Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Ball’s-eye view of a 1913 home run

            Artist Will Crawford, 1869-1944, drew this illustration for Puck, a humor magazine published in New York City from 1877 to 1918. The cartoon shows a bird’s-eye view of a baseball game being played in 1913 where a home run has just been hit.

            Frank “Home Run” Baker was the home run king of Major League Baseball’s American League in 1913. While playing for the Philadelphia Athletics that year, Baker hit a league-leading 12 home runs.

            Gavvy Cravath of the Philadelphia Phillies won the National League’s 1913 home run crown by hitting 19 home runs. He is pictured below on the left next to Tris Speaker, the legendary centerfielder for the Boston Red Sox.

            Baker and Cravath both played during Major League Baseball’s “dead ball” era when the difficult-to-hit, and sometimes dangerous, spitball was legal.

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