Category Archives: Photography

Old New York In Photos #118 – Herald Square At Night

Herald Square At Night – 1912

This beautiful night scene of Herald Square was taken in 1912. The Herald Building between 35th & 36th Street and Broadway and Sixth Avenue is brilliantly illuminated as the presses work to get the next morning’s paper out.

Lining the roof of the McKim, Mead & White designed Herald Building are 20 gilt owl sculptures. Electricity would light up the owl’s green eyes. The two illegible lighted discs in the front of the building are a clock and wind dial.

Bennett Monument drawing sculptor Andrew O'Connor viaNY Times 1918Herald owner James Gordon Bennett Jr., was obsessed with owls. Continue reading

Rooting Against Tom Seaver

If You Rooted For The Yankees, Could You Root For Tom Seaver?

Tom Seaver pitching two-hitter in the seventh inning as he makes a bid for his 15th win of the year. August 7, 1975 photo: Paul DeMaria (Seaver wound up with a 3 hit complete game 7-0 shutout over the Expos)

Hall of Famer and baseball great Tom Seaver died Monday, August 31 at age 75 and a piece of my childhood died along with him. The accolades, recollections and recounting of stats will continue to flow for the next few weeks.

But not everyone who saw Seaver play rooted for this consummate pro. Especially kids like me.

Being a Yankees fan in the late 1960s and early 1970s was not fun. A New Yorker has to choose teams. A real New York fan can’t root for both the Rangers and Islanders or the Jets and the Giants. You certainly cannot be a fan of both the Yankees and the Mets. So you make choices.

As a New York baseball obsessed kid who collected trading cards, I examined both teams carefully. I chose to be a fan of the on-his-last-legs Mickey Mantle led Yankees. Bad choice. Mantle retired immediately upon my declaration of loyalty.

The 70s Yankees teams featured players like Jake Gibbs, Jerry Kenney, Mike Kekich, Steve Kline, and Horace Clarke.

Arguments on the summer camp bus about who was better, the Yankees or Mets ended with the words Tom Seaver.

Rooting for the Yankees meant rooting against Tom Seaver. Comparing Tom Seaver to any Yankee player was a futile exercise in partisanship.

“The Yankees have Mel Stottlemyre.”

“We’ve got Tom Seaver.” Continue reading

Old New York In Photos #117 – Corner Cornelia & West 4th Street

Cornelia & West 4th Street Greenwich Village August 25, 1900

Cornelia St West 4th Street Aug 25 1900 photo Robert Bracklow

This portrait of a group of children in the heart of Greenwich Village was taken 100 years ago today.

Photographer Robert Bracklow frequently traversed the city taking pictures of city scenes.

Today nothing from Bracklow’s Cornelia Street photo remains except the street itself. This is what the intersection looks like in 2020 from West 4th Street looking south. Continue reading

Roberto Clemente Almost Crushed By Mets Catcher Joe Pignatano

Roberto Clemente Involved In A Strange Play At Home

Roberto Clemente August 21 1962 photo AP

WHOOPS !

New York, August 21, 1962 – It’s just that Roberto Clemente of the Pittsburgh Pirates objects to being sat upon by catcher Joe Pignatano of the New York Mets after sliding into home plate with a run in the first game of a twin bill Tuesday. Pittsburgh won the first game 8-6 but lost the second 5-4. Photo: Associated Press

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Nolan Ryan Sets A Record Striking Out 383 Batters In A Year

Nolan Ryan Displays The Baseball From His 383rd Strikeout -1973

Nolan Ryan 383 strikeouts 1973

Nolan Ryan holds the baseball used to set a single season record of 383 strikeouts. September 27, 1973 AP wirephoto

Gerrit Cole and Max Scherzer are amazing pitchers. In 2019 Cole struck out 326 hitters in 212.1 innings and Scherzer fanned 300 batters in 220.2 innings in 2018. Chris Sale and Clayton Kershaw have also struck out more than 300 batters in the past five years.

You’d think in this age of batters striking out more frequently than Le Pétomane farting, a pitcher will one day break Nolan Ryan’s 1973 single season record of 383 strikeouts. But unless Chris Davis, Joey Gallo or Gary Sanchez is the opposition at every at bat, Ryan’s record is probably safe.

It comes down to the number of innings pitched. Modern managers and baseball analytics have pitchers rarely going through the batting order a third time. A “quality start” is one where the pitcher has completed six innings – a ridiculous two thirds of a game. That’s quality? Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #99 – Orson Welles Performs Magic

Orson The Magnificent Performs For Servicemen During World War II

ORson Welles performs as Orson the Magnificent August 9 1943 photo APIt’s tough in Hollywood when everything you do is compared to your biggest success. And it makes it even tougher when your first movie is considered among the best movies ever made. Citizen Kane (1941) starring, produced, co-written and directed by Orson Welles remains Welles’ penultimate achievement. He was just 25-years-old. Continue reading

Cubs Jim Gleeson Scores The Tying Run – July 23, 1939

Cubs Jim Gleeson Ties Game & Giants Lose Their Ninth In A Row

Jim Gleeson scores July 23 1939 photo International News

Home On A Fly

New York – Gleeson, right fielder for the Chicago Cubs, comes home from third after (Mel) Ott, right fielder for the New York Giants, caught (Rip) Russell’s long fly in the sixth inning of the game which the Cubs won 7-5, at the Polo Grounds, New York. (Ken) O’Dea, Giants catcher is set to catch the throw-in. Loss was the Giants ninth in a row. photo: International News 7/23/1939

81 years ago today the Giants and Cubs were in the midst of the pennant race, not beginning their seasons as MLB is doing today. There was no pandemic, just a World War brewing a couple of months away when Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. Continue reading

Former NL Home Run Champ Now Works At A City Swimming Pool – 1948

Hack Wilson, Former NL Home Run Champ Glad To Have Any Job

Hack Wilson 1948Baseball is going to begin its abbreviated season, as if anyone cares. I certainly don’t. The spoiled players and clueless owners are greedy beyond all belief.

So here is a lesson in humility for all the ballplayers complaining about their pro-rated multi-million dollar salaries and owners crying poverty.

72 years ago today Hack Wilson made the news.  Here is what the original news slug says:

Baltimore, MD July 20, 1948 – EX-HERO Of BASEBALL – – Hack Wilson, the former home run king, chats with kids at the city swimming pool where he works. Municipal authorities had put him to work as a park laborer recently when he came in looking for “any kind of job.” Wilson, now 48-years-old, set the National League’s home run record of 56 in 1930 with the Chicago Cubs. AP Wirephoto

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Old New York In Photos #116 – Fifth Avenue & 27th Street 1903

Fifth Avenue Between 26th & 27th Street – The Old Hotel Brunswick

5th Avenue 27th Street 1903 photo Detroit Publishing CoA Detroit Publishing Co. photographer got this shot on a rare day without any traffic. Every building seen here is soon to be demolished.

The Hotel Brunswick

This photograph shows the east side of Fifth Avenue from 27th to 26th Street in 1903. Continue reading