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Virtual Baseball: 1924

Virtual Baseball: 1924

August 29, 1924. "Crowd at Washington Star scoreboard for A.L. Pennant game, Nationals-New York." The Nats beat the Yankees 5-1. A demonstration of the 1920s mania for baseball (and the straw boater), at just about the time radio was making mechanical scoreboards obsolete. National Photo Co. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

This one is perfect for...

a jigsaw puzzle!

The Real Hall of Famers.

This Nats lineup was loaded with Hall of Famers, and was almost certainly the greatest lineup in the history of Washington baseball. The Yankees though were still a little short of their H of F glory years to come.

For Washington:
Walter Johnson
Goose Goslin
Sam Rice
and player-manager Bucky Harris

For the Yanks:
only the Babe

Other HoFers on the field

@Edvado : Besides Johnson and Ruth, Washington's Bucky Harris, Sam Rice, and Goose Goslin would join the Baseball Hall of Fame. Wally Pipp is not in the Hall.

Why the Yanks lost

Was because Mr. Gehrig was a year away. There's Wally Pipp batting fifth. Better not get a headache any time soon Mr. Pipp.

Baseball Cap

In that vast sea of straw hats (and the occasional cloth cap), a cursory glance spots only one baseball cap. (Just to the left of the small tree, center right in the picture). You'd think that today it would be just the opposite!

Pipp Pipp, Hooray

Hard to imagine, even in today's sports-obsessed world, a crowd of people standing on a street corner waiting for a score. Of course, technology means none of us have to do that, but it's still fascinating to see the difference between then and now.

I also noticed on the scoreboard that the First Baseman for the Yankees was Wally Pipp. Pipp would become infamous the next year when replaced in the lineup, due to a hitting slump, by a kid named Lou Gehrig. Pipp never got his starting position back with the Yanks.


I believe they were called the Senators back in 1924 and not the Nationals. I also believe in was the New York Giants and not the Yankees that played in this game.

I did not see that this was the AL playoff game. Sorry. The Nationals name derives from the former Washington baseball team which had the same name (used interchangeably with Senators). Their nickname is "the Nats"—a shortened version that was also used by the old D.C. teams.

Hall of Famers

For the Yankees:
Batting third: Babe Ruth
Batting fifth: Wally Pip

For the Nationals:
Pitching: Walter Johnson

And probably a couple more.

Could it be?

another sale on straw hats?

Amber Waves

It must have taken all the straw in Nebraska to make all those hats!

Gregarious ain't we?

Humans. We all cluster together. I can find only five women and three african americans in this crowd. But really, the most remarkable thing seems to me how they all wore hats back then. Perhaps this was a way to cover unwashed hair? Seems odd.

Almost time for my namesake to show up

That is, at least my screen namesake. Lefler joined the Nats from Worcester of the Eastern League on September 18.

Optimism about a baseball season in Washington this spring is the highest it's been since, well, long before I was born. (Of course not having a team to be optimistic about was the norm for about 33 years.) My expectations are tempered and it's a more cynical, partisan country we now live in, but the kid in me would love to see this kind of excitement in the District again.

Packed Like Sardines

Pickpockets must have been having a field day, so to speak.

Walter Johnson Wins

Walter Johnson bests Bullet Joe Bush for his 18th win of the year. No Gehrig in the lineup that day -- his time will come the next year when Wally Pipp sits out a game with that famous headache.

Got to be one in every crowd

A real wise guy. Yeah, you.

IV League

It almost looks like the scoreboard has a crude "LED display" for both teams' runs using Roman numerals. The odd arrangement of bulbs looks like you could display an assortment of X, V, and III characters.

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