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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • THE TOY DEPARTMENT, 1913

Nats-Giants: 1924

Nats-Giants: 1924

October 10, 1924. Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C. "Peckinpaugh sees final World Series game from dugout on account of injuries." View full size.

 

Explaining "Nationals"

The franchise officially changed its name from Senators to Nationals in 1905 because of a horrifically bad year in 1904. It was this name change that the new Nationals was referring to with those logos which said "Washington Nationals: Established 1905." I'm sure the fact that this name change occurred exactly 100 years before the Expos moved to D.C. inspired this.

Anyway, although the team was officially called the Nationals, many people still called them the "Senators" as an unofficial nickname. Since the team only had a "W" on their uniform, who could tell? It wasn't until Clark Griffith died and Calvin took over that the team officially became the Senators and began putting that team name on the front of their uniforms. It's because the team was called the "NATionalS" for so long that people still referred to the "SeNATorS" as "Nats." "Senators" fans in Harrisburg and Ottawa refer to their teams as the "Sens."

Thank you!

Hey Dave:

Thanks so much! I actually have collected a lot of the the materials from the WPost archives (via the library website, bless them for this resource!) - put together a scapbook for my father's 80th birthday last year. FYI, the top two ads here are from my great-grandfather's store (Schwartz & Pelzman) while the others are from my grandfather's - the latter was the big baseball fan. I will forward to you a few of the Walter Johnson photos in case any of your DC baseball fans might be interested.

Thanks so much for the recommendations, as a fourth-generation Washingtonian, this blog is such a huge treat!!!

Fred Pelzman

For Jennifer:

Click here (National Photo) or here (Harris & Ewing) and use the top box to search for "baseball." Then click the "Preview images" button to see the thumbnails.

There are dozens of articles and ads related to your grandfather in the Washington Post archive. Which you can probably search from your public library's website (look for "ProQuest Historical Newspapers") if you have a library card. Below are some examples from 1901, 1915, 1932 and 1948.

WJ continued

Fred Pelzman's Fashion Shop ... I can send you images of some of the ads with his logo, if that would be helpful - Jennifer

Walter Johnson

I actually have quite a few photos of Walter Johnson with my grandfather, who was a big fan. Shorpy, any interest?

Hanging in my foyer is a front page newspaper photo of him with Johnson, Goose Goslin and a few other players - he gave a free suit to any player who hit home runs (my grandfather owned a popular downtown men's clothing store).

For years I have been searching for a photo of Griffith stadium that included a view of my grandfather's ad that was hung in the stadium ... I have been through the LOC website and the MLK reading room with only one very poor result ... anyone have any other suggestions for me?

[It would help if we knew his name or the name of his store. - Dave]

A hatted world

This is hardly a new observation, but I can't help but be struck by the fact that every head one can make out in this photo is crowned. Nowhere does it seem to stand out more than in old photos of baseball stadium crowds - photos of people enjoying what most of us in today's world would consider an occasion that calls for very casual attire. What does this say about us, and about prior generations?

Roger P

Roger Peckinpaugh was well regarded in his day, frequently a captain of his ballclub. In fact, at age 23, he managed the New York Yankees for a brief spell.

However, the Nationals probably wished ol' Peck was in an overcoat 12 months after this picture was taken, and not playing shortstop.

Even though he was the American League's Most Valuable Player in 1925, he butchered the 1925 World Series against the Pittsburgh Pirates with some awful fielding. He committed a peck of errors.

Still and all, he spent a lifetime in the game and rose to executive officer with his hometown Cleveland Indians. He enjoyed an interesting career and lived until his 80's.

Nats-Giants: 1924

Having been a diehard and frustrated Washington Senators fan for most of my first 30 years, I find it oddly appropriate that their only World Championship was won in the seventh game on a bad-hop single in the bottom of the twelfth inning.

Johnson's motion

I love the picture. I can smell the sweat and chewing tobacco wafting through the humid early October, D.C. air.

I was looking to see if Walter Johnson was visible. He threw a submarine side-arm pitch which caught people off guard because of the deceptive velocity. I believe that Ty Cobb took advantage of Johnson's fear of maiming a batter, and purposely crowded the plate after a full count. Ken Burn's "Baseball" has a nice segment about Johnson and provides rare footage of his pitching style.

Click.

Notice the Graflex Super D on the top step of the dugout.

Old Memories

I had forgotten the Senators being called the Nationals until I saw this. I grew up in Baltimore, home of the Orioles, and the local sports reports often included the Senators results probably because the radio broadcast area reached Prince Georges County where many federal workers lived.

What a change the stadiums have seen in 80-odd years!

The Big Train

His house is still located out in Rockville which, in 1924, was far from downtown D.C. and just a small village. The NIH wasn't yet a dream, but would be just a mile away later. Contrast this photo with a modern dugout design! Makes Camden Yards look palatial!

Isn't it the Senators?

The old American League Washington Senators became the Twins and have nothing to do with the current Washington Nationals.

[The team was called the Nationals because Washington is the national capital. In 1924, hardly anyone called them the Senators. Below: Washington Post front page from the next day, October 11. - Dave]

The Big Train Finally Wins

This is the game that Walter Johnson, at age 36, pitches the final four shutout innings to nail down his and the Nationals' first (and last) World Series win.

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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