My favorite era of baseball history is the Deadball Era (1901-1920). Everything about the time fascinates me. The players, the way the game was played, the importance of baseball in communities, the development of the minor leagues, the Federal League, the lack of home runs, the strategy, the uniforms, the music. I could go on and on. It's just an awesome era. So of course my favorite things relate to that era.
I showcased my Cobb print last month. In addition to that, I have three Deadball era photos on the walls of my library.
The most recently acquired one comes from, surprise, my ex-wife. She got it for me for Christmas. Once again, let this be a lesson to everyone. Amicable divorces are the way to go.
This is a picture of the 1909 White Oak Cotton Mill baseball team from Greensboro, North Carolina. My ex spent much of her life in Greensboro and picked this up for me when she was visiting her parents. For a long time, the White Oak Mill was the largest denim mill in the world.
Many companies of the era had their own ballclubs. This photo was taken as part of a series of photos involving mill life at White Oak. It's a cool old photo.
I've mentioned the next one before when I talked about my Addie Joss presentation at the Hall of Fame. I couldn't get a good photo of my copy. The lighting in the room put too much glare and I'm not much of a photographer. Here's a picture of it I found online, though.
You can read the post to see some of the neat things about the photo I like.
The last photo I got when I was at the Hall. One of the perks of interning there was the opportunity to purchase copies of photos from the archives at deep discounts. Some of the other interns went wild and bought entire zounds of photos. Me, I only wanted one. The rights for this photo belong to the Hall so I'm not showing it in it's entirety and I kept the photo low quality with glare and everything for the same reason. I think you can see enough to see how awesome it is. It's a studio photo of the great Christy Mathewson.
Matty was an amazing ballplayer and human being. For you readers out there, you should check out the best work of baseball fiction in my opinion, Eric Rolfe Greenberg's The Celebrant. I might have to get a re-read of it in here. I also need to read a few biographies of his I have that I haven't gotten to yet. Too many books, so little time.
There you have it. Now you have seen everything (or parts of everything) that hang on the walls of my library with the exception of one item, a plate commemorating the 50th anniversary of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues. I might put that up at some point. Haven't thought things out that far yet.
Training update: I didn't want to but I rowed a half hour at marathon pace. For a sub-three hour marathon, I need to knock out 1407 meters every six minutes. My splits for this row - 1420, 1423, 1419, 1415, 1416. Any guess why I love rowing so much (hint: one of my splits is a prime number and the standard deviation of my splits is 3.2 meters.)?
This row highlights one of my few athletic strengths and the reason why I think I'm capable of busting out a marathon right now. I call it my pack horse mentality. You can load up a pack horse and he'll just go all day, slogging away until he reaches the destination. I was the same way when I biked. I felt like I could flick on this internal switch and my legs could keep going forever no matter how hard I was breathing, how long I had been biking, how much I didn't want to be on a bike. I'm getting there with rowing. It's a little harder since you use your whole body but if I get in that zone, look out. I can go for awhile.
Today's moral is it's a good thing to use your blog for moral support. I have received e-mails from folks and comments from my good friend Transfixed Ingress encouraging me and wishing me well. Thank you all. If not for you, I am certain I wouldn't have rowed today because I really wasn't feeling it. But I had a good row and I did a lot of post-row stretching and I feel good. This row's for you.