I seldom write about products in these BBRT posts (except, of course, for baseball book reviews), but every once in a while I see something unique, fun and baseball themed that I’d like to share with readers. This is one of those times.
I think I’d finally found the perfect pencil for keeping score at the ball park – The Blackwing Volume 56, which pays tribute to the 75th anniversary of Joe DiMaggio’s record-setting, 56-game hitting streak. As regular readers may know, BBRT can be old school – and this pencil feels, smells and looks like it belongs tucked into an old-style scorecard.
The pencil features a blue pinstriped barrel to reflect the Yankees’ iconic pinstriped uniforms, and it’s imprinted with a gold “56.”. While the Yankee Clipper’s baseball legacy includes a spot on 10 American League pennant winners and nine World Series champions, 13 All-Star selections, three American League MVP Awards, two batting titles, two home run crowns, and the Yankees retirement of his number (five) – the number DiMaggio may be best known for is “56”
From May 15, 1941 through July 16, 1941, “Joltin’ Joe” hit safely in an MLB-record 56 consecutive games. During the streak, DiMaggio hit .408, with 91 hits, 15 home runs, 56 runs scored and 55 RBI. DiMaggio had 34 one-hit games during the streak; 13 two-hit games; five three-hit contests; and four four-hit games. The Yankees went 41-13 (two ties) as DiMaggio scorched AL pitching.
You can see Blackwing Pencils’ video about the streak here.
The DiMaggio streak tribute pencil is selling fast, but if you are interested they may be available here.
The Blackwing Volume 56 is just one of Blackwing’s tribute offerings. They have also created pencils honoring such individuals and events as Pultizer Prize Winner John Steinbeck; writer, artist and environmentalist John Muir; and the 50th Anniversary of the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. Each of these pencils is designed to reflect the character of the honoree or event. For example, the Blackwing 725 pencil celebrates the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Newport Festival with a lacquer finish inspired by the Fender Stratocaster that fueled the Festival – called one of “50 Moments that Changed Rock n’ Roll” by Rolling Stone magazine.
Going forward, I hope Blackwing will honor additional baseball performances or players.
A Brief Look at Blackwing Pencils’ History
Blackwing pencils were favored by award-winning creators throughout the 20th century. Despite a cult following, Blackwing pencils fell victim to a cost-cutting culture in the 1990s and were discontinued. That didn’t stop devotees from paying as much as $40 per pencil for unused stock. In 2010, Palomino Brands (a division of California Cedar Products Company) drew from nearly a century of experience and quality commitments to access the world-class materials and production excellence necessary to bring Blackwing pencils back for a new generation of writers, artists, and others seeking a quality writing instrument and unique writing experience. For more on Palomino and Blackwing, click here.
I tweet baseball @DavidBBRT
Member: Society for American Baseball Research (SABR); The Baseball Reliquary; Baseball Bloggers Alliance.