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Base Ball To-Day: 1908

Base Ball To-Day: 1908

Detroit circa 1908. "Woodward Avenue looking north from Opera House corner." Our title is lifted from the streetcar. 8x10 inch glass negative. View full size.


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Trolley sign

I have a book on the Detroit Street Railway system, and in it is a picture of a very similar trolley. The only difference is the destination sign, in this case it is "Third". Otherwise, it is the same down to the "Baseball To-day" sign. Date is 1912.

Credit to Detroit's Street Railways, by Kenneth Schramm.

& Blackwell

It's possible that this photo is slightly misdated. All the way to the left you can see the end of a sign for the Pardridge & Blackwell department store. Near the end of 1906 though, Pardridge & Blackwell moved into their brand new store building a block east of this scene. Unfortunately, they soon ran into significant financial trouble and were forced to go out of business and give up that store to new owners, Crowley, Milner & Co. "Crowley's" would remain a core part of downtown Detroit for the next 70 years.

Art Not So Nouveau

By 1908 that Art Nouveau script in the Wright Kay Jewelers sign on the far right would have been getting a little passe. I'm impressed by the width of the sidewalks! They are roads on their own! And I feel sorry for the two ladies crossing right to left from the corner in front of the Wright Kay Jeweler as they are having to navigate some "deposits" left by the horses while wearing those long skirts. Women of the time must have had to deal with stained and dusty clothes quite a bit, I suppose! No doubt they were relieved when the horses were phased out over the coming 10 years. I often forget how dirty (and foul smelling) cities were at the time.

Not Much Left, Except ...

The distinctive arched upper windows of the Elliott Building, built in 1894 and home for decades to the S.S. Kresge store, are a dead giveaway for the handsome building back to to the left. Now home to pricey condos and spacious urban apartments. And today, Base Ball is one word and you would not need the streetcar. It's played close by at Comerica Park, just four blocks away by foot.

Moon Tower?

Is that moon tower in the background one of the thirty one that was purchased by Austin and still stand at Zilker and parts of the downtown?

[It's a moonlight tower. - Dave]

Ty Cobb led the league in several categories that year.

Doubles, triples, RBI's, insolent people slapped ...

Bumpy road

On the left is Fred Sanders' Pavilion of Sweets. Sanders is an institution in Detroit, known for its candy, hot fudge and cream puffs. Although their claim as the inventor of the ice cream soda is unlikely, they did invent the Bumpy Cake - chocolate cake with buttercream ridges, covered in chocolate ganache.

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