, “If the foregoing corresponds to your understanding, kindly sign and return to each of us the enclosed carbon copy of this letter, and accept our checks aggregating the sum of sixty th
Signature page of the 1953 letter/contract

Signature page of the 1953 letter/contract

The third page of the letter/contract has the signatures of all parties involved. On the bottom of the page is the large, bold, and flowing signature of Joe Cronin accepting the terms for the Boston American League Base Ball Company. Above Cronin are the signatures of representatives from the Mathes
Schedule A -- A list of eleven ball games

Schedule A -- A list of eleven ball games

The list of ten dates with 11 games on Schedule A includes four games against the Philadelphia Athletics, one each against the Washington Senators and Chicago White Sox, a pair against the St. Louis Browns, and of course two contests against the rival New York Yankees. Three Sunday dates including a
Cecil Travis writes about his first MLB manager, HoFer Joe Cronin

Cecil Travis writes about his first MLB manager, HoFer Joe Cronin

Cecil Travis broke into the Major Leagues with the Washington Senators in 1933, a season in which skipper Joe Cronin guided them to the American League championship. In this letter from 4/20/87 Travis writes, “Yes I started my Major League career under Joe Cronin. He was a good manager, a fine person and

A Story about Joe Cronin

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