As I said to Bella in yesterday’s comment section. Perhaps all I needed to get hooked on a computer game was to find one appropriately pretentious enough. Which is why it’s not enough to just play Strat-o-matic baseball. No, I am playing the games using the major league teams from the 1909 baseball season. Oddly enough, having read several books about the dead ball era, like The Glory of Their Times, and Crazy 08, I am more familiar with the players from 1909 than I am with the current major leaguers. If that’s not pretentious, then I don’t understand the meaning of the word.
Which is all a lead in to saying that I spent my hour of free time last night playing games instead of writing a blog post. So today’s posting is going to be light on words, and heavy on pictures. I’m turning the dial of the Wayback Machine to 1909. It’s time to put on your bowler hats folks, we’re gong to the ball game.
Clark Griffith of the Washington Senators, taking batting practice in the stadium that would later bear his name.
Same vantage from Ebbets', looking out at the field. Back in the days when Brooklyn was rural.
The Red Sox, playing the White Sox in 1904 at South Side Park, Chicago
The Philadelphia Athletics, getting ready for their opening day game against the Highlanders (Yankees) at Hill Top Park in NYC.
George "Slats" McConnell, warming up before the game with Michael Cann. Even the nicknames in 1908 were awesome.
The 4th game of the 1912 World Series, between the NY Giants and the Boston Red Sox, at the Polo Grounds in NY.
Fred Snodgrass of the Giants, at the 1911 World Series
NY manager John McGraw, one of the finest cusser's in all of baseball, with catcher Chief Myers. Every player in MLB with a drop of Indian blood was called Chief back then.
Cincinnati's audaciously named "Palace of the Fans". A ball park that looked like an outdoor Opera House.
Speaking of architecturally significant ballparks, here's Shibe Park in Philadephia
Shibe Park, crowd milling about before 1914 World Series
Washington Park, Brooklyn New York. Flag Raising before game between the Buffalo Bisons, and Brooklyn Federals, of the upstart Federal League. 1914
White Sox vs. Cubs for the City Championship Series, at West Side Park in 1909
Smoky Joe Wood of the Red Sox, at Fenway. One of the greatest fastball pitchers of his day
League Park, Cleveland, Ohio. Back when the ballparks were made of wood, and the men were made of steel.
Boston vs. New York, at the Huntington, Avenue Grounds in Boston. For big games they would sell standing room tickets for the outfield, just to get more people in the gate.
and that’s enough for one day. All photos are from the Library of Congress. I’ve downloaded them over the years because, obviously. Click on them. Some of them have amazing detail.