August 15, 2013 § Leave a comment
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.
June 8, 2013 § 3 Comments
George Pinkney played major league baseball from 1884 to 1893, for teams such as the Cleveland Blues, Brooklyn Grays/Bridegrooms/Trolley Dodgers and the Louisville Colonels. He is the player whose record for most consecutive innings played (5,152, from 1885-1890) was broken by Cal Ripkin, Jr. in 1985. (Note that this was a different statistic than the consecutive-games record Ripkin set when he bested Lou Gehrig’s streak of 2,130 in 1995.) Interestingly, I have seen Pinkney listed as both a left- and right-handed hitter in different places (but not a switch hitter) — perhaps explaining (or explained by?) the photos from each side of the plate?
C.M. Gilbert and William Bacon were well-known photographers in Philadelphia beginning in the 1870s; their studio was located at 830 Arch Street, with a second (from 1886) at 1030 Chestnut Street.
April 24, 2013 § Leave a comment
A backyard pose, with glove close at hand. I’ve blown up a detail of the boy below, as it’s a little hard to see the great glove in the full photo. I picture him heading off to a game right afterwards, though I am not actually sure how many leagues they had for kids at the time (Little League baseball began in 1939 with just three teams, and until 1947 was limited to Pennsylvania). There are many snapshots of boys from that era in uniform, and I assume that at times they were on actual teams, but suppose that in many cases they were just wearing uniforms they were given by their parents.
February 15, 2013 § Leave a comment
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 — some sort of rolled flag or banner perhaps?
February 13, 2013 § Leave a comment
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.