Exhibit honoring Superior MLB Hall of Famer to open Saturday
He may be gone, but author Tom Alesia has made sure that Superior’s own baseball legend Dave Bancroft is not forgotten.
A two-time World Series champion with the New York Giants (1921, 1922) and MLB Hall of Famer (Class of 1971) Bancroft, who passed away at age 81 in 1972, will now have an exhibit dedicated to his life’s work at the Douglas County Historical Society in Superior.
"The thought of bringing Dave Bancroft to Superior and Duluth where even some of the best baseball fans are going to say, Dave who? You’re going to say well, he’s a Hall of Famer and he lived here. It’s a story that just hasn’t been told," Alesia said.
Alesia quite literally wrote the book on Bancroft calling it Beauty at Short: Dave Bancroft, the Most Unlikely Hall of Famer and His Wild Times in Baseball’s First Century. Published in March it spent weeks atop Amazon’s best seller list for baseball books.
He’s also amassed quite the memorabilia collection that first debuted in Bancroft’s home town of Sioux City, Iowa and has now landed in the Northland. Playing in the MLB from 1915-1930 the exhibit will feature vintage baseball cards from Bancroft’s professional and amateur playing careers, autographs, bats, game used balls, and even photos of his return to Superior after winning the 1921 World Series.
"To put it in perspective in terms of baseball at that time that was truly America’s sport," Alesia shared. "To be the super star of the New York Giants, a New York team, Bancroft’s fame was considerable."
Bancroft would also manage several teams including the MLB’s Boston Braves (1924-1927), the Minneapolis Millers of the minor leagues (1933), as well two teams in the All-Americans Girls Professional Baseball League (Chicago Colleens 1948, South Bend Blue Sox 1949-1950).
The exhibit opens Saturday and runs through October 8th, which marks the 100th anniversary of Bancroft’s second World Series title. Admission is free to the public.