There were beautiful spring days at Shea Stadium when Gary Carter donned his catcher’s mask. Today we honor his contribution with an aerial shot of the Mets old stomping grounds at Shea Stadium in Flushing, where the catcher was a part of the legendary 1986 Mets, World Series Champs! (yes, some of us are Mets fans)
It’s Mustache Monday!
Today we start a new series featuring fantastic facial hair, from back in the days when mutton chops made the man. All images are from our Digital Gallery, of course.
Here’s “Black Jack” Burdock, second baseman, who started his baseball career with the Brooklyn Atlantics in 1872 and finished with the Brooklyn Grooms in 1891 (aka the Dodgers). He also happened to have a great mustache.
We’re a few days late on this, but we wanted to send a shout-out to this year’s World Series champs, The St. Louis Cardinals. In their honor, here is a picture of a cardinal (dated sometime between 1923 and 1932) from our George Arents Collection. It’s pretty cute, right? We have to admit that the images in our Digital Gallery of Texas Rangers are actually a little more exciting, but congrats to the Cards, anyway.
Soooo, as we previously mentioned, the Yankees honored six of our top summer readers at the Stadium yesterday before their game against the Oakland A’s. The Yankees went on to set the record for grand slams in one game, smacking three during a 22-9 pounding of the Athletics. Who hit the record-setting third slam? Curtis Granderson, the player who met with the summer readers beforehand (in the photo above by Sean Scanlin, Curtis is shaking hands with 16-year-old Khadija Bhuyian of The Bronx, our top summer reader who was profiled by the NY Times). He also met with our top summer readers during last year’s ceremony at Yankee Stadium - and he hit two home runs that day! Could we be a good luck charm for Curtis Granderson? Well, he HAS hit quite a few homers this year without any of our help, but we’d like to think so anyway! If he wants to invite us to every game, we’d be happy to oblige!
The Yankees honored some of NYPL’s top summer readers on the field today before they faced off against the Oakland A’s in the Bronx (rain couldn’t spoil our parade). Our six young reading machines - who read well over 1,000 books combined this summer - got to meet Yankee outfielder Curtis Granderson and were on the Jumbotron as part of the fun (as you can see in the photo above). Over 104,000 kids signed up for our summer reading program this year, which helps kids stay engaged when they’re out of school. The lead sponsor was Bank of America.
Tonight is the Major League Baseball All-Star game, so we thought we’d share a baseball-related gem from our collection: a photo taken at the 1939 World’s Fair of Babe Ruth teaching kids how to hit. It’s from the 1939-40 World’s Fair Collection in our Manuscripts and Archives Division. By the way, if you’re interested in the World’s Fair, you should definitely download the inaugural issue of our free app Biblion, which is highlighting the Fair. The app is worth checking out - it’s a hit! OK, that was a lame pun, but you should still check out the app.
While India and Sri Lanka prepare for battle during the 2011 Cricket World Cup, baseball fans world-wide are celebrating Opening Day. What better way to honor both international pastimes than with this stellar image from the the A. G. Spalding Baseball Collection, located at the Library’s historic Schwarzman building.
Although the Library is an impartial fan of all teams, we would still like to hear who you’re rooting for this year!
Former Brooklyn Dodger great and Baseball Hall of Famer Duke Snider passed away yesterday, marking a major loss not just for the game of baseball, but for all of New York City. For a whole generation of New York baseball fans, “The Duke” was an icon, a beloved hero in centerfield who rivaled New York Giant Willie Mays and New York Yankee Mickey Mantle. And while the New York baseball landscape has changed dramatically since Duke and the Brooklyn Dodgers won the World Series in 1955, the memories he helped create with his bat have continued to be passed on to generations who never saw him play.
So to remember The Duke, here is a gem from our Rare Books Division - the menu from a “Welcome Home Dinner” for the world champion Dodgers at the Hotel St. George in Brooklyn in 1956. The menu’s cover features the man himself along with the other stars from the team. The dinner was thrown by the Dodger Knot-Hole Club, which is sort of funny.
So while we’re talking baseball, who do you think was best - Willie, Mickey or The Duke?
Love isn’t the only thing in the air today. So is baseball! Pitchers and catchers are reporting! So in honor of America’s pastime, we thought we’d bring out this very cool photo from last year’s Summer Reading celebration at Yankee Stadium. Baseball and the Library - what could be better? Also, below are two very old baseball cards from our A.G. Spalding collection. We don’t know who the players are (they’re both listed as “unidentified”) but one’s a pitcher and one’s a catcher. So enjoy!
There was no joy in the baseball world yesterday when the news came down that legendary Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller passed away at 92. There have been lots of tributes to “The Heater From Van Meter,” but none may be better than one comedy duo Abbott and Costello did waaaay back in the 1930s. Their “Feller” bit playing off the word “fella” or “feller” is hilarious in a Who’s On First kind of way - below is the text, which we transcribed from a recording online. This text is hard to find, so enjoy (and enjoy the two rare photos of Abbott and Costello from our Billy Rose Theatre Collection at the Library For The Performing Arts). The skit is a bit long, but worth the read.
Costello (who is a member of the Yankees in this skit): I think we’re gonna play the Cleveland Indians.
Abbott: Cleveland Indians, ay? Feller pitching?
Costello: Certainly there’s a feller pitching. Who do you think they’d use a girl?
Abbott: I know they don’t use a girl. I said, Feller pitching?
Costello: What feller?
Abbott: Feller with the Cleveland Indians.
Costello: Look Abbott, there’s nine guys on the Cleveland team. Now which feller are you talking about?
Abbott: Feller that pitches. There is only one Feller with Cleveland.
Costello: You mean nine Yankees are going to play against one feller?
Abbott: That’s right.
Costello: You mean there’s no fellers in the outfield?
Costello: And There’s no fellers in the infield?
Abbott: No. Cleveland only has one Feller.
Costello: Well, this feller must be pretty good if he doesn’t need any players but himself.
Abbott: Look, all the players will be out there helping him.
Costello: You just said there was only one feller on the team.
Abbott: That’s right.
Costello: Then where did all them other fellers come from?
Abbott: Oh, you idiot, when I say there’s only Feller on the team I mean there is only one Feller that pitches.
Costello: Well Abbott, when the manager of the team wants this pitcher, what does he call him?
Costello: You mean he just hollers, “Hey feller” and this guys knows that they mean him?
Abbott: That’s right.
Noise from Costello
Abbott: His name is Feller. Feller. Bob Feller. And when I say there is only one Feller on the team that pitches that’s it. And the feller that pitches is Feller. There’s only, the other fellers on the team, but there’s only one Feller.
Costello: Boy are you mixed up. You mean the feller that pitches is Feller and there’s other fellers on the team but they’re not Fellers?”
Abbott: Now you’re graspin’.
Costello: Yes, I grasp it, but it keeps slippin’ outta my hands!