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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.

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


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Today’s Top 5

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.

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