The Deer Club
Some very obscure baseball pins refer to “The Deer Club.” I know of four Deer Club pins, there might be a fifth, and possibly more. The Deer Club baseball pins contain references to New York baseball. The Deer Club was the name selected for a charitable organization by its founder, John E. Moran. The Deer Club was established in 1915, and was located at 1251 Coney Island Boulevard in Brooklyn. The organization raised funds to purchase food, clothing, and toys for needy children, especially at holiday time.
Only one Deer Club pin is dated. The pin references “Moran’s Deer Club” and celebrates the Dodgers “champions 1940.” The date could be an error, as the Dodgers won the National League Pennant in 1941, not 1940. Alternatively, perhaps the pin merely expresses support for Brooklyn’s beloved Dodgers.
There are two 1¼” pins, one depicting Leo Durocher and the other Charlie Dressen, both wearing a Dodger uniform. Durocher was manager of the Dodgers from 1939 to 1946, and Dressen was his third base coach in the same time period. The pins state, “Deer Club Favorite.” One can only speculate on the reason for issuance of each pin. Perhaps both men were featured guests at fund raising receptions held at the Deer Club.
The fourth pin is the basis for surmising there might be a fifth pin. This 3” pin features images of three people, Durocher and Dressen in the same pose as found in their individual pins, along with that of Freddie Fitzsimmons. Fitzsimmons played for the New York Giants from 1925 to 1937, and for the Dodgers from 1937 to 1943. Fitzsimmons is pictured wearing a Giants uniform. It is unknown what the occasion would have been for issuance of the Durocher-Dressen-Fitzsimmons pin. The pin suggests there might be an individual pin of Fitzsimmons, a mate to the Durocher and Dressen pins. If the Deer Club featured a New York baseball personality as part of its annual charitable fund raising, perhaps there are other individual pins issued in the late 1930s and early 1940s. If the Deer Club got a member of the New York Giants involved in their fund raising, perhaps in other years members of the New York Yankees participated as well.
The Deer Club baseball pins are among the most arcane of regionally issued memorabilia.
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