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SPOTLIGHT: HIGHPOCKETS AT HOME AND ABROAD
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This c.1923-25 photo of Lou Gehrig-predecessor, Yankee first baseman Wally Pipp, is a terrific example of the work of photographer, Paul Thomspon. After Charles Conlon, Thompson and George Burke are perhaps the two most celebrated baseball photographers of the period. Thompson's personal studio mark can be seen on the back of this photo.
This image seems to have been captured at the new Yankee Stadium (not at the team's previous home, the Polo Grounds). Pipp begged out of a game in 1925, following a beaning the day before. His job was taken forever by the 'iron Horse" Gehrig. Pipp himself would later refer to the incident as the two most expensive aspirins in history as, by year's end, he found himself playing first base for the Reds.
This two-piece panorama is part of a small cache of photographs of major and minor league talent from the late 1910s and early 1920s. The photographs, which found their way to a Texas memorabilia dealer, primarily feature players from the St. Louis Cardinals with such other locales as San Antonio and New York represented as well.
This particular example features members of an unidentified ballclub taking batting and fielding practice against the backdrop of an ad-encrusted outfield fence, portable mesh wire backstop and uninhabited stands. The largest ad on the outfield wall appears to be for "Gulf [or Guild] Manufacturing Lumber Co." This may be a San Antonio minor league scene. To provide any identifying information, clicke on this icon:
These photographs of Hall of Famer, George "HIghpockets" Kelly, showcase the lanky first baseman during his glory years with the New York Giants as well as in a rare studio portrait taken in the very early days of his career.
The portrait of Kelly seen in the middle, above, originates from the player's own estate and was taken by a photographer names Sol Young either during Kelly's minor league days in the mid 1910s or during the very early part of his tenure with the Giants. He played with New York from 1915-1927 (save for a part of the 1917 season he spent with the Pirates), helping the team win four pennats and two World Series titles in the early 1920s.
The other two photographs are news photos. The image at top left is credited to a photographer named Bert Young and features heavy production marks from use by a publication of the day. The shot at top right originates from 1921 and is an International News Photo taken at the Giants' Spring Training camp in San Antonio.
SPOTLIGHT: RUTH & GEHRIG IN THE TWENTIES
Seen here are more photos from the Texas cache featuring major and minor league talent.
The first three photographs at top left depict Jaacques Fournier, Cliff Heathcote and Heinie Mueller, all of the St. Louis Cardinals -- captured on film in either 1920 or 1921.
Fourth from the left is a player identified as Dick Aldworth, with the letters SAKOC on his jersey, most likely a semi-pro team member (San Antonio?).
The two photos at top right, each with two players, capture unidentified players from two different unidentified teams.
The remaining two larger photographs, both on the second row, come with more identification information. The catcher at left is identified as St. Louis' Andy Hack -- however, no such player appeared on the rosters of the Cardinals or Browns during this era, although an Ed Hock did play another position on the 1920 Cardinals. The final photograph shown here features eight players, most likely from a San Antonio semi-pro or minor league team. This photo's reverse is adorned with the stamp of the Eagle Picture Co. of Texas.
Any additional identification information on this mixed bag of photos is most welcome, as is any knowledge of the reason for their grouping together in one small trove.
A photo of the 1922 Herb Hunter All Stars tour of Japan team, featuring Kelly, can be viewed by clicking on the button or image at right. This photograph also originates from the Kelly estate and is accompanied by an in-action shot of the team on the field in Japan.
The 1922 Tour of Japan team included such greats as Herb Pennock, Casey Stengel, Luke Sewell and other stars, along with Kelly. He spent 1930 with the Reds, Cubs and Minneapolis minor league team, ending his career with the Dodgers in 1932.
A unique 1920 off-the-field image of New York Giants stalwarts, George Burns, Jess Barnes and Benny Kauff and their wives "investigating the mysteries of the alligator" at a farm near the team's San Antonio Spring Training camp.
Another International News Photo, this specimen bears the organization's news stamp, paper caption and the Christie's hologram. This example was one of many auctioned in the sale of the famed Baseball Magazine archives.
As late as 1997, George Burns still made the Giants' top ten in games, at-bats and runs and was their all-time stolen base leader, rankings he likely maintains today.
This one-of-a-kind, postcard-sized photograph depicts a major contributor to the 1920s New York Yankees dynasty, in his days as a minor leaguer. Future Yankee shortstop, Mark Koenig is seen here as part of the Moose Jaw infield. Interestingly, the year is identified as 1921 on the obverse and 1922 on the reverse of the photo. The other players shown include "Irish" O'Shaughnessy, Jurik Walters and Billie (?) Rose. In addition to his days with Murderers Row, Koenig was also the root cause of the famous 1932 Babe Ruth "called shot" as the Yankees and Cubs traded jabs when the Yanks became incensed that Koenig was only being offered a half share of pennant and series monies.
Another photograph from the Baseball Magazine archives, this image depicts Jack Scott and his brother departing the Polo Grounds after a World Series game. As such, this photo of the two getting into a waiting car could only have been taken from 1922 to 1924 and most likely originates either from 1922 or 1923, as Scott picthed during both series. He won one World Series game in 1922 when the Giants won the championship and lost one in 1923 when they lost the series.
This news service photograph is accompanied by a handwritten paper caption and is stamped on the back by the International Newsreel Corp.
These two photographs capture the heady days of the powerful tandem during the Yankees great Murderers Row run of the late 1920s.
The image of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig together was taken during the 1927 barnstorming tour, during which Ruth's "Bustin' Babes" took on Gehrig's "Larrupin' Lous" as they made their way across the country. This image of the two in their tour uniforms was distributed as a premium to those lucky enough to witness this greatest of baseball shows in person, and features facsimile autographs of the two greats. Exact year of origin of this vintage print is undetermined as the photo was oft-reprinted, however it is considerably sharper than many of these reprints and may be a 1920s or 30s print.
The photographs of Gehrig following-through on his mighty swing could only have been taken between 1927 and 1931, when the team wore the name "Yankees" on their road jerseys. This particular news photo was issued by the Apex Photography Company of Chicago and was once in the archives of the old Chicago Sun, as per the "Sun Forum" notation on the reverse.
The stereoptic card, below, was issued in the 1920s by The Keystone View Co. as an "eye comfort and depth perception" test and features both Babe Ruth and cowboy, Tom Mix. A close-up of this in-action Ruth image also is highlighted below.
The tattered snapshot, below, capturing Babe Ruith and Yankee owner Jacob Ruppert, was taken between 1925 and 1930 -- as per the Babe's uniform.
For more Ruth and Gehrig photographs -- including an in-action 1932 World Series shot, multiple Ruth studio images and Gehrig's swearing-in as NYC Parole Commisioner -- check out the 1930-1939 Photograph Gallery (a link appears at the bottom of this page).
This photo of a prime Yankee stadium front row seating with New York Mayor John F. Hylan seated prominently was most likely taken at the owner's box in Yankee Stadium, c.1923-25. The possibility does exist that this is a pre-Yankee Stadium shot at the Polo Gorunds, but this is unlikely. The clarity of this news service photo is excellent and no service bureau markings or stamps can be found on the reverse -- leaving the news service of origin forever unknown.
Interestingly, when he took office, Mayor Hylan was quoted as follows: "[City workers] must not roll in city automobiles with cigars in their mouths...[or] be conspicuous at baseball games when they should be in their offices."
The Yankees' Bob Meusel is featured in this 1922 International Newsweel photograph. The younger brother of Iris Meusel, who played for the NY Giants, "Long" Bob was a stand-out hitter who could bat for average and distance. Indeed, in ten years with the Bombers and one with the Reds, he batted .309 and knocked 156 homeruns. He even led the Yanks in homers with 33, the year Babe Ruth missed 50 games (1925). Together with Ruth, Meusel was fined and suspended for barnstorrming after the 1921 season ended.
This photo was issued in July 1922, after Meusel and Ruth returned from their 39 day suspensions, with Meusel's hitting credited with helping the Yanks wrest first place from the Browns, as per the caption on the reverse.
An amazing photograph of Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker, his partner in hunting -- and possibly in fixing baseball games. This image captures the two on a day off, guns in hand, antlers from successful kills littering the ground.
This photo was issued by the Elliot News Service which frequently issued news posters for public display.
Although the exact date of this photo is unkown, Cobb and Speaker underwent tremendous scrutiny in 1926 after Dutch Leonard accused them of fixing and betting in rigged games. The two were banned, only to be reinstated by commisioner Landis. However, they both ended their careers not for the teams of their glory days, but playing for Connie Mack's Philadelphia Athletics.
The winner for the Reds of the first game of the 1919 "Black Sox" World Series, Dutch Ruether is seen here in 1926 when he was traded form the Senators to the NY Yankees. This photograph was issued by The Keystone View Co., which was also wll known for their strereoview images (two of which can be seen elsewhere on VintageBall -- one in the spotlight above) . This specimen also is notated as follows: "Please Return" -- something which obviously never happened!
Ruether played for 11 yeasr for the Cubs, Reds, Senators, Dodgers and Yankees, racking up a record of 137-95. He was one of the Yanks's starters in their famed 1927 season, but was eventually injured and lost his starting job to George Pipgras. Depsite this, he still won 13 games for the Bombers that championship season. His trade to the Yankes is referred to as a "surprise deal" in the paper caption on the photo's reverse.
Hall of Famer, Walter Johnson is seen in this snapshot shortly after his playing career ended. By the time he called it quites, he had piled up 417 wins and only 279 losses playing for less-than-great Washington Senators teams.
This image appears to have been captured in Griffith Stadium, most likely sometime during Johnson's tenure as manager of the Washington Nationals (1929-1932). There is a slight possibility that this picture may pre-date his Senators managerial days, as he managed the Newark Bears of the International League for half of the 1928 season.
Boasting exceptional crispness, this photo depicts the "Big Train" shortly after hanging up his spikes and he appears ready to jump back on the mound, his long arms seemingly beginning to tilt back for a wind-up.
This Associated Press photo of Rabbit Maranville crossing home plate in the second inning of Game 2 off the 1928 World Series is a great image. The future Hall of Famer is seen just as his foot touches home plate during that three-run inning, while six figures in the Yankee dugout look on. The crowd can be seen following the action at the cnter of the field, along with Yankee catcher, Benny Bengough.
Despite the Cradinals outburst in this inning, the team eventually lost this game by a score of 9 to 3 and was swept in four games by the powerful Yankees. Maranville led all Cardinal regulars in batting in the World Serie, hitting .308 and playing in all four games.
This odd 1925 stereoview depicts a posed Yale baseball player hitting "A Sacrifice Hit." Unlike most stereo cards, this speciment is printed in color on a white card stock with no curvature. This image is one in a series of posed baseball shots.
This intiguing snapshot of Yankee Stadium hails from the archives of one of the construction companies involved in erecting the monumental ballpark. Most likely from the Osborne Engineering Co., this image features the famous facade, grandstand, flag pole with distinctive bat weathervane and the back of the stadium scoreboard. This shot originates either from 1923 or from the 1930s when the stadium recived some new accoutrements.
The reverse features a stamp identifying the photographic paper (Kodak's Glosso) as well as the lab that developed the print (Fowler & Slater).
SPOTLIGHT: 1922 TOUR OF JAPAN
The two photographs above both originate from the estate of Hall of Famer, George Kelly (about whom more is featured above in this 1920s Photograph Gallery), and depict the 1922 Herb Hunter All Star Tour of Japan team -- both on and off the field. Click on the images to enlarge and to learn more about this historic tour of Japan.
The team, which was co-managed by major leaguer, Herb Hunter, and sportswriter, Fred Lieb, boasted a roster of stars including Walter Johnson, Casey Stengel, Waite Hoyt, George "Highpockets" Kelly, Herb Pennock, Luke Sewell, Bibb Falk and Ted Lyons.
The image at top captures the team on the deck of one of the ships which ferried them across the Pacific Ocean. The second photo is slightly larger than a typical snapshot, depicting the all-stars on the field of play.