Who made the Detroit Amateur Baseball Scrapbook?

The scrapbook is a small treasure trove of information relating to amateur baseball in Detroit. It seems to cover the period between 1914 to 1917 most heavily. In addition, there are other items relating to local industrial leagues. This is great because it is very, very difficult to find ANYTHING about amateur baseball in Detroit from that era.

It was only after spending some time perusing the pages that I was able to figure out that it was assembled by one “Charles L. Fitz”.  A 1918 military furlough describes him as, “22 yrs, 5 feet 71/2 inches”. His complexion is said to be “ruddy” and he has brown eyes and dark brown hair. I imagine that he was very much the typical soldier. Luckily, on the back of one piece of paper I was able to find his address: 952 Van Dyke Avenue.

That address places him downtown, just a long block off Jefferson Street. Jefferson was in effect the first major street in Detroit, the first off the river and it winds through downtown and the early neighborhoods, more or less hugging the flow of the river. Here’s a photo of Charles Fitz’s home as it looks today, a century later:

5 thoughts

  1. I played amatuer in detroit the summer of 1959. 16-18 age group? Would like any info from then. Team names or sponsors. I piched for Ever- Seven. Lunquist Insurance. Famouse players were Bill Freehan and Willie Horton among others. Various fields: Northwestern, Manse etc. Another on Connor road.


  2. Michelle, thank you. Baseball was much more a part of American life than now. What a wonderful way to socialize with friends, meet new people… We sure could use something like baseball to bring us together these days.


  3. If you look in the Free Press Archives – there was quite the advanced network back then. The industrial league alone had 90 teams. I have been doing some research on a few pictures my grandfather had – he was a player in his day. I have a picture of the team in front of a house – that looks a bit like the house in your picture.


  4. Very interesting article. I have noticed that as popular as Baseball was in the earlier days we cannot seem to find the missing links we need to make our story more complete or totally complete. This was quite good. Thanks for sharing with all of us baseball lovers.


    1. There is some really interesting stuff in the book that I will get to over time. I find it intriguing not just for the baseball information but as a window into history.


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