OK, as much as I love the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and as cute and homey as the tale of Abner Doubleday inventing baseball in Cooperstown, N.Y., might be, the facts point toward Hoboken, where I happen to live, as the true birthplace of baseball. Cooperstown is a quaint, scenic, beautiful little town with plenty of charms, while Hoboken is a yuppie-filled center of corruption and alcoholism, but facts are facts.
So why is it that despite searching for years, I have yet to come across anything resembling a vintage-style Hoboken baseball jersey?
I don’t believe Hoboken has had a team in the modern era. The Jersey City Giants were pretty big-time and, since I’m getting married in Jersey City, my fiancée was kind enough to pick up the pictured jersey from Ebbets Field Flannels, which I will likely change into after the reception. In fact, the jersey is a No. 7 for Bobby Thomson of “The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!” fame.
But there has to have been some team at some point that wore jerseys with Hoboken on them. Ebbets Field Flannels offers obscure jerseys from hundreds of teams, but no Hoboken.
The only time I’ve ever actually seen a Hoboken baseball jersey (aside from Hoboken High School and, while they’re actually beautiful jerseys, that’s not what I’m looking for) was at the very end of Eight Men Out, the movie about the 1919 Chicago White Sox and Shoeless Joe Jackson, who allegedly conspired to throw the World Series, earning the nickname Black Sox. At the very end of the film, after being banished from baseball, Buck Weaver (Jon Cusack) watches Shoeless Joe (D.B Sweeney) in a minor-league ballpark playing under an assumed name, and Jackson and his teammates are wearing Hoboken jerseys.
But I can’t even find a picture of that part of Eight Men Out, or of any jersey that says Hoboken, on the great big World Wide Web.
Anyone got any ideas? I’m all ears.