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Collection By Popular Demand: Jackie Robinson and Other Baseball Highlights, 1860s-1960s

Players

Ty Cobb, Detroit, and Joe Jackson, Cleveland, standing alongside each other, holding bats. Photographic print, copyright 1913. (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction number: LC-USZ62-97880 (b&w))

Two of the greatest hitters the game has known appear in this photograph. Over a twenty-four year career, Ty Cobb compiled a .367 batting average. Jackson, who was traded to the White Sox in 1915, averaged .356. Jackson's career lasted only thirteen years. Commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis banned Jackson from baseball for his involvement in the 1919 conspiracy to throw the World Series, since known as the Black Sox Scandal.

Casey Stengel, wearing sunglasses while playing outfield for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Photographic print by Bain News Service, 1915. (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction number: LC-USZ62-71745 (b&w))

Casey Stengel, "The Old Professor," had a fourteen-year career as a player for five National League teams. Stengel is most closely identified with the New York Yankees, whom he managed to ten pennants in twelve years, and the New York Mets, whom he later managed with quite the opposite results.

Stengel was also known for his convoluted way of speaking, later dubbed, "Stengelese." In 1954, Gayle Taylor of the Associated Press spoke of Stengel's communication skills, "By talking in the purest jabberwocky he has learned that he can avoid answering questions, and at the same time leave his audience struggling against a mild form of mental paralysis." (Pg. 374, The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

Cy Young, Boston Red Sox pitcher, throwing a baseball at Huntington Avenue Grounds, Boston. Photographic print by Bain News Service, July 23, 1908. (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction number: (P&P LC-USZ62-77897 (b&w))

Cy Young won 511 major league baseball games; more than any other pitcher. The outstanding nature of his achievement is recognized through the Cy Young Award, which honors the best pitchers in baseball.

Armando Marsans. Photographic print by Bain News Service, 1912. (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction number: LC-USZ62-105850 (b&w))

Outfielder Armando Marsans was one of the first Cubans to play major league ball in the United States. He began his career in the Cuban league, then joined the Cincinnati Reds in 1911. He left the majors after spending the 1918 season with the New York Yankees.

Roger Bresnahan, catching for the New York Giants while a Pittsburgh Pirate player is at bat. Photographic print by Bain News Service, Sept. 18, 1908. (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction number: LC-USZ62-97877 (b&w))

Hall of Fame catcher Roger Bresnahan pioneered the use of shin guards behind home plate, although initially, he was ridiculed for publicly protecting his legs from foul balls, players' spikes, and flying bats.

Play at the plate: Bill Reynolds catching for the New York Yankees while a player named Seitz slides under him at home plate. Photographic print by Bain News Service, 1913 or 1914. (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction number: LC-USZ62-66478 (b&w))

Based on the names on the negative and the general time period of the Bain Collection, it seems likely that this photograph shows Bill Reynolds, who played for the Yankees in 1913 and 1914. No information was found on Seitz in the standard baseball encyclopedias.

William J. Klem, baseball umpire. Photograph by Bain Bews Service, Oct. 5, 1914. (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction number: LC-USZ62-68300 (b&w))

Bill Klem is widely considered one of the best umpires the game has seen. A highly contentious arbiter in the National League for more than thirty years, he umpired in eighteen World Series and was elected to the Hall of Fame. Despite their importance to the game, umpires often faced harsh opinions of their role. In Pitching in a Pinch, Christy Mathewson wrote, "many fans look upon an umpire as a sort of necessary evil to the luxury of baseball, like the odor that follows an automobile."

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