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I'm the Grand daughter of Charlie DiGiovanna - the BROW

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  • I'm the Grand daughter of Charlie DiGiovanna - the BROW

    Hello all..

    I just came across this site, and I wanted to introduce myself. My Grandfather was Charlie Digiovanna - a.k.a "The Brow". Although I never met him, he's been a main focal in my family all my life. My Grandma Shirley recently passed away in Aug. 2005, and with her passing, my mother (Rita) and I have gathered all the memorabila that has been collected for years... pictures, newspaper articles, etc. I would like to try to scan some of these items to share in the near future.

    Would SO welcome any information any of you would like to share about him.. it could be things I haven't heard yet.

    Anyway - hope to hear from ya'll sometime! Thanks! Angela

  • #2
    Here's a pic of him greeting Duke Snider after Duke crushed a homer:
    P.S.
    He's to the left of Duke Snider (wearing jersey #4).
    Attached Files
    Click here to see my autographed 8x10 collection

    Comment


    • #3
      Here he is holding the 19 & the 55 signs:
      Attached Files
      Click here to see my autographed 8x10 collection

      Comment


      • #4
        Front view:
        Attached Files
        Click here to see my autographed 8x10 collection

        Comment


        • #5
          And lastly... as quoted from psacard.com (this is right up MY alley!!)

          Perhaps the most famous big league batboy of all time was Brooklyn Dodger Charlie “The Brow” DiGiovanna (b.1930). Charlie was certainly the envy of every teenager growing up in Brooklyn. He was the home team batboy that you’ve undoubtedly seen sitting on the field in all of those 1950’s team Dodger photos. His dark complexion and “uni-brow” are identifying traits that may remind you of his figure.

          He came into the organization as a favor to his Uncle Pete, a Brooklyn politician in the early 1940s. As a youngster, he started working as a clubhouse boy, turnstile checker, aide in the dressing room and then rose to the rank of visiting team batboy. In 1952, he moved over to the home team dugout vacated by veteran batboy Stan Strull. Later, he actually relocated with the club to Chavez Ravine in Los Angeles were O’Malley bought a house for him, his wife and three kids. He prematurely died of a heart attack at the age of 30 in 1961.

          “Chain-smoking Charlie” left a legacy to our hobby as a result of his daily mundane chores by accommodating each ballplayer’s laziness. The laborious task of signing hundreds of team baseballs was one of the duties that “The Brow” accepted and mastered. He came under a lot of heat from the Dodger’s front office to provide a required six dozen signed baseballs weekly. Unlike the typical adolescent batboys of his era, Charlie was mature and he possessed a talent in handwriting which would closely mimic the styles of his teammates. Duke Snider once revealed that Charlie could sign his name better than he could.

          DiGiovanna was a creature of habit like most of us. In an effort to avoid duplication, Charlie would sign the players names in sequence to avoid possible duplication. On most of the National League balls that he penned, check under the circular Spalding logo and you will generally find the signatures of Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, and Carl Erskine in that order. Flamboyant trademark letters, showing strong individual characteristics, using a name-by-name comparison, are evident in the k’s, d’s, e’s, and h’s.

          DiGiovanna had an upright, rounded style whose looping letters often tilted obtusely. Often when a new player joined the team, DiGiovanna would practically print his name with subtle breaks between the letters. Examples of this are found in the signatures of Dixie Howell, Rocky Bridges, Roger Craig, and Ed Roebuck.

          Now old, Charlie didn’t get his paws on every ball that left the clubhouse, but he still signed a large percentage nevertheless. At times, he would even “fill in the blanks” of partially signed balls that a portion of the players had already obliged themselves. Don’t think Charlie was an anomaly in the autograph world. This non-malicious, forgery practice occurred in the 1920s and remained prevalent into the 1980s. I’ve spoken to numerous batboys that have admitted to secretly penning the names on a regular basis.

          Longtime New York Yankee clubhouse attendant Pete Sheehy dutifully replicated the signatures of Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle, etc. over his 50 years affiliation with the club. Teams outside the New York area were not immune to this practice either. I often examine team signed baseballs from Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit, and Pittsburgh that have suffered the same fate.

          The “clubhouse” or “ghost signed” balls are not completely worthless. As vintage pieces of memorabilia, I regularly notice that they are still selling in auctions for hundreds of dollars despite being recognized as invalid autographs. Despite many of these Brooklyn baseballs being sprinkled around the hobby, the actual autograph of Charlie DiGiovanna is rare in itself. The pictured letter is the only known example in the collecting hobby world.

          One must keep in mind that these balls were signed to accommodate mostly fans, not collectors. Autograph collecting was not as popular or sophisticated and rarely was monetary value attributed to them prior to the 1970s. The recipient of one of these balls never questioned the legitimacy. Batboys like Charlie “The Brow” DiGiovanna were quietly performing their assigned duties.
          Last edited by AutographCollector; 12-05-2007, 09:18 AM.
          Click here to see my autographed 8x10 collection

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by theBROWgranddaughter View Post
            Hello all..

            I just came across this site, and I wanted to introduce myself. My Grandfather was Charlie Digiovanna - a.k.a "The Brow". Although I never met him, he's been a main focal in my family all my life. My Grandma Shirley recently passed away in Aug. 2005, and with her passing, my mother (Rita) and I have gathered all the memorabila that has been collected for years... pictures, newspaper articles, etc. I would like to try to scan some of these items to share in the near future.

            Would SO welcome any information any of you would like to share about him.. it could be things I haven't heard yet.

            Anyway - hope to hear from ya'll sometime! Thanks! Angela
            Welcome, Angela, to OUR Forum. It is indeed a pleasure to hear from another family member of OUR DODGERS.

            My sister DEBS and I were cheerleaders for OUR DODGERS at OUR Ebbets Field, and knew your Grandfather quite well. Since WE literally lived at OUR Ebbets Field everyday, WE always saw him and chatted with him. Charlie was a very nice and funny guy, one who OUR Players simpled loved and considered one of them. He was "Senator" Griffin's assistant in the clubhouse, in addition to being OUR "batboy".

            WE were so sad when he passed so young. WE went to his wake and funeral.

            Many of OUR members and I have discussed you Grandfather in the past. You should check OUR archives and read some of the threads where he was included.

            In the meantime, WE have several members, like myself, who would remember him, and I am sure can share more stories about him.

            If you have any stories you would like to share with US, WE would really enjoy hearing him.

            c.

            Comment


            • #7
              The Brow

              as the visitors' batboy at Ebbets Field......
              Attached Files
              you can take the Dodgers out of Brooklyn, but you can't take the Brooklyn out of the DODGERS
              http://brooklyndodgermemories.freeforums.org/

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by AutographCollector View Post
                And lastly... as quoted from psacard.com (this is right up MY alley!!)
                Charlie was born in 1930, not 1920.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Charlie, Clem Labine
                  Attached Files

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Charlie leading the boys.
                    Attached Files

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by LeoD View Post
                      Charlie was born in 1930, not 1920.
                      I didn't write the article, I just quoted it.
                      Click here to see my autographed 8x10 collection

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by AutographCollector View Post
                        I didn't write the article, I just quoted it.
                        Just correcting the article, not you.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Angela, wecome to the Brooklyn Dodgers Forum.


                          On page # 201 of the following link, you will find a picture of your Grandfather greeting Gil Hodges, following a HR in Game # 4 of the 1955 World Series:


                          http://books.google.com/books?id=y2h...gon8#PPA201,M1

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by theBROWgranddaughter View Post
                            Hello all..

                            I just came across this site, and I wanted to introduce myself. My Grandfather was Charlie Digiovanna - a.k.a "The Brow". Although I never met him, he's been a main focal in my family all my life. My Grandma Shirley recently passed away in Aug. 2005, and with her passing, my mother (Rita) and I have gathered all the memorabila that has been collected for years... pictures, newspaper articles, etc. I would like to try to scan some of these items to share in the near future.

                            Would SO welcome any information any of you would like to share about him.. it could be things I haven't heard yet.

                            Anyway - hope to hear from ya'll sometime! Thanks! Angela
                            Hi Angela,

                            Although I'm sorry to know that your Grandma Shirley has passed away, it was good to hear that you and your Mom are out there and that you have gathered all of his memorabila collected over the years. Many of us look forward to seeing some of those items that you, hopefully, will share with us in the near future.

                            If nothing else, you should know that your Grandpa was very well-known and much beloved by more people (players, fans and anyone else who ever met him) than you could ever imagine. And for many of us who spent much of our time at Ebbets Field and got to know him real well, he was a good friend.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              angela, maybe you could shed some light on your grandfathers entire career with the dodgers?, more specifically the latter part. we've heard conflicting stories concerning when he actually stopped being involved with the dodgers. before the move?, after? I've seen a picture of him in an la uniform, yet, in several books they claim he did not make the move west. you should consider some sort of book, because to us your grand father was an important piece of those great brooklyn teams. A unique base ball character. "the brow", "the pen man" and the just plain good guy. happy holiday's, battlin bake, the dodger dynamo

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