Skip To Content
  • lol badge
  • win badge

21 Reasons Why Baseball Used To Be Super Weird

Learning about America's pastime from bizarre and beautiful old photos.

1. Some players would forget to let go of the ball.

digitalgallery.nypl.org

William Gleason

2. Some players had to deal with trainers who only knew how to do one thing.

digitalgallery.nypl.org

Dan Casey, Charlie Bastian and trainer

digitalgallery.nypl.org

Harry Lyons with Billy Tailer Trainer

3. Some players had magical powers.

digitalgallery.nypl.org

Jack Clements

4. Some players' magical power was "generosity,"

5. ...for others, it was "working it."

digitalgallery.nypl.org

Jack Clements

6. Some players played indoors.

digitalgallery.nypl.org

Charlie Ferguson and Tommy McCarthy, Philadelphia Quakers

digitalgallery.nypl.org

Tommy McCarthy, Boston Reds

7. Some players were great at posing for "action shots."

digitalgallery.nypl.org

Deacon McGuire, Philadelphia Quakers

digitalgallery.nypl.org

Jim Fogarty, Philadelphia Quakers

digitalgallery.nypl.org

George Pinkney

8. Some players modeled their techniques on literature like "Oliver Twist,"

9. ...or "Peter Pan."

digitalgallery.nypl.org

Jim Fogarty, Philadelphia Quakers

10. Some players took the phrase "keep your eye on the ball" way too seriously.

11. Some players had glorious mustaches.

digitalgallery.nypl.org

Jack Burdock, 2nd base

digitalgallery.nypl.org

Wm. M. De Visser

digitalgallery.nypl.org

Tony Cusick, Philadelphia Quakers

digitalgallery.nypl.org

Abner Dalrymple

digitalgallery.nypl.org

Jack Farrell, Philadelphia Quakers, 2nd base

12. Some players liked to chill in "cool-guy" poses.

digitalgallery.nypl.org

George Hall, Boston Red Stockings, 1874, right field (1874)

digitalgallery.nypl.org

Tommy Beals, 1874 Change 2nd base (1874)

digitalgallery.nypl.org

Robert Ferguson, Only player who became president of the league, 1878. (1878?)

13. Some players even achieved the elusive "double cool-guy" pose.

digitalgallery.nypl.org

Ed Andrews, Philadelphia Quakers [1884] and Sam Barkley Toledo Blue Stockings

14. Some players were clearly scared of the ball.

15. Some players looked like serial killers.

digitalgallery.nypl.org

C. E. Hoover, C., Old Judge Cigarettes

digitalgallery.nypl.org

Ed Andrews, Philadelphia Quakers

16. Some players helped Rick with the Nazis in Casablanca.

digitalgallery.nypl.org

Mike Lehane, Columbus

17. Some players were actually just Casey Affleck as a time traveler.

digitalgallery.nypl.org

Joe Battin, 1874 2nd base (1874)

18. Some players got to play for this guy, who later built Jurassic Park.

19. Some players had heads that were way too small for their bodies.

digitalgallery.nypl.org

Harry McCormick

20. Some players appreciated cool dogs.

digitalgallery.nypl.org

Napoleon Lajoie, Cleveland, 1907 (1907)

21. All players were jealous of A.M. Wood's boss turtleneck.