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Cedargrove Sluggers: 1939

Cedargrove Sluggers: 1939

1939. "Fourth of July near Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Rural filling stations become community centers and general loafing grounds. The men in the baseball suits are on a local team which will play a game nearby. They are called the Cedargrove Team." Medium-format negative by Dorothea Lange. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

Was the U.S. economy

once based on cigarettes and cola?


In Alabama a broom set up like this means there is moonshine for sale in the store.

The feeling is mutual

I like 7 Up.

July 4, 1939

In another baseball-related moment on that day, Lou Gehrig was delivering his "Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth" speech at Yankee Stadium.

Hey, Fellas--

No roughhousin' on the front porch and if you bust any of them pop bottles you're payin' for 'em.

The young guy on the right

with the big smile looks just like Bob Feller, formerly of the Cleveland Indians.

Like Josh Gibson?

The first thing I noticed in this photo was the incongruity between the young man in overalls' shoes and the rest of his clothing. I also wondered if, behind his bemused expression, he might have been thinking "I'd show these boys what I can do if they'd only let me play." Jackie Robinson wouldn't make his mark until nearly a decade in the future.

Then, noticing the catcher's mitt tucked between his thighs and how he sits tipped back in his chair, I thought of another player who could very well have broken the color line in Major League Baseball. It was once said of Josh Gibson, "There is a catcher that any big league club would like to buy for two-hundred thousand dollars. He can do everything. He hits the ball a mile, catches so easily he might as well be in a rocking chair, throws like a rifle. Bill Dickey isn't as good a catcher. Too bad this Gibson is a colored fellow." The source of that quote: a frequent subject here at Shorpy, Walter Johnson.

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