Shakespeare Bait Company Baseball Team
Many people are not aware of a Shakespeare Bait Company Baseball Team and a Antique Fishing Lure company relationship. Well its true, there is a tie in between Americas Favorite Past Times, Baseball and Fishing. Many years ago in doing my research for the Old Fishing Lure website I came across a Shakespeare Lure and Reel Company Sponsored a baseball team. There isn’t much information out there about for how long and it’s minor or major league affiliations, other than it was a sponsored team. Most people that know me know I love the weird things that go along with my collections as much as the lures themselves. While those items that come with a story elevate my interest and its place in my collection. One of the items I’ve enjoyed the most about this is 15 years ago I just happened upon this, a Shakespeare Honor Built Baseball Bat.
A recent visitor to the site stopped by and shared this awesome Shakespeare Team Baseball with me, so I thought I would add to the post and re-share the story.
Shakespeare Bait Company Baseball Bat
Shakespeare Bait Company Baseball Team
Cleveland Indians Worl Series Champs 1920
What else you may ask do Baseball and Antique Lures have in common, Well Me! #itsmystorytotell
Some have heard my story before, but, for those who haven’t here is a bit of my own personal family history and few pictures to go with it. With Game 7 Looming its hard for me not to think of two gentleman; Steve O’Neill, and Skeeter Webb.
Steve O’Neill my Great Grandfather (Step-In Law), was one of four brothers to play professional baseball. Steve from Scranton Pennsylvania, entered his Major League Career with the the Cleveland Naps in 1911, later to be named the Cleveland Indians. Steve Played with Cleveland from 1911 to 1923, then a short stint with Boston and on to the Yankees. He was with the Cleveland Indians when they won the 1920 World Series. The team Photo is shown above. His Baseball card Shown below is from around that same time, although this isn’t his earliest Card. Also Shown below is a Photos are Steve and one of his brothers Jim O’Neill. The Photo I enjoy the most is a picture of Babe Ruth and Steve O’Neill riding horseback in 1925 in front of the Majestic Theater.
While one would be more than content with the story if this was it alone, its not, and it ties into this years World Series even more. Steve had a long and fulfilling career playing with teams like the Indians, Red Sox and Yankees, but he also had a career in managing these teams once his catching career came to a close. In 1945 Steve managed the Detroit Tigers who in 1945 Won the World Series against the who? You guessed it, the Chicago Cubs. The last time the Cubs were in the world series, they Played against Steve’s team that he managed.
1945 Detroit Tigers
Well then you say what a great story it is, well, it doesn’t end there either. It just so happened that Steve had a a few daughters, one of which whose name was Olive. Olive fell in love and married a man, Skeeter Webb, my grandfather. Skeeter was also a Major League Baseball player who’s career would take him through the St Louis Cardinals, Cleveland Indians, the Chicago White Sox and into Detroit at the very same time his father in Law would coach the winning team. You will see him in the above photo along with Steve. For those that are into trivia Steve and Skeeter were the only father and son in law duo to ever win the world series.
While truly I’ve done them both an injustice, by only glossing over some of the highlights of their careers to tie them to the Cubs and Indians series this year. Their stories are as many as one can imagine with Steve playing from 1911 and managing though 1954, and Skeeter who’s career spanned from 1932 to 1948. For hours my grandmother Olive would sit and tell stories of her childhood being raised by a Baseball family. As a little girl who roots were at the beginning of the game by her dad and uncles later to be shored up by a marriage to Skeeter that would add new chapters to her life that began and ended with Baseball. I’m proud to say that I was able to sit and hear many of those stories not just during the holidays like most, but daily during my lunch break for many years while she lived with my parents.
My other goal was I wanted to share that even in Baseball there is Antique Lure lore.