Big league baseball returned to Milwaukee in 1970 but it wasn’t the first time for the city by the shore of Lake Michigan. In the late 19th century, the first iteration of the Brewers came in the Western League. Their player/manager was Connie Mack and the Tall Tactician is front and center on a rare cabinet photograph that’s up for auction.
The RMY Auctions Photo of the Day is a 4 ¼” x 6 ½” composite capturing 15 members of the uniformed Brewers with Mack in the middle. Exceptionally rare, only one other example has been confirmed to exist.
Images of Mack as a player are extremely rare. On the managerial side, he was given credit for helping teach the struggling Brewers how to win after being hired by Milwaukee owner Ban Johnson. He would continue in the game for more than 50 years, accepting an offer to manage the Philadelphia Athletics of the new American League in 1901.
In the center of the photo are the words “Milwaukee Baseball Club” and below is a banner with the words “1897 Season.” The name of the photography studio, “H Hercher” appears at the lower left and “Milwaukee” in the lower right.
The photo resided in a newspaper archive for many years and remnants of a small article attached to the back remain.
The Brewers would eventually become the St. Louis Browns, who moved to Baltimore and became the Orioles in the 1950s.
The auction, which includes over 1,000 lots, continues through March 10 at RMYAuctions.com.