PORTRAIT OF THREE OLD TIME BASEBALL PLAYERS (VINTAGE REAL PHOTO POSTCARD)

Welcome to Mudville. This vintage real photo postcard features three uniformed baseball players. The young men are wearing the uniform of St. Joseph school. Two of the players are wearing fielding gloves and the player in the middle is equipped with a catcher’s glove. The ball players appear to be standing on a ball field in front of empty bleachers. The AZO stamp box on the reverse of this photo postcard indicates that the postcard was published sometime between 1926 and the 1940’s.

Published in: on March 7, 2017 at 9:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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THE GIRLS OF SUMMER: WOMENS SOFTBALL TEAM (1934 VINTAGE PHOTOGRAPH)

softball

This vintage photograph features a women’s softball team. Judging by their smiles, the ladies were in a happy mood at the time this photograph was taken. The image was produced in the year 1934 which the text on the photo indicates celebrates “a century of progress”. Two of the players are wearing baseball caps but no baseball equipment or team logo is visible in the photograph. At that time in softball history, many leagues required the players not to use gloves.  It is also notable that this team photo includes eleven players rather than the expected baseball nine. Women’s softball teams of that era employed ten players on the field with the tenth player occupying the position of short centerfield. Perhaps the eleventh player in the photo is the coach/manager or possibly a substitute. It is also interesting to note that “A Century of Progress” was the slogan for the 1933 World’s Fair.The exposition was held along the lakefront of Chicago, Illinois. The fair was operated from June 1-November 1, 1933, and May 26-October 31, 1934. It is a safe assumption that this image was taken at the Chicago Worlds Fair grounds. Softball was one of the few team sports available to women during the 1930’s, 1940’s,and 1950’s. During the 1930’s, softball was a very popular sport around the United States. In 1933 the newly established Amateur Softball Association sponsored the first national fast pitch softball tournament for women. The association tied the tournament to the Chicago Worlds Fair. In the initial competition, eight women’s teams competed against each other. It is worth mentioning that some sources report that the games were actually sponsored by a duo comprised of a sports writer and a sporting goods salesman. This wonderful memento of softball history measures 3″ x 4 3/4″ and based on the black paper residue on it’s reverse, once found it’s home in someone’s photo album.

Published in: on July 19, 2015 at 12:00 pm  Comments (3)  
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MISS LILLIAN RAYMOND: PRETTY STAGE ACTRESS WHOSE LIFE WAS CUT SHORT BY TUBERCULOSIS

lillian raymond_0008On July 17th, 1911, the New York Times printed the following obituary, reporting from Louisville, Kentucky. “Lillian Dolfinger, known to the theatrical world as Lillian Raymond,  who appeared in “The Girl of the Golden West’, and several other New York productions, died today at the home of her father here from tuberculosis. She was 25 years old. Miss Raymond was to appear in one of the New York productions this Fall, but became ill”. Investigation revealed that Miss Raymond appeared on Broadway on three occassions. She appeared in “Wonderland” (1905), “About Town” (1906), and “The Girl Behind the Counter” (1907). All three shows were musicals. No other information about Miss Raymond could be found during preliminary research. The photographer of this image is C. J. Horner who described himself through his advertising as a “European Photographer. His studio was located at 11 Winter Street in Boston, Massachusetts. It is tragic that Lillian Raymond’s stage career and life was cut short by illness.  We will never know to what heights this pretty young actress may have climbed in the theatrical world.  The photographer of this image rose to lofty heights in his profession. Swedish born Carl Joseph Horner (1864-1926) was probably the best sports photographer of his era. He was particularly known for his baseball photographs, many of which appeared on tobacco company issued baseball cards. Among the players he photographed were Cy Young and Tris Speaker. His panoramic portrait of the 1912 “Red Sox Champions” is well known among collectors.

EARLY BASEBALL PLAYER: WAS HE ON THE ROSTER OF THE MANHATTAN COLLEGE JASPERS?

A young baseball player in uniform, poses for a photographer at an unknown studio in this antique photograph. Did he play for the Manhattan College Jaspers? Lets investigate some college and baseball history! Manhattan College, a Catholic school, was established in 1853 as the Academy of the Holy Infancy. The school became a college in 1859 and the schools name became Manhattan College in 1863. The school coexisted with Manhattan College High School, which was originally founded in 1854. The high school served as a prep school and many of its graduates went on to attend Manhattan College. Manhattan College had a baseball team early in its history as well as early in baseball’s history. The college played the New York Giants annually in the late 1880’s and into the 1890’s. They played their games at the Polo Grounds. An interesting side note is that Manhattan College is credited by Baseball’s Hall of Fame, as creating the “seventh inning stretch” which was later adopted by the Major Leagues. In addition, 28 players from Manhattan College have made it to Major League Baseball. The Manhattan College team is named the “Jaspers” The name originates from an individual, Brother Jasper,  who served the college in the late nineteenth century and brought baseball to the school. He also was the teams first coach. The question remains; is the player in the photograph a former member of the collegiate Jaspers? Is he a former member of the prep school team; or is he a member of some other team from a non New York town called Manhattan? Perhaps a visitor to this site will pitch hit for this writer and determine just which Manhattan team this young man played for.