1929 Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees Fenway Park Panoramic Photo

Sold For: $4,200

Auction Year: 2017 spring

Lot: 1910

Item Year: 1929

Category: Post-1900 Baseball Memorabilia

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Spectacular panoramic photo, measuring an impressive 48 x 7 inches, capturing a game between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees at Fenway Park on May 25, 1929. Both the locale, "Fenway Park," along with the photographer's credit and date, "W. W. Somers, Boston, 5-5-29," are printed in white lettering along the base. Taken from the perspective of the railing just behind third base, the photograph captures not only the entire playing field but also the filled-to-capacity grandstands and many of the outlying buildings in the distance. One of the most pleasing aspects of this photo is the beautiful depiction of Fenway Park's fabled left-field wall. While it was not officially known as the "Green Monster" at that time, the fence, which stood over twenty-five feet high, has always been the ballpark's most identifiable feature. Visible on the wall are the scoreboard clock, and numerous advertising signs from the era. The breadth of detail is overwhelming; the more one looks, the more one can see; and this is certainly one of the hallmark qualities that make the best panoramic photographs so appealing, both as historical windows into the past and as an art form. The photo, which displays flawless clarity and contrast, captures the action during the start of the second game of a double header between the two clubs (the time on the clock, 4:17, lets us know it is the second game), with the Red Sox in the field. According to our research, the pitcher on the mound for the Red Sox during this game is Red Ruffing, who would achieve future stardom with the Yankees in the following decade, while his battery mate is Casper Asbjornson. In the field for the Red Sox are Phil Todt (1b), Bill Regan (2b), Bill Narleski (ss), Bobby Reeves (3b), Bill Barrett (lf), Jack Rothrock (cf), and Elliot Bigelow (rf). Johnny Grabowski can be identified as the batter by virtue of his uniform number ("8"), while the player standing in the on-deck circle is Yankees short stop Lyn Lary. (Lary followed Grabowski in the batting order during this game). Ironically, the home plate umpire for the game is "Big Bill" Dinneen, who was a standout pitcher for the Red Sox at the turn of the century and winner of three games for Boston in the 1903 World Series. It is also interesting to note that it was during the 1929 season that the Yankees first began the tradition of displaying numbers on their uniforms, a practice which was soon adopted by all major league teams. (As one can see here, the Red Sox uniforms do not have numbers; it would be another two years before Boston followed suit.) The Yankees lost the first game of this doubleheader by a score of 10-8, but they won the second game, shown here, 8-3. Ruth was 2-5 in the second game, including a steal of home in the first inning, while Gehrig was 1-2 (he hit a home run in the first game). The hitting star for the Red Sox in the loss was pitcher Red Ruffing, who went 4-4 with three doubles. The photo displays a few light crease and a small number of tiny abrasions (primarily near the left-field foul line) which do not detract in the least from its overall Excellent to Mint appearance. Accompanied by its original wood frame (the glass broke many years ago, but the new owner may want to replace the glass and keep it housed in its original frame). 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 $500. Estimate (open).

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