Thursday, March 5, 2015

Look What The Katz Dragged In

Last year, I purchased several game used vintage caps that I believed came from minor league teams in the 1960s. I was able to correctly identify some including a Knoxville Smokies and the other a Macon Peaches.

Three of the caps (including the two mentioned above) were worn by Tom Tischinski, who played in the Athletics, Reds, and Twins farm systems and spent two years in the big leagues. The 3rd cap worn by Tischinski features a goofy-looking cat face. The cat is a felt shape with chain-stitched details. I could not find any team that Tischinski played for that would have had this as their cap

After hours of internet searching, I was able to obtain Tischinski's current home address. I wrote him a letter asking about the cap. Not too long after, I received a reply from Tischinski. Aside from wanting to know how I got the caps (they were on eBay), Tischinski was able to tell me about the cat cap. He saod that the cap is from 1961 when he played for the Ban Johnson Amateur Baseball League in the Kansas City, MO area. His team was called the "Katz" as they were sponsored by "Katz Drug Co." a Midwestern drug store chain. The cat face was the company's logo. Through some research, I found that Katz merged with another drug store company in 1971 and the name and logo then disappeared. Over the years through buyouts and more mergers, the company now exists as CVS Pharmacy. The Ban Johnson Amateur Baseball League also still exists. Their website says "The League has been serving the Greater Kansas City Area since 1927 and operates a summer baseball program open to players up to age 23. The majority of the players are either present college players or high school graduates desiring to further their skills with eyes on a potential college baseball future."