World War II was expensive and across the U.S., fundraising efforts aimed at ensuring America’s troops had what they needed to battle their enemies and win. In August of 1943, the New York Journal-American newspaper pieced together a special event at the Polo Grounds aimed putting money in the coffers.
The main attraction was an exhibition game between the “War Bond League All-Stars” and the “Camp Cumberland All-Service Team,” a collection of major and minor leaguers who were in military service at the time.
The War Bond team included members of the New York Yankees, New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers. The Camp Cumberland All-Service team had been pulled together from military bases all over the Eastern U.S.
However, fans were also treated to the appearance of a group of former greats who took their places on the field ahead of the all-stars and provided a memorable moment.
The “Tableau of Yesterday” featured a collection of past greats who took their familiar places on the diamond. At some point during that afternoon, they gathered for a photograph and an original copy is our Photo of the Day.
Posing for photographers were Honus Wagner, Babe Ruth, Walter Johnson, Frankie Frisch, Tris Speaker, Eddie Collins, Duffy Lewis, Roger Bresnahan, George Sisler, Red Murray, manager Connie Mack and umpire Bill Klem.
The 48-year-old Ruth strode to the plate and Johnson to the pitcher’s mound. On the 18th pitch from Johnson, The Babe got ahold of one and sent it over the fence. It would be the last time a large crowd would watch him do what he’d done over 700 times in his career.
The 8×10 photo carries pencil notations on the back identifying the subjects on the front. It’s part of an auction of over 1,000 items in RMY’s Summer Premier Auction, which runs through August 3.