Baseball lifer Bill Skiff was not only a player, coach and manager in the Pacific Coast League. After his retirement, he became a long time scout for the Yankees. During this time, Skiff kept meticulous records of his whereabouts and activities, and also kept clear notes of his scouting activity. It was in this capacity that he produced these two notebooks, among the most interesting and entertaining things we have ever offered. They are so unique, we can only hope that a collector out there finds as much interest in these books as we do. Included in this lot are the following:
1) 1950s Coaching and Scouting Diary: pocket-sized memo book containing details of Skiff's activities and scouting activity between 1952 and 1957. The opening pages detail Skiff's activities as a Spring Training coach for the Yankees, with specific notes on individual players like Jackie Jensen, Mickey Mantle, Johnny Sain, Bob Kuzava, Stubby Overmire and more. A few pages in, the dates change to 1955 and we see individual scouting notes on a variety of minor league players, with Skiff's alphanumeric ratings on each player. These notes are broken down by team, and neatly written in two color ink (Blue and black). Some of the players scouted in these notes include Don Drysdale, Tommy Lasorda, Connie Marrero, Sam Jethroe, Duke Maas, Jim Bunning, Lou Sleater, John Roseboro ("at this time don't look like he will hit"), Satchell Paige ("can still relieve"), Luke Easter, Carl Sawatski ("glasses"), and many many more, as his scouting trips took him throughout the United States, Toronto, and Cuba. The interior pages are in excellent condition and the book is entirely intact, though the spine is frayed and damaged.
2) 1967-69 Scouting Diary: 7 3/4" x 10" composition notebook containing scouting information on a variety of minor league teams as Skiff appeared to serve as an evaluator of young talent and an advance scout for the Yankees. Skiff developed an elaborate system of rating players in a variety of categories, and left notes in certain instances. The reports are broken down by team, and begin with 1967. Some of the noteworthy players included in these reports are Johnny Bench ("needs to catch"), Hal McRae, Nolan Ryan, Jim Palmer ("History sore arm"), Jim Bibby ("no guts"), and many many more eventual major leaguers. Book is in excellent condition, though well-worn, particularly at the spine. Some water has damaged the bottom of some of the pages, which were reinforced with clear tape.
A tremendous window into the scouting of young players in the 1950s and 1960s from a baseball lifer. Two books total.