Images of Hall of Fame pitcher Walter Johnson usually portray his pitching motion or the slight smile that captured his gentle nature. The Big Train is shown in a different light in a 1934 news photograph currently at auction.
In cooperation with RMY Auctions, the Photo of the Day pictures Johnson’s swing as he hits fungoes prior to the start of the game. The paper caption is still attached to the back and bears a July 10, 1934 date.
Manager Joe Cronin had named Johnson as one of his coaches for the second ever mid-summer classic. One of Johnson’s players, Earl Averill, drove in four runs to lead the A.L. to victory that day.
He took over his former team, the Washington Senators, from 1929-32 and then went to Cleveland, where things began to unravel. Disputes with unhappy players and his easygoing nature spelled the end during his third season. He would never manage again and despite criticism from writers in Cleveland, Johnson’s overall winning percentage during seven years as a skipper was a respectable .550.
Two years after the photo was taken for Acme News Service, Johnson was among the first five players elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The photo is one of nearly 1,300 sports, news and entertainment photographs in the auction, which is set to close Sunday night. Visit RMYAuctions.com for more information.