A History of Excellence 1869-1994

Has anyone ever heard of this Tiger-Cat book and if so what is it like?


[url=http://www.abebooks.com/Tradition-Excellence-1869-1994----plus-Tiger-Cat-Star/1272133939/bd]http://www.abebooks.com/Tradition-Excel ... 2133939/bd[/url]
8) Actually the name of this book is, A Tradition of Excellence, 1869-1994.
   I have the book, and it is excellent !!  It was first published in 1994, to celebrate 125 years of professional football in
    Hamilton.  Probably the best all round Ti-Cat book ever published !!!

    It features loads of black and white photos from the early years, right up to fantastic colour  action photos to 1994.

     It is a must buy for any TiCat fan, if it is still available for purchase !!

      The publisher was, Ian Barnes.
       North American Sports Communications
        31 Bigwin Road, Unit 6, Hamilton, Ont.      Phone # 905-318-9977.

        Not sure they are still even in business after all these years ??  (20 years ago now)

Yes Crazy Canuck, I not only heard of it, I worked for the print shop that printed it(I operated the Binding machines). The type of Binding is called Case binding and it was bound at a trade bindery that I worked for in the late 90's.

I know that a skid of the boxed books(not sure of the quantity) were recycled because the Bindery had held on to the books for several years without receiving payment. Also I saw books bound with some blank pages(printer error)

There are probably very few copies out there and would be valuable to collectors.
I am not sure if I should name the companies for legal reasons. :stuck_out_tongue:

As for the content of the book itself it certainly is a fascinating pictorial history of Hamilton Football.

I recall there was a history of oskee wee wee (originally whisky wee wee).

It would be nice if this book could be published again and sold at the Cats store. I would get it.

Maybe Bob Young can do something as I believe he is also in the publishing business.

Does it mention George Lee's fruit store where the Tigers or the Wildcats were formed? If so, does it give a location of where it was located? (as I doubt the structure still exists)

IIRC It was a part of the season ticket drive to save the team from extinction.

Maybe the Caretaker had a hand in the first printing. On the credits page for the book, a "Bob Young" is listed as the researcher.

There are amazing pictures in this book that I haven't seen anywhere else. I'd guess that many of them are in the Hall of Fame or used to belong to the team itself.

However, there is not a lot of written history in the book. The images themselves do not usually have captions, so for the older images you won't know who is in them or when they were taken. For a more detailed history, you might want to look for an article by Jake Gaudar in a 1967 book produced for the Centennial celebrations about Hamilton's history. It's called "Centennial Sports Review." I don't know that anyone has written a dedicated history of the team, but if I had the resources I'd love to try.

EastVanMark: the book states that Lee's store was located at King and James. The only building on that corner now that would be remotely old enough is a variety store on the north-east corner. I think Star Records used to be upstairs.

Much thanks for the info, HA1912GC. I'll be in Hamilton soon and I'd like to check out the birthplace of the Ticats.

I believe Lee's Fruit store was on the north side of York between McGill and Oxford streets. It later became a Fortinos Fruit store I think. Anyway the building is long gone with the widening of York St. and urbanization.

Lee's fruit store might have been where Jackson Square or the CIBC building is today.

The south west corner of King and James has been a bank as long as I remember (early forties). Next to it going west was a Chinese restaurant/bar, then a furniture store that went out of business in the 60s and was bought by Robinsons, then a furrier and the rest I don't recall except Sam Manson's Sports goods.
The north side of king was a series of small shops and a restaurant. The only shop I can recall is Barr's Luggage, but I don't remember any fruit dealer.
In fact I don't remember any fruit dealer downtown at all, except the market. It was behind city hall (north west corner York and James), and Eaton's, also on James immediately north of city hall. The market was accessed from York, McNabb, and I think Merrick Sts.

The south side of York had shops that I don't recall. I did have some old pix of downtown, but I haven't seen them lately. Will look.
If you are intent on the Lee Fruit Mkt being down town I would consider York and James more than King and James

umm....we are talking 1869.
Not to be mean, but....How old are you????
I've put the question to a facebook page called Vintage Hamilton. Someone may know where to look for information.

[url=https://www.facebook.com/VintageHamilton/photos/a.482421998442765.1615388.357013597650273/469237646427867/?type=3&theater]https://www.facebook.com/VintageHamilto ... =3&theater[/url] View of north bound James Street circa 1893 [url=https://www.facebook.com/VintageHamilton/photos/a.482421998442765.1615388.357013597650273/532969970054634/?type=3&theater]https://www.facebook.com/VintageHamilto ... =3&theater[/url] View of south bound James Street circa 1870

The information in A Tradition of Excellence may not be correct.

What you'd want is a book like this:
McAlpine's Hamilton city and county of Wentworth directory 1875. (Montreal : McAlpine, Everett, [1874?]).

Before telephone books, city directories were the best way to locate individual residents and businesses in Canadian cities. They weren't published every year, but if Lee's store was successful then presumably it was around long enough to appear in one of the directories from that time period. And the directory would have the address.

There is one copy of it in the National Library, and there should be one in the Special Collections section of the Hamilton Public Library ... if someone's inclined to look. Don't know when I'll be in Hamilton or Ottawa next, but I'll look if no one beats me to it. I'm curious now.

Wheezer -- yes, the oldest buildings downtown are mostly gone. Which is why some folks want to save the south side of Gore Park. The variety store has to be the oldest building on either the north or south corners of K&J, which is the reason I singled it out.

tigercat23 -- great pictures. In the image from 1893, the S.G. Treble store (hats) sure looks like the variety store as it is today. Compare the size and spacing of the windows to the store today on Google Streetview.

Again -- the address in the Excellence book may be wrong. But it's fun to speculate.

Thanks for the info. Hopefully they do an updated book, like many of the other posters had suggested.

Thanks to Wheezer, Tigercat23, & HA1912GCC for all the great information and pictures.

The city really needs to put a marker wherever the actual site of the store was.
As an aside, I remember somebody posting a photo from the 1950's of the Ticat office with a great neon sign with a couple of buildings in the back ground that still stand to this day. Could that have possibly been the site?

This picture?

[url=https://www.facebook.com/VintageHamilton/photos/a.477142555637376.1613936.357013597650273/533402093344755/?type=3&theater]https://www.facebook.com/VintageHamilto ... =3&theater[/url]

Was on Main and Hughson

Yes that was the one. Obviously not the site then. Thanks for sharing Tigercat23