Lanier baseball memorabilia comes to Special Collections and Archives

Published: September 07, 2021

Article body

Auburn University Libraries’ Special Collections and Archives recently received a donation of the baseball memorabilia of Auburn’s 1958 SEC championship baseball team captain, Lafayette F. Lanier, Jr.

Lanier graduated from Valley High School in 1953 and Auburn University in 1958 with a bachelor's degree in physical education. He lettered in baseball four years at Auburn and was the team captain in 1958 when Auburn won the SEC baseball championship. That same year he was named ALL-SEC and was the school leader in hits, runs, batting average and at bats.

After his career at Auburn, Lanier went on to sign a contract with the Cleveland Indians where he played on the organization’s farm clubs. After military service and injuries ultimately ended Lanier’s baseball career, he returned to Valley, Alabama where he lived for the rest of his life with family and the great friends he made in his life’s journey.

Lanier died in 2018 at the age of 83 and his daughter, Tara Lanier Carter, recently donated his baseball memorabilia to Special Collections and Archives where it will be a significant addition to the department’s Auburn athletics collection.

Tommy Brown, head archivist at Auburn University Libraries, notes that this is probably the largest intact collection from one athlete that Special Collections and Archives has ever received, and since it is from a baseball player it makes the artifacts even more rare. Among the items received were two letter sweaters, one letter jacket, and an API blanket embroidered with Lanier’s name. The Lafayette F. Lanier collection will undergo a period of cataloging and preservation before being made available to researchers and the legions of Auburn athletics fans.

Anyone wishing to visit Auburn University Libraries’ Special Collections and Archives may get more information by clicking here

Submitted by: Jayson Hill