How did a Bible with Pittsburgh Pirates players’ signatures end up in library bin?

From Richard Chang at the Sacramento Bee on January 26, 2013, with mention of SABR member Alan O’Connor:

Joanne Murphy knew something was unusual when she opened up an old Bible last week. The holy book turned up among the tens of thousands of materials donated to the Friends of the Sacramento Public Library each year.

Inside the Bible, 31 different signatures were emblazoned on the first page along with “Pirates 1953” written across the top in blue ink.

Murphy, an antiquarian book repairer, didn’t know what all this meant until she did some research online.

“The Bible had been sitting in my shop for months waiting to get repaired,” said Murphy, 65. “No one wanted it.”

As it turns out, she had a piece of baseball history. The Catholic Bible was signed by 30 players and manager Fred Haney of the 1953 Pittsburgh Pirates and given to their general manager Branch Rickey, best known for breaking Major League Baseball’s color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson.

But the question remains: how did Rickey’s Bible end up in a donation bin for a Sacramento library group?

Read more here:

Read the full article here:

Originally published: January 28, 2013. Last Updated: January 28, 2013.