Description

    1905 Pittsburgh Pirates at New York Giants Polo Grounds Panoramic Photograph. Hall of Fame manager John McGraw nearly came to blows in a dispute with Pirates manager and fellow Cooperstown enshrinee Fred Clarke this day when the latter took exception to the Giants skipper's abuse of visiting pitcher Mike Lynch, who struggled early in the contest. Umpire Jim Johnstone quickly stepped in an issued one of McGraw's long-standing record of 116 ejections, banishing the irate manager from the contest but failing to bring an end to the verbal carnage. An official complaint to National League president Harry Pulliam by Pirates team owner Barney Dreyfuss picks up the action:

    "On Saturday, May 20, I was standing in the main entrance of the Polo Grounds, talking quietly to some friends, when McGraw, who had been put off the grounds for using foul language, appeared on the balcony of the clubhouse and shouted: 'Hey Barney!' I did not answer that too familiar greeting and did not respond to any of his several attempts to attract my attention. Then he urged me to make a wager. He was very insistent but I had nothing to say to him. He also made remarks about me controlling umpires and other false and malicious statements..."

    And yet despite the boiling conflicts that occurred with minutes of the creation of this massive image (note outfield scoreboard indicating top of third inning), the emotion of the Coogan's Bluff shot is decidedly tranquil and filled with marvelous period details, from the Model T cars ranged about the deep outfield, the sea of dark hats filling the grandstands, and a tall masted ship quietly moored in the Harlem River. Legendary Dead Ball era hurler "Iron Joe" McGinnity delivers to the plate as a blur of Art Devlin at third base suggests an impending bunt.

    We believe this to be just the second example of this enormous 19x46" image ever to reach the hobby's auction block, the personal keepsake of the man who stands in a half-crouch behind home plate. The masterful image is the work of "The George R. Lawrence Co.," creators of many of the great panoramas of the era. Joining text announcing that authorship at lower right is descriptive text reporting, "Polo Grounds New York, Pittsburg vs. New York, May 20, 1905, Attendance 24,620."

    The linen-backed image exhibits "silvering" typical of century-old photography, some light creasing throughout and tearing at the edges, but the overall visual effect of the piece is unhampered by these common issues. It's quite simply one of the most impressive baseball panoramas we've encountered, a status it would maintain even in the absence of the important Bresnahan provenance. Letter of provenance from the Bresnahan family.






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    Auction Dates
    February, 2015
    21st-22nd Saturday-Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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