The MCC Library’s flagship publication The Yorker received important international recognition in October when it was adjudged the “best program, annual report or magazine” at the International Sports Heritage Association’s 2011 communications awards.
Librarian David Studham was delighted that The Yorker, which has been published since 1993 and is now available by subscription, had been given such a tick by ISHA.
In another sub-section, The Crooked Staffe, the library’s special year-long celebration of four hundred years of cricket in print, was commended with an honourable mention certificate in the mixed media and design category.
“It is such an honour to have our hard work on both The Yorker and The Crooked Staffe recognised by our peers in the sports heritage industry’s leading body,” said David. “It reinforces that the club’s library and archives, like the other arms of the Heritage and Tourism Department, are at the forefront of promoting sporting heritage.”
The Yorker is compiled principally by MCC Library volunteers and staff who research and write on endless topics related to sport. It is not MCC-centric, however. Recent features range from left-handers in Test cricket and early football in Geelong to the origins of player numbers for footballers. And of course there are regular reviews of books with sporting themes.
On the menu for December’s edition is a history of Spiers and Pond, the Bourke Street caterers who sponsored the first international cricket match in Australia with the visit of H.H. Stephenson’s XI in 1862. The Spiers and Pond story in Melbourne is told by Alf Batchelder, while Jim Blair chronicles the partners’ subsequent success in England.
You’ll also find a fascinating account of a search by Ray Webster for the identity of a Sydney and Brisbane cricketer of the 1890s, A.A. Atkins, for inclusion in a dictionary of first-class cricketers.
The problem with Atkins was that he was only known by his initials and his nickname, “Rocco”. No Christian name could easily be found for this peripatetic batsman who played first-class cricket for Queensland.
His life was a mystery but Ray’s detective work, which included researching births, deaths and marriage offices, electoral rolls, post office directories, old newspapers and national and state libraries, turned up trumps, the Atkins identity finally confirmed by a prison photograph!
One of the many beauties of The Yorker is the opportunity it affords to showcase a broad selection of the countless images held across the MCG collections. Most would not otherwise see the light of day, no matter how worthy.
Members (and others) are encouraged to subscribe to The Yorker by completing the order form.