William Harridge

Harridge William autograph
Birthdate 10/16/1883
Death Date 4/9/1971
Debut Year 1931
Year of Induction 1972
Teams American League, MLB
Positions Executive, League President

William Harridge was largely responsible for bringing about the first All Star game after which he tweaked the schedule to preserve Lou Gehrigs’s streak.

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In the collection:

William Harridge was American League president from 1931-1958

William Harridge was American League president from 1931-1958

William Harridge saw his first big league baseball game after the age of 30. Despite his inexperience regarding baseball he rose to the position of American League president, a position he held for 27 years. His work for the Junior Circuit eventually earned him a Cooperstown plaque with the game’s greats. Born into poverty, Harridge came of age
Harridge learned to embrace and love the game during his more than 30 years in the AL

Harridge learned to embrace and love the game during his more than 30 years in the AL

Will Harridge spent more than three decades working in baseball, first as secretary to Ban Johnson then as president of the Junior Circuit for 27 years. Though Harridge never attended a big league game before he worked for the American League, he learned to appreciate the national pastime. As part t
William Harridge signed Burleigh Grimes' 1934 Yankee contract as the last legal AL spitballer

William Harridge signed Burleigh Grimes' 1934 Yankee contract as the last legal AL spitballer

When Major League Baseball banned the spitball in 1920, seventeen bonafide throwers of the pitch were grandfathered in and allowed to toss the pitch – illegal for all others – until their retirement. Burleigh Grimes was the last big league pitcher to legally throw the pitch. In fact, he
William Harridge congratulates Detroit owner Walter Briggs on stadium opening

William Harridge congratulates Detroit owner Walter Briggs on stadium opening

In the collection is this telegram from American League President William Harridge to Tigers owner Walter Briggs. The content surrounds the grand opening of the remodeled Briggs Stadium. Located at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull, the stadium was built by Tiger owner Frank Navin in 1912. With an
Will Harridge writes to Stephen Clark, founder of the Hall three years after its doors open

Will Harridge writes to Stephen Clark, founder of the Hall three years after its doors open

Baseball fans owe a great debt to Stephen C. Clark, a Cooperstown philanthropist and founder of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Clark’s grandfather Edward gained enough wealth in the 1850s to take care of his family financially for generations. A patent lawyer by trade, Edward starting w
Harridge sends season passes for President Eisenhower and VP Nixon to Senators owner Clark Griffith for presentation

Harridge sends season passes for President Eisenhower and VP Nixon to Senators owner Clark Griffith for presentation

Because of his role as American League President, William Harridge signed countless documents pertaining to the business of baseball. Though his autograph poses little challenge to autograph collectors, finding correspondence
Clark Griffith presents the pass to President Eisenhower at the White House

Clark Griffith presents the pass to President Eisenhower at the White House

A smiling 85-year-old Clark Griffith poses with Ike after giving the president a pass for all American League games for the 1955 season. Voted into the Hall of Fame in 1946 Griffith posted six consecutive 20-win seasons as a Cubs from 1894-1901. His career as a player, manager, and executive spanned
William Harridge was the AL President for a record 28 years

William Harridge was the AL President for a record 28 years

William Harridge faithfully served as American League President for nearly three decades. The longest-tenured league chief in the game’s history, Harridge was in office for 29 years . When he retired, congratulatory letters poured in from all over the baseball world. In the collection is this letter from Harridge dated January 6, 1959. He writes to
AL President Joe Cronin mentions other league chiefs Will Harridge, Barnard, and Johnson

AL President Joe Cronin mentions other league chiefs Will Harridge, Barnard, and Johnson

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

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