Spectators at a Rural Game

August 15, 2013 § Leave a comment


Vintage snapshot of a circa 1910s baseball game watched by a small crowd

Rural Baseball Game, c 1910s/’20s (click to enlarge)

This snapshot — more or less evenly split between the game action (or perhaps infield practice?) and a small group of spectators, with what looks like a distant farmhouse visible past the head of the person standing towards the left of the crowd — has a simple beauty, I feel. It’s also interesting to me in that it shows that split, Ty Cobb-like grip in use. I’ve always wondered how common that actually was (and how long it was used), especially after seeing some film of Ty Cobb in which he started with his hands apart, but then seemed to bring them together as he swung. This person clearly finished his swing with them still held apart. I have enlarged a section with the batter so it can be better seen.

Detail of a section of a vintage snapshot of an early rural baseball game, showing the batter's grip

Detail of hitter (click to enlarge)

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Batter Up

June 16, 2013 § Leave a comment


amateur baseball players pose as if hitting and catching in circa 1920s snapshot

Ready for the pitch, c 1920s snapshot (click to enlarge)

“After a Hard Battle with Willow River”

March 26, 2013 § Leave a comment


Vintage snapshot of a handsome amateur baseball player wearing a "Rutledge" uniform after a game

Postgame (c 1910s)

The back of this real photo postcard reads: “This picture was taken after a hard battle with Willow River.” I love how his socks sort of disappear into the vegetation, giving the whole thing a bit of a ghostly feel.

Murderers’ Row: The 1927 Fairfax High School Team

March 6, 2013 § Leave a comment


Yearbook photo of the 1927 Fairfax High baseball squad

The 1927 Fairfax High School baseball team, Los Angeles, CA (click to enlarge)

I recently came across a 1927 yearbook from Fairfax High School in Hollywood, and liked how they called the varsity teams from the various sports “Heavyweight” (for the football team they use that term in the title; here it is in the last sentence, where they refer to the “heavyweight nine”). It seems they were a good team, ending up in second place — rather than first — mainly due to some pitching issues. No players are named.

Odd Spot for a Ballplayer

February 15, 2013 § Leave a comment


Vintage snapshot of a baseball player in uniform, likely in Winona, Minnesota, circa 1920s

Winona, Minnesota, c 1920s (click to enlarge)

This is another snapshot from my collection, and one in which I have never been quite sure what is going on. There is a stamp on the rear from Van Vranken’s Studio in Winona, Minnesota, so I assume it was likely taken in or near that city, which is tucked into the southeastern corner of the state along the Mississippi River. The ballplayer has his right arm around whatever that black object is — ┬ásome sort of rolled flag or banner perhaps?

“Over the Fence and Far Away”

February 13, 2013 § Leave a comment


Vintage snapshot of an Occidental college baseball player swinging a bat, c 1922

Occidental College player, c 1922 (click to enlarge)

It’s a little hard to know precisely how to begin a project like this, but I figured I would start with this circa 1922 snapshot of a player from Occidental College in Los Angeles — partly because it happens to be my most recently acquired baseball photo, partly because I live not far from the school and have actually played games on its field in my adult baseball league, and lastly, because I love inscriptions on photos, and thought this one had something sweet and simple to it. I found it on an album page of other shots from Occidental, including some of a 1922 football game against Pomona-Pitzer. I have no idea who this is, and have not been able to find a roster for that year’s team.

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