Though he only appeared in 22 Major League games, Bill Skiff was a baseball lifer. He broke in with the Hartford Senators of the Eastern League in 1916, and his playing career lasted 19 seasons, including brief stops with the 1921 Pittsburgh Pirates and 1926 New York Yankees. In 1933, he accepted a position managing the Durham Bulls, beginning a managerial career that would bring him to the Pacific Coast League in 1941, where he began a six-year run as manager of the Seattle Rainiers, winning the PCL championship in 1941 and 1942. After a few more brief managerial stops, including the 1948 Newark Bears, Skiff became a scout, working for the Yankees for many more years. We are fortunate to be presenting a host of items from Skiff's personal collection.
Presented here is a grouping of five of Skiff's personal scrapbooks. Skiff (or a family member) kept extensive scrapbooks, very detailed and well-assembled. Of course, over the years the scrapbooks have worn with age, the paper pages becoming brittle and toned, and wear evident at the covers, however, the material included within is exceptional. The collection includes the following: 1) 1941 Scrapbook: Chronicling the 1941 Seattle Rainiers' championship season, including newspaper articles, a pocket schedule, an official Hollywood Stars scorecard (with an ad featuring Skiff), a holiday card and a team photo. Many of the newspaper articles have been affixed to the paper with clear tape, and several have become detached from their pages but remain tucked inside the book. 2) 1942 Scrapbook: Contains newspaper clippings from throughout the 1942 season. 3) 1944 Scrapbook: Contains newspaper clippings, and a team photo premium (heavily stained). The first few pages are heavily stained, the rest appear strong. 4) 1948 Scrapbook: Includes a small pile of earlier newspaper clippings tucked inside the front cover. The clippings in the scrapbook deal with Skiff's tenure as manager of the 1948 Newark Bears, the clippings affixed with clear tape. Many of the pages have torn loose from the string binding. 5) 1954-55 Scrapbook: More modern scrapbook, much of which deals with Skiff's recovery from a broken hip after falling. Includes get well cards and correspondence, from friends and associates, both personal and professional. Includes a note from Johnny Neun, Atley Donald, Mayo Smith, Oscar Roettger and more. An outstanding collection of memories from a longtime baseball man. Five scrapbooks total.