A-T-O Inc. (Rawlings Sporting Goods)
A-T-O Inc. (Rawlings Sporting Goods)
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Subordinated Debenture Bond
American Bank Note Company
12" (w) by 8" (h)
A-T-O Inc. was originally founded as the Automatic Sprinkler Corporation of America. The A-T-O name was adopted in 1969 as the company diversified into multiple industries.
One of the company's subsidiaries was Rawling Sporting Goods. In 1970 12 major league teams were wearing Rawlings-made uniforms, including the Pittsburgh Pirates, clad in the division's newly introduced doubleknit nylon and cotton uniforms. The American Basketball Association was using Rawlings' red-white-and-blue ball. A-T-O said that in just one year Rawlings had become the largest manufacturer of quality hockey equipment in the United States. Rawlings also was making golf and tennis equipment.
Early in 1971, A-T-O acquired Adirondack Industries, best known for its baseball bats but also an important producer of toboggans and winter toys as well as archery bows and hockey sticks. The Adirondack operation was combined administratively with the Rawlings division.
The company also made a failed effort to purchase the Boston Red Sox.
The Yawkey Trust put the Sox up for bids in 1977, only to reject the high bidder in favor of a suspiciously one-sided inside deal. Although A-T-O, Inc. offered $18,750,000 for the Sox, the trust instead sold the club at a 20% discount to a syndicate headed by Haywood Sullivan, and Edward (Buddy) LeRoux.
Sullivan, a former major league catcher, had spent the past 12 years in the Sox front office. LeRoux, who had served as Red Sox trainer from 1966-74, was a businessman with Florida real estate holdings. Neither had the wealth normally associated with ownership of a major league club, and their bid was far below A-T-O’s. A-T-O sued the Yawkey Trust to invalidate the proposed sale, arguing that the trust had an obligation to generate as much money as possible for itself from the sale of the Sox.
While the suit was pending, Sullivan and LeRoux quickly consolidated their authority. On October 24, 1977, Sullivan became Sox GM and LeRoux became Vice President for Administration. Former GM Dick O’Connell, who had worked for the Sox since 1946, was abruptly discharged. Although O’Connell had long been close to Tom Yawkey, Jean Yawkey said that her husband had decided to fire O’Connell when, less than a month before Yawkey’s death, O’Connell had tried to purchase Joe Rudi and Rollie Fingers from the Oakland Athletics for $1 million each.
The prospective new owners would face no such temptation, because they were woefully undercapitalized. Sullivan and LeRoux, the managing general partners, controlled the club despite investing only $200,000 each. Jean Yawkey contributed another $3 million, while the others in the syndicate borrowed $8 million from State Street Bank & Trust to finance most of their purchase. In return, the bank demanded and received security for the loan: a clause in the loan agreement which limited how much the Sox could spend on player salaries, player development, and free agents.
If the sale had gone through, the State Street security clause would have crippled the Sox during an era when free agency sent salaries soaring. (The Red Sox payroll rose from $1.9 million in 1977 to $14.7 million in 1986.) But the American League rejected the deal. Bud Selig, then chairman of the AL’s finance committee, explained: “This isn’t Cleveland, it’s Boston, the flagship of the American League. This is the most important franchise in the American League, and we can’t afford to let it be underfinanced or second-rate.”
Sullivan and LeRoux finally won American League approval to buy the Sox in May, 1978, after restructuring their ownership group to eliminate the State Street loan. The new group consisted of three general partners – Jean Yawkey, Haywood Sullivan and Buddy LeRoux – and thirty limited partnership shares.
A-T-O was renamed Figgie International, Inc. in 1981.
Certificates carry no value on any of today's financial indexes and no transfer of ownership is implied. All items offered are collectible in nature only. So, you can frame them, but you can't cash them in!
All of our pieces are original - we do not sell reproductions. If you ever find out that one of our pieces is not authentic, you may return it for a full refund of the purchase price and any associated shipping charges.
Are the certificates offered on your site genuine or reproductions?All of the certificates you see on our site are genuine pieces, we do not sell any reproductions.
Are the certificates you sell negotiable on any of today's stock markets or indexes?
No. All of the pieces we sell are either canceled or obsolete and have collectible value only.
Are the images presented in your product listings of the exact piece I will receive?
It depends. We try to present images of the exact piece you will receive whenever possible. However, when we are offering quantities of a piece, this is impossible. Within every product page we detail whether or not you will be receiving the exact certificate listed, or if the image is a representative example of the one you will receive.
How will you ship my order and how much do you charge?
We ship all orders via the United States Postal Service. Most domestic orders are shipped via Ground Advantage. USPS International, Priority and Express Mail, UPS and DHL services are also available, and costs are calculated during checkout. Current charges may be reviewed here.
Can I return my purchase?
Absolutely. You may return any merchandise, for any reason, within 30 days of the purchase date for a full refund of the purchase price.
We guarantee all of our pieces to be authentic. If you ever determine that a piece is not authentic, it may be returned for a full refund of the purchase price as well as any associated shipping charges.
If your order exceeds $35, and the shipping address is within the United States, shipping via USPS Ground Advantage is FREE!
We make every effort to ship out all orders within 24 hours of receipt.
We ship the majority of orders via the USPS, with domestic orders using the Ground Advantage service.
Shipping is calculated during checkout. Upgraded services such as Priority and Express Mail, as well as UPS and DHL options, are also available.
As soon as your order is shipped you will receive your tracking information via email.
OVERSEAS ORDERS PLEASE NOTE THAT WE DECLARE FULL ORDER VALUE ON ALL SHIPMENTS. CUSTOMER IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL VAT/CUSTOMS CHARGES.
Our goal is to make sure every item you receive is exactly what you had in mind. If you not happy with your purchase, we’ll help you get it sorted in a timely and professional manner.
You can return anything we offer for an exchange, refund or store credit within 30 days of delivery. Return shipping costs may apply, and the item must be in its original condition and packaging.
Any shipping charges collected on the original order are not eligible for a refund.