School of Instruction

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Recognizing the need to educate club officials around the business side of baseball, the National Association offered its first school of instruction at the 1935 session. Led by George Trautman, president of the Columbus Red Birds of the American Association, the session included exhibits and speakers on the topic of promotions by clubs aimed at boosting the popularity of the game in their community.[1]

Speakers included Trautman; Leo Miller (on giving away automobiles and also on attracting female fans); C.O. Brown (on promoting sandlot baseball); Warren Giles (on knothole gangs); Jack Corbett (on extending the radius of the community); E.G. Brands (on the importance of publicity); Frank Shaughnessy (on Mickey Cochrane’s ambassadorial work to boost Detroit’s attendance); and Ray Kennedy (on feature days).[2]  Topics of the exhibits included Syracuse’s new kind of netting used as a screen for the backstop; Toledo’s use of matchbooks to advertise the club; Scranton’s stamping advertising for that day’s game on papers delivered to hotels; Palestine’s use of a mock wedding with their catcher as the blushing bride; and Cincinnati’s diagram of seating arrangements that gave the ticket buyer immediate knowledge of his seat location.

The school of instruction returned in 1936, when the number of exhibits increased from 35 to 52.[3] The session was skipped in 1937,[4] but returned in 1938.[5]

 

Notes

[1] “ ‘How to Sell Game’ Hints Given Owners: Exhibit Showing Promotion Work and Talks Feature ‘School,’” The Sporting News, November 28, 1935: 8.

[2] Ibid.

[3] “School of Instruction Plays Big Role in Program of Minors,” The Sporting News, December 10, 1936: 3.

[4] “Minors’ Record-Breaking Convention,” The Sporting News, December 9, 1937: 4.

[5] “Minors Move Forward,” The Sporting News, December 15, 1938: 4.

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