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Frank and Peggy Steele sheet music

Identifier: BA MSS 003

Scope and Contents

The Frank and Peggy Steele sheet music collection documents popular baseball songs written between 1885 and 1992. The collection includes a wide variety of music written about baseball, as well as songs with an indirect link to the game, including Culture Club's "Karma Chameleon," featuring the band wearing baseball uniforms on the front cover. Of particular interest is music written specifically for leagues, teams, and players, mostly dating from the late 19th century and the early 20th century.


  • 1885-1992

Conditions Governing Access

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

Conditions Governing Use

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum provides use copies of materials to facilitate private study, scholarship, and research. The Museum welcomes you to use materials in our collections that are in the public domain and to make fair use of copyrighted materials as defined by copyright law and with proper citation. Permission to publish materials must be obtained from: Giamatti Research Center, National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, 25 Main St., Cooperstown, NY 13326 Phone: 607.547.0330 E-mail:

Biographical / Historical

Franklin "Frank" Albert Steele was born on September 2, 1928 in Pittsburgh, PA, the son of Harry and Ruth Steele. He graduated from the University of Virginia's School of Law but beyond serving as a United States Air Force attorney from 1953 to 1956, he never practiced. Instead, Steele held a seat on the New York Stock Exchange and later in life was involved in financial and strategic consulting in Philadelphia.

Margaret "Peggy" Steele, née Wright, attended Arcadia University, graduating with a degree in Business Administration in 1980. In 1976, Frank and Peggy were married; the same year, they met artist, Dick Perez, and opened the Perez-Steele Galleries with Peggy serving as the president of the Galleries from 1979 through 2005. The Galleries served as consultants to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Leaf-Donruss Company. The Galleries produce artwork and limited edition cards of baseball's elite players and, with Leaf-Donruss, endowed the art gallery at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Frank and Peggy Steele began collecting baseball memorabilia in 1975. Their collecting was broad-based and encompassed all types of baseball items, including over 350 individual pieces of sheet music, one of the largest private collections ever assembled. They searched antique stores, flea markets, used book stores and nearly anywhere across the country that might have baseball sheet music for sale, equating it to a "treasure hunt," finding baseball items where others would not think to look. As the collectibles market changed, they found increased prices and competition for individual pieces and ultimately donated the collection to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

The Steeles were active in all aspects of the printed ephemera world, joining the Ephemera Society in 1980 and writing the section on sheet music in Bert Sugar's Sports Collectors Bible.

In June 2000, Frank passed away due to the effects of pulmonary fibrosis. In 2001, the Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program for Youth Leadership Development was born in honor of Frank's memory, an annual program at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.


1.81 Cubic Feet (In five oversize flat boxes)

5.42 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The Frank and Peggy Steele sheet music collection includes over 350 pieces of sheet music that document the role of music in baseball history. The materials date from 1885 to 1992 and include images and illustrations of baseball fans, players, and management. The collection includes music written about baseball, songs that are tangentially connected to the sport, and popular music that uses baseball art on its cover.


The collection has been arranged into three series: Series I. General Baseball Music, Series II. Music about Leagues, Teams, and Players, and Series III. Music from Films and Musicals.

Physical Location

Dean O. Cochran, Jr. Manuscript Archives, Aisle 5, Range b, Shelf 6

Custodial History

The collection was donated to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in 1996 by Frank and Peggy Steele who assembled the collection.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift (BL-1996-07893)


Due to the age of the collection, it is unknown if any materials were removed during accessioning or processing.

Processing Information

Decisions regarding arrangement, description, and physical interventions for this collection are unknown.

Guide to the Frank and Peggy Steele sheet music
Corey Seeman with assistance from Helen Stiles and Dylis Burdt
April 1997
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

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

25 Main St.
Cooperstown NEW YORK 13326 USA