Well, it was a nice vacation if nothing else.
That probably was the prevailing sentiment among the players, coaches and managers on the 1924 World Baseball Tour.
While they weren’t exactly a big drawing card in Europe, members of a couple of big league teams did leave some great memorabilia for future generations here in North America.
One of those pieces, a 4 1/2” x 9 ½” panoramic type original photo of the New York Giants and Chicago White Sox, is among the featured attractions at RMY Auctions this month. The rare image includes both teams, posing side-by-side and remains in excellent condition after 92 years.
Among those pictured are John McGraw, Hughie Jennings, a young Casey Stengel, Sam Rice and Johnny Evers.
The 1924 tour marked the third time in ten years the Giants and White Sox had travelled the globe. Not every team member made the trip and a few players from other teams supplemented the rosters.
The teams visited seven countries, including England, France, Italy, and Germany, playing numerous exhibition games to try and stir interest in baseball while spreading some goodwill in Europe.
The previous two tours hadn’t exactly planted a seed of excitement. After some moderate success drawing crowds in Montreal and Toronto, the teams boarded a ship and sailed across the Atlantic where, with one or two exceptions, their games were sparsely attended. Only 20 fans turned out to see them in Ireland and a few other stops were cancelled. It would be seven years before a big league all-star team, including Lou Gehrig, embarked on a world tour again (to Japan, where interest in the game was stronger).
The photo is one of more than 400 up for grabs with bidding set to close Saturday.
You can check out the auction here.