Over 35,000 fans turned out at the Polo Grounds on October 8, 1912 to watch Game 1 of the World Series between the hometown New York Giants and Boston Red Sox. They would witness the start of one of the greatest collisions in the history of baseball’s championship series.
An epic clash that saw four games decided by one run, multiple extra inning games and another that ended in a tie, it captivated the nation.
Squatting at field level in Game 1, behind and to the left of home plate was a photographer who managed to capture some rare game action photos including one from a key moment that’s now up for auction. The 6 1/2 x 8 1/2″ image captures Red Sox infielder Steve Yerkes delivering a single that scored Joe Wood and Harry Hooper, breaking a 2-2 tie in the eighth inning. Chief Meyers is catching for the Giants. Hall of Famer Bill Klem is the home plate umpire.
The hit was the difference in the Red Sox 4-3 win. They would go on to take the series four games to three, although eight games were actually played. One would be called on account of darkness with the game tied, essentially erased from the record book instead of being continued where it was stopped.
Distributed by Underwood & Underwood, the photo retains the original caption, still attached to the back. It’s one of several hundred photos up for bid in RMY’s April Collectors Auction.
The 1912 series marked the second of three straight World Series appearances for the Giants, who lost all three. On the other hand, the Red Sox were in the midst of a period in which they won four titles. After selling Babe Ruth to the Yankees, however, the team fell on a notoriously rough stretch in which they would wait 86 years for their next World Series victory.