SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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About the Photos

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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Hit and Miss: 1941

Hit and Miss: 1941

December 1941. "Baseball game at school of Tygart Valley Homesteads. Dailey, West Virginia." Medium format negative by Arthur Rothstein. View full size.

To stay online without a paywall or a lot of pop-up ads, Shorpy needs your help. (Our server rental alone is $3,000 a year.) You can contribute by becoming a Patron, or by purchasing a print from the Shorpy Archive. Or both! Read more about our 2019 pledge drive here. Our last word on the subject is: Thanks!

Hitting like Ty Cobb

Ty Cobb (lifetime batting average .367) batted with hands separated. More recently, Nellie Fox (Hall of Fame) did the same.

Hands separated gives more control of the barrel and better ability to hold back on a bad pitch. On the other hand, it means less power and fewer home runs. Nellie hit 35 home runs in a 19-year career.

Rocky times

When I was a kid, we also routinely used rocks and bricks as bases, backyard or sandlot. Of course, in the backyard, it as a common occurrence to have my dad yell at us when he either hit them with the lawnmower, or just missed them and had to move them in the middle of mowing. It never seemed to take, of course, we did it again at the next opportunity.

This sort of thing appears to be a lost experience. Now no one goes around getting up kids from the neighborhood to play baseball (or a dirt clod fight, or whatever), mommy signs them up for activities, takes them there, other adults supervise it all and arrange it all, and little Jimmy never learns to deal with others himself. Just like the gravel playground picture from the other day, with everyone either in a fight or about to start one - that's how you learn conflict resolution, not by constant supervision from adults in planned activities.

Dare I say it?

It appears she was "hitting like a girl" from the way her hands ended up. I was never any better as a batter, so I have avoided sports in every way since I was younger than the catcher!

The timing of the photo is excellent, though, and that face! She tried so hard ...

A League Of Her Own

Maybe too young for the soon-to-be Rockford Peaches or Kalamazoo Lassies, but she sure fits their planned bill with that smart looking overcoat, nicely painted nails, and of course one very gritty look on her face with that upright swing. What a gamer. Methinks kid brother there knows who the player is in the family.

Stepping Stone

Wonder how many batters trip over home plate when running to first?

That Home Base Stone

triggered a lot of memories from the past. Growing up in the 1940s and '50s, we did not have a permanent baseball field near home so we had to set up our own in someone's big back yard or a nearby field. It usually started with a search for flat stones for bases and a board to designate the pitcher's mound. The distances apart depended on the size of the yard or field. Home base in this photo would have been the site of a future sprained ankle.

Diamond in the rough

I bet no one tried sliding into home.

SHORPY OLD 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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