Tuesday, July 26, 2011

For the love of baseball!

Most of you know that I love the St. Louis Cardinals and I stumbled across this unique picture.... and story. A guy was selling this picture to help pay some bills and said he bought it (print only) and had it framed. It was stamped and signed "Arteaga". The guy told to me that in 1980 he called the Arteaga Photography in St. Louis and talked to the guy that actually took this picture. Upon my own investigation I further found that the man who took this picutre was the grandfather of the guy that is running the studio and died in 1982. His grandfather was the St. Louis team photographer from 1930-1946. The image was taken at Sportsman Park on July 24, 1938. The interesting thing is that Babe Ruth (center) was hardly ever known as wearing a Dodgers uniform. The story is....

His only official association with any club following his 1935 retirement as a player came on June 19, 1938, when he was hired as the Brooklyn Dodgers' first-base coach by general manager Larry MacPhail. Ruth took the job with the explicit understanding that he would be given an opportunity to eventually take over for then-manager Burleigh Grimes. Unfortunately, the Dodgers were less than truthful with him. Whereas Ruth thought he was being groomed for the manager's job, the Dodgers looked upon him strictly as a drawing card. Right from the start Ruth was ordered by management to put on pregame "home run displays" and stay late to sign autographs for fans. To his chagrin, Ruth quickly realized that he had been duped once again. (The Braves, in 1935, also signed Ruth with the false promise of a future managerial position.) Ruth had no interest in being a sideshow attraction; he wanted to be manager. Disgusted with the situation, he left the Dodgers at season's end. Unfortunately, his dream of becoming a manager never came to fruition; thus his Major League career came to an official close with the Dodgers at the end of the 1938 season.

Brad Arteaga has the original negative and one original photo from this photo shoot as well as many other rare photos captured by his grandfather. I am going to make time to stop by his shop to see what other unique items I can find. I like the more "interesting" pieces and this has started many great conversations already!

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