Extraordinary panoramic photo capturing the action in Game 2 of the 1907 World Series between the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs at Chicago's West Side Grounds on October 9th. This is a rare panorama and one of probably fewer than seven known examples. Incredibly, it was only recently discovered during the clean-out of an old farmhouse in New England. Many collectors regard this as one of the finest baseball panoramas ever produced, and for good reason. Taken from the perspective of the first-base grandstand, right behind the Cubs bench, the view encompasses nearly the entire playing field, as well as the packed-to-capacity stands, outfield walls, and neighboring buildings. As noted on the scoreboard, it's the bottom of the first inning and Cubs pitcher Jack Pfiester is on the mound, backed by the legendary infield trio of Tinker, Evers, and Chance. It has often been assumed that the lefty batter at the plate for Detroit is Ty Cobb, but it is probably leadoff batter Davey Jones. We know that Detroit did not score in the first inning of Game 2 and Cobb batted fourth. Since there are no Tigers on base, it clearly cannot be Cobb, so it must be either Jones (who is probably awaiting the first pitch from Pfiester), or Sam Crawford, who batted third. (If it is Crawford at the plate, then Cobb is the player seen standing in the on-deck circle.) Jack Sheridan is the plate umpire, while recently elected Hall of Famer Hank O'Day is the man in blue at first base.
This remarkable image comes to us through the gifted lens of George Lawrence, who was the greatest panoramic photographer of the early twentieth century. Lawrence, who had studios in Chicago, Washington, and New York, produced many baseball panoramas during the era, but nearly all were taken from the perspective of the outfield grandstands. What makes this piece so spectacular is the close proximity of the camera to the playing field, so that viewer feels like he is sitting just a few rows behind the dugout. The caption along the base reads "World's Championship Series/Detroit vs. Chicago/Oct. 9, '07/Attendance 21, 901." Lawrence's printed credit appears in the lower-right corner. As noted earlier, this photo (41.5 x 19.5 inches) was only just discovered in early 2017. Unfortunately, it was not stored under the most ideal conditions and there are numerous areas of water staining along all four borders. Dark toning and a few areas of discoloration affect the top portion of the piece. Large diagonal tears are evident both at the base and along the left border. A few additional tears can be found along the border areas as well. Although it is in Fair condition overall, the central image area is least affected by the aforementioned flaws and the photo displays at a level higher than that suggested by its technically accurate grade. (This piece is a prime candidate for professional restoration.) Housed in what appears to be its original wooden frame, which measures 45.5 x 23.5 inches. The substantial size/weight of this item requires that there will be a shipping charge for this lot (which will vary depending upon where it is being shipped). The shipping charge will be billed separately from the auction invoice. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open).
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