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[Casey Stengel, full-length portrait, wearing sunglasses, while playing outfield for the Brooklyn Dodgers] (LOC)

[Casey Stengel, full-length portrait, wearing sunglasses, while playing outfield for the Brooklyn Dodgers] (LOC) [Three baseball players (boys) wearing Cleveland uniforms] (LOC) Amateur championship game, Telling's Strollers vs. Hanna's Cleaners, Brookside Stadium, Sept. 20, 1914, attendance 100,000 (LOC) Harry Wright, man'g, Phila. (LOC) Baseball team, Eymard Seminary, Suffern, N.Y. (LOC) Michael J. "King" Kelly (LOC) Playing baseball at Madison, New Jersey (LOC) The famous world beaters St. Louis Browns (LOC) Ruth knocked out (LOC) Bachelor Baseball Club (LOC) [African American baseball team, Danbury, Connecticut] (LOC) [Billy Sunday, Chicago White Stockings, baseball card portrait] (LOC) [John J. Evers, Chicago Cubs, baseball card portrait] (LOC) Evers, Chicago Nationals (LOC) Metropolitan baseball nine 1882 (LOC) [Boston, American League base ball grounds, players and bleachers] (LOC) Baseball game, Manzanar Relocation Center, Calif. (LOC) 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 (LOC) [Monte Ward, New York Giants, baseball card portrait] (LOC) The Ball Team. Composed mainly of glass workers. Indiana. Aug. 1908. L.W.H. [Lewis Wickes Hine].  (LOC)

For the enjoyment of sports fans and photo fans alike, this set of old (old) pictures illustrates how baseball came to be known as the “national pastime” in the United States.

You’ll see players in all shapes and sizes, from the 1860s to the 1940s. You can observe local teams that gathered in neighborhoods, schools, factories, and elsewhere. You can also gaze at national stars like King Kelly, Casey Stengel in sunglasses, and Babe Ruth knocked out.

This introduction to the vast and varied baseball resources at the Library of Congress comes to you from a new book called Baseball Americana: Treasures from the Library of Congress.

The book features a lively narrative overview of the game's history told through prints, drawings, cartoons, posters, advertisements, photographs, maps, produce and tobacco labels, early motion-picture film frames, sheet-music covers, and ephemera. A two-day symposium on baseball at the Library on October 2-3, 2009, adds to the story with a new collection of oral histories.

Who Took the Photos for Baseball Cards?

Paul Thompson, for one. He captured vivid portraits of players in the dugouts at New York ballparks using a 5 x7 inch view camera in 1910. Result: Johnny Evers on a gold border baseball card in 1911.

Try your own hand at matchingother Thompson portraits to baseball cards at the LOC!
(Hint: the Johnny Evers portrait also appeared on a Hassan Triple Folder with Frank Chance.)

More Baseball from LOC in Flickr

The Bain News Service photographs in Flickr offer hundreds of baseball images.

Learn More About LOC Baseball Collections

- Baseball Americana: Treasures from the Library of Congress. By Harry Katz, Frank Ceresi, Phil Michel, Wilson McBee, and Susan Reyburn. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Books/HarperCollins in association with the Library of Congress, 2009, 60.html

- Historic Baseball Resources,

23 photos | 30,007 views

Comments on this set

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fotogail  Pro User  says:

Thank you. This is history that means so much to so many of us.
Posted 40 months ago. ( permalink )

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Mr Flikker  Pro User  says:

I got here from the Flickr blog --- --- which said something like "If it's October, it must be time for the baseball pennant race!"

As any baseball fan knows, that is SO wrong -- especially as far as the guys depicted in these old photos were concerned. The pennant races used to END by October, when the World Series would begin. Funny, no one much mentions pennants anymore, perhaps because of these rapidly proliferating series --- I mean, come on, the "division" series? It's only recently that we have the interminable "postseason," to which the folks at ESPN are now verbally flogging, and probably blogging, adding another round. Let's just get it over with, and make it like hockey, where if you have a .500 record you have a good chance of making the playoffs. Start it in September -- who has patience for a 162-game "regular" season? That's so 20th century.
Posted 40 months ago. ( permalink )

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Casa de Dogpoop  Pro User  says:

I heard about this book on NPR today. Wonderful photos!
Posted 37 months ago. ( permalink )

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James Taylor8 says:

Absolutely, simply stunning. They're beautiful..
Posted 5 months ago. ( permalink )

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Zoar3 says:

I agree with you Casa
Posted 4 months ago. ( permalink )

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