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George M. Weiss collection

 Collection
Identifier: BA MSS 341

Scope and Contents

The collection starts in the 1910s with materials illustrating George Weiss’ early interest in baseball. It then follows his management career with the Baltimore Orioles, New York Yankees’ minor and major Leagues, and the New York Mets major leagues, and continues after his retirement in 1966 through to his death in 1972.

Records from Weiss’ tenure with the Orioles (1928-1931) include a few financial reports, documentation regarding major league player sales and employee salaries, and clippings.

Records from Weiss’ time with the Yankees’ Minor Leagues (1932-1947) include financials of the Amsterdam (NY), Butler (PA), Kansas City (MO), Newark (NJ), and Norfolk (VA) clubs; correspondence, and a listing of Yankee farm club player transactions.

Records from Weiss’ tenure as General Manager of the New York Yankees (1948-1960) include financial documents such as balance sheets, cost comparisons, payroll, and expenses; correspondence; ephemera; and material related to players, scouts, ticket sales, and a Yankees tour of the Far East in 1955. Of special interest is correspondence from Casey Stengel and Joe DiMaggio and photographs of Mickey Mantle.

Records from Weiss’ time with the Mets (1961-1966) include detailed reports and evaluations of both major and minor League players and scouts, and minor League managers; financial records; correspondence; materials documenting Mets’ promotional efforts; and ephemera.

Weiss’ personal material consists mainly of correspondence received after his retirement, including letters from Stengel and President Richard M. Nixon; and other material relating to Weiss’ career including his induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame (1971).

Clippings throughout the collection feature profiles and articles about Weiss, and about events, people, and issues in baseball that must have interested him.

Ephemera include programs, a Yankees souvenir placemat, cartoons featuring Weiss, and a ticket to the 1941 Lou Gehrig Memorial at Yankee Stadium.

Dates

  • 1912-1972, undated
  • Majority of material found within 1943-1966

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions but viewing materials does require an appointment. Please contact the Giamatti Research Center, research@baseballhall.org, 607-547-0330.

Biographical / Historical

George Martin Weiss was born on June 23, 1894, in New Haven, Connecticut. In 1914, he began his career in baseball promotion as the business manager for his high school’s team which he held together after graduation and successfully promoted as a semipro team. His promotional skills caught the eye of the Eastern League which offered him an opportunity to buy their New Haven franchise. He accepted and quickly turned around the team’s fortunes. From 1920-1928, New Haven won three Eastern League pennants.

In 1928 Weiss accepted an offer to run the International League’s Baltimore Orioles’ franchise. Under his leadership the Orioles won at least 90 games each season for the next four years. In February 1932, the Yankees chose Weiss to build their Minor League farm system which at the time included only one club. Over the next several years Weiss developed an excellent player procurement and development organization, frequently graduated players who would become mainstays for the Yankees, and expanded their farm system until in 1938, the Yankees possessed a 14-team system.

After the Yankees underwent management changes in 1948, Weiss was named the team’s general manager. He then hired Casey Stengel and together, the Weiss-Stengel team was close to unbeatable for a dozen years, winning 10 pennants and 7 world championships. Although they won the pennant in 1960, the Yankees lost the World Series that fall and in the aftermath, management eased both Stengel and Weiss out of their positions.

But Weiss still had one act remaining. In 1961 the expansion New York Mets made Weiss their team president and Stengel their manager. Again together, they built a baseball organization from scratch. After the 1966 season, Weiss retired. Although the Mets got off to a slow start Weiss, in his time running the franchise he assembled the infrastructure on which the Mets became 1969 World Series champions.

Weiss was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971. He passed away one year later, on August 13, 1972.

Extent

7.5 Linear Feet (in 15 legal document boxes and one oversized box)

9.37 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

The collection documents George Weiss' tenure with the New York Yankees minor and major league organizations from 1932 to 1960 and the New York Mets major league organization from 1961 to 1966. It includes financial records, player reports, ticket files, correspondence, clippings, personnel files, scouting evaluations, ephemera, tour files, marketing and promotion files, and personal documents.

Arrangement

The collection is organized chronologically.

Physical Location

Dean O. Cochran, Jr. Manuscript Archives, Aisle 12, Range d, Shelves 5-6; Aisle 2, Range a, Shelf 3; Dean O. Cochran, Jr. Manuscript Archives, PS 07-46

Custodial History

The materials in this collection were created and compiled by George Weiss over the span of his career. They were donated to the Museum between 1971 and 1972, by George and Hazel Weiss. It was not accessioned until 2021 when it was processed.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift (BL-2021-00432)

Separated Materials

Seven photographs were separated to the Dean O. Cochran, Jr. Photographic Archives for preservation and one game ticket was separated to BA MSS 329 Ticket Collection. Surrogate copies can be found in their respective folders.

Processing Information

Processing of this collection included: a review of the existing inventory; creation of a box and folder list; physical arrangement of the collection based on chronology; enclosure of materials in new acid-free folders and boxes, and in mylar sleeves when necessary; and labeling, numbering, and boxing the folders. A finding aid for the collection was created and entered into ArchivesSpace.

Title
Guide to the George M. Weiss collection
Status
Completed
Author
Pamela Cooley
Date
May 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Sponsor
The processing of this collection was made possible in part by a grant from the Documentary Heritage Program of the New York State Archives, a program of the State Education Department.

Repository Details

Part of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum Archives Repository

Contact:
25 Main St.
Cooperstown NEW YORK 13326 USA