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Baseball Card Exchange

Home Runs, Brawls and Foul Balls

1957 Brawl at Brooklyn's Ebbits Field, including Gil Hodges, Walt Alston, and Eddie Mathews (41) throwing a punch at Don Drysale.

1957 Brawl at Brooklyn’s Ebbits Field, including Gil Hodges, Walt Alston, and Eddie Mathews (41) throwing a punch at Don Drysale. The fight started when Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Drysale hit Milwaukee Braves batter Johnny Logan with a pitch.

New Jersey resident Jack Torsiello recently showed me his collection of choice photographs of New York baseball by former photographers for the New York Daily News.

The photos with first-generation images from 1957 and 1961 are rare in format in that they are mounted to heavy boards and oversized at around 16 x 16 inches each. Jumbo sized news photos, especially when mounted as these are, are rarer and worth more than their smaller counterparts. Along with showing great game action, the backs have cataloging numbers and the newspaper clippings detailing what’s going on in the images, giving the date and photographer. Each mount has edge tape, suggesting the photos were originally housed in book-style form. Some of the images are unpublished outtakes, likely never before seen by the public.

The key photo in the collection shows Yankee Roger Maris hitting his 61st home run in 1961, breaking Babe Ruth’s single season record. The crystal clear, first generation image was shot by Pulitzer Prize winner Frank Hurley. Many of the other photos are also by Hurley.

For your viewing pleasure, the following are some of the photos from collection. Click on the images to enlarge the images.

Roger Maris hitting 61 in 1961, by Frank Hurley.  This shows how the jumbo photos are pasted to boards, and with edge tape suggesting they were once bound together.

Roger Maris hitting 61 in 1961, by Frank Hurley. This shows how the jumbo photos are pasted to boards, and with edge tape suggesting they were once bound together.

The back of the Maris photo shows how the back of the boards have the newspaper clipping (a photographic copy in this case) and editor's handwritten text.  The clippings were used to catalog and keep track of what was going on in the images.  Useful for the modern collector too.

The back of the Maris photo shows how the back of the boards have the newspaper clipping (a photographic copy in this case) and editor’s handwritten text. The clippings were used to catalog and keep track of what was going on in the images. Useful for the modern collector too.

The same fight as shown earlier.  Some of the boards have composite images, with individual photos from a scene grouped together.

The same fight as shown earlier. Some of the boards have composite images, with individual photos from a scene grouped together.

Yankees outfielder stealing a home run from Angels' Ken Hunt.  Sequence composite photo from 1961.

Yankees outfielder stealing a home run from Angels’ Ken Hunt. Sequence composite photo from 1961.

New York Giants' Daryl Spencer having trouble fielding a grounder from Dodgers' Gino Cimoli.

New York Giants’ Daryl Spencer having trouble fielding a grounder from Dodgers’ Gino Cimoli.

New York Yankees Howard trying in vain to catch a home run by the A's Vic Powers at Yankees Stadium.

New York Yankees Howard trying in vain to catch a home run by the A’s Vic Powers at Yankees Stadium.

Yankee in the bullpen catching a Yogi Berra home run at Yankee Stadium.

Yankee in the bullpen catching a Yogi Berra home run at Yankee Stadium.

Cincinnati Reds' George Crow fighting a fan over a foul ball.

Cincinnati Reds’ George Crow fighting a fan over a foul ball.

Boston Red Sox Jimmy Piersal duking (and kicking) it out with Yankees fans.

Volatile Boston Red Sox outfielder Jimmy Piersal duking (and kicking) it out with Yankees fans.

About David Cycleback

David Cycleback is an art and artifacts historian and an internationally known authentication expert. He has advised and examined material for major auction houses and institutions, was a writer for the Encyclopedia of Nineteenth Century Photography, and teaches courses in art authentication. Reprinted by Beijing's Three Shadows Art Center, his guides "Judging the Authenticity of Prints by the Masters" and "Judging the Authenticity of Photographs" were the first comprehensive books on the subjects published in China. You can find his books for sale on eBay here: http://bit.ly/1mixAcg. He can be reached at [email protected].

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