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New York Yankees Sunday Baseball Correspondence Collection

Identifier: MSSP 0010

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of correspondence, clippings, and other items related to the New York Yankees' efforts to encourage state legislation (primarily the 1918 Lawson Bill) permitting Sunday baseball in New York state. Many of the letters are directed to Yankees president Jacob Ruppert by politicians responding to the club's letter asking, “Will you, if elected, favor an amendment of the Penal Code which will permit the citizens to enjoy professional base ball and other forms of harmless amusement on Sunday without resort to subterfuge” (quoted in 1917 October 31 letter from Abraham Solomon). There are also several letters to or from Yankees co-owner T. L. Huston. The Yankees coordinated their campaign with the Brooklyn Dodgers, and the collection also includes several items to and from Dodgers president Charles H. Ebbets. Formats include letters, telegrams, newspaper clippings, memorandums, and resolutions.


  • Creation: 1915 - 1928
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1917 - 1918


Conditions Governing Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Biographical / Historical

Under the terms of an eighteenth-century New York State law that banned “...gaming or other public sports…” on Sundays (quoted in 21 November 1917 Charles H. Ebbets and Edward J. McKeever letter), professional baseball on Sunday was illegal on Sundays in New York state during the early twentieth century. American and National League baseball teams in New York City frequently lobbied the New York State Legislature to change the law. The New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers led a concerted effort (the focus of this collection) to pass the “Lawson Bill” that would have repealed the ban on Sunday baseball in 1917-18, but the law died in the legislature. Finally, in 1919 the New York State Legislature changed the law to legalize professional baseball on Sundays.


.5 Cubic Feet (1 document case (legal))

Language of Materials



Correspondence is arranged chronologically, and the clippings are arranged chronologically.

Greg Bond
2022 June
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Notre Dame Rare Books & Special Collections Repository

102 Hesburgh Library
Notre Dame IN 46556