A visit to Baby Doll Jacobson’s gravesite

At 6’3″, Baby Doll was easy to spot in a lineup.

I went home for Thanksgiving.  Home as in where I grew up.  It was straight out of a TV show with me staying in my old room and even sleeping in my old bed.  I didn’t remember it creaking so much.

Outside of the turkey dinner on Thanksgiving, the significant part of the weekend was when we visited Baby Doll Jacobson’s grave site.  As I’ve mentioned here before, I found out over Christmas holiday two years ago  that I am a distant relative of Baby Doll (though we’re still figuring exactly how).  My brother and I decided that we would take the time we had together and go visit his grave,

With a little research, we figured out exactly which cemetery he was buried.  Turns out, it was only 15 miles from where I grew up and I’ve been by there many times.  Once there, it took us only 10 minutes or so of looking over gravestones to find Baby Doll’s.

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The cemetery where BDJ is buried

The epitaph on the gravestone was simple yet any baseball fan who knew his history would recognize who this person was.  On a gravestone engraved with two crossed bats, a ball and a glove, it said:

William Chester “Baby Doll” Jacobson

Aug. 16, 1890

Jan, 16, 1977

Major & Minor Leagues 21 Yrs American League

L.B.A. 311 & Held 13 Fielding Records

I don’t know why but the first thing that hit me when I saw this was his date of death.  It amazed me that someone who played baseball as early as 1915 was still around when I was a teenager.

There was also a bronze star next to the gravestone with World War 1917-1918.  Since then, Baby Doll’s son has confirmed that he had enlisted in the Navy at that time.  Something I did not know.

Since Saturday, I’ve been in more contact with Baby Doll Jacobson’s close relatives and they all seem like good people.  Occasionally, an interesting tidbit about Baby Doll’s life will come out (like the Navy story) which is this is all about.

Finally, I’d like to point you to some articles written back in the days when Baby Doll Jacobson was playing.  His grandson, Abe Hammar was gracious enough to send me the scanned copies.  They are a treasure trove in my opinion, not just for those interested in BDJ but for those into baseball history and for that matter, the history of sports press.  Here is a sample:

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You can see the full gallery of articles that Hammar sent me here (click the images to enlarge in order to read the articles).  Very interesting indeed.  Again, many thanks to Abe!!

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