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Play Ball: 1902

Play Ball: 1902

Detroit circa 1902. "Photochrom Company building, side view." In the early 20th century, the Photochrom chromolithography process was licensed by William Henry Jackson and his partners to make millions of color postcards from the black-and-white Detroit Publishing glass negatives (like this one) seen here on Shorpy. The lot next door was a good spot for pickup ballgames. View full size.


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Vermont and Alexandrine

A 1916 directory of the Detroit Board of Commerce lists the Photochrom Co.'s address as Vermont and Alexandrine Streets, an intersection one block south of Grand River Avenue, a short distance from downtown. The company was also on a 1907 list of property owners given notice by publication of street assessments for the costs of an improvement to Vermont Street. This building - like so many in Detroit - is gone. While vacant lots are plentiful in Detroit once again, kids playing baseball on them are not.


Was the name of the game in Little Rock. You could play for hours with as few as 4 or 5. I liked it because you saw a lot of action and you didn't have to embarrass anybody by choosing up sides.

Pickup games

Definitely a thing of the past. I haven't seen a group of neighborhood kids playing pickup in many years. All too busy playing video games alone in their rooms.

Luxury boxes

The early days.

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