Monday, August 3, 2009

Spalding - What's in a Name? Read On...

The name Spalding in America connects almost immediately to the sport of baseball, as it was Albert Spalding who founded what was to become one of the most famous sporting goods retail organizations in the history of American sport. He and his brother James were the powers that brought this giant organization into being, and the name Spalding continues to be more directly associated, historically, with baseball than any other sportswear chain. Albert was also a professional baseball player ( a pitcher) for several years, and the Veterans Committee of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York inducted Albert into the Hall of Fame in, I believe, 1939, for his powerful contributions to the sport.
What makes the Spalding name even more interesting is that James' son Albert Jr. was regarded as one of America's great violinists. As a matter of fact, there were critiques written in the last century that listed Spalding as the most distinguished violinist that America had ever produced up to that time.
There are some recordings which may be available, if some of the L.P. recordings that were extant are now on CD. I cannot answer that at this time, as I have not as yet looked into this issue. I do remember, as a child, hearing some of his recordings, and the elegant and lofty nature of his performances, epecially those of Beethoven, are still vivid to me. He was indeed a powerful force in music during his time, and should be remembered for his attainments.
It is of interest to me that he did some recordings with a pianist named Jules Wolffers, who became director of music at one of the nearby universities, and toward the end of his career Wolffers invited a very young musician; namely me, to do a few radio programs from the university, which included some of my work for concert harmonica, which I believe I had mentioned in a previous blog.
Interesting how things tie together in Life!
Do look for Spalding, whether it be for a new baseball, or for a recording.



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