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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Earl Smith: 192x

Earl Smith: 192x

Earl Smith, New York National League (Giants). Date written on this glass-plate negative is June 9, 1923. Although another from this 5181 series of pictures taken at the Polo Grounds has "5/13/20" scratched into the emulsion. View full size. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection.

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Baseball Uniforms

According to the "Dressed to the Nines" baseball uniform database, the uniforms of both players match New York (batter) and Brooklyn (catcher) for 1920 and 1921. New York's home and Brooklyn's road uni's are virtually identical those years, including the socks. Brooklyn had a B on the right sleeve. It would be hard to detect the gray of the catcher's uniform. Even their caps were the same, except for logos.

Earl Smith

Smith was traded to Boston along with Jesse Barnes on June 7, 1923. The Giants received, in return, Hank Gowdy and Mule Watson. (Baseball Encyclopedia)

So it's 1920

According to Pete Kilduff retired after the 1921 season, playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers/Robins in 20 and 21. Let's check 1920.

Retrosheet shows the Giants hosting Brooklyn on May 5-7 1920, just days before the May 13 date given. May would also fit with the low attendence, since school would still be in session.

Oh, the Giants took 2 of 3 against Brookyn that week but finished 7 games behind the Robins, with Brooklyn losing the World Series 5-2 to Tris Speaker's Cleveland Indians.

Thanks for the lead on Kilduff, Dave.

Could this...

possibly be a photo of pre-game batting practice? The catcher appears to be wearing the same style/color uniform as Earl, the "crowd" is a bit sparse and that filthy home plate would bring shame to any whiskbroom-toting umpire.

(Note: in 1923, Smith only appeared in 24 games for the Giants, spending the remainder of the year [72 game appearances] with the Boston Braves although I've not been able to find the date he was traded).

Denny Gill
Chugiak, Alaska

1920? 1923?

According to Retrosheet, on June 9, 1923 the Giants played at Pittsburgh. Images of Forbes Field do not match the upper deck facade as shown here.

Retrosheet shows the Giants at Cincinnati on 5/13/20, and Crosley Field (called Redland Field in 1912-1933) appears similar (see for an example from 1938), but not identical.

However, the Polo Grounds does match (

So it appears the game was in New York, but on neither date given. I'm stumped without knowing who the opponent is.

[It's definitely the Polo Grounds. Another shot from this series shows Pete Kilduff of Brooklyn there on what would seem to be the same sparsely attended day. - Dave]

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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