Babe Ruth shakes the hand of actor Gary Cooper (playing Lou Gehrig) during the filming of the movie “Pride of the Yankees” in 1942. The scene is a recreation of “Gehrig Appreciation Day” on July 4, 1939 when Gehrig retired due to his diagnosis with ALS; Via NYC Municipal Archives
To celebrate the start of the baseball season this week, the city’s Department of Records & Information Services released a series of artifacts and historic photos for sale. From architectural drawings of Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field to photos of Babe Ruth at the 1936 World Series, the images provide a look back at our national pastime’s origin in New York City.
Babe Ruth and his wife Claire with singer Kate Smith, in the grandstand of the Polo Grounds, during the New York Yankees/Brooklyn Dodgers World Series, September 1936; via NYC Municipal Archives
While the city has two professional teams today–the Yankees and the Mets– there were three teams when baseball first came to the Big Apple: The Dodgers, the Giants, and the Yankees (originally known as the Highlanders). The latter two teams shared a stadium at the Polo Grounds in Washington Heights for a number of years and the Dodgers called Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field home.
Joe DiMaggio shakes hands with Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia, before the start of the 1938 World Series at Wrigley Field; via NYC Municipal Archives
Cedar Place Elevation, Brooklyn Base Ball Club [Ebbets Field], 1912. Architect: Clarence R. Van Buskirk; via NYC Municipal Archives
The archives explore the city’s old stadiums with architectural drawings and building specifications for Ebbetts Field dating back to 1912. While the team stopped playing at the Brooklyn stadium in 1957 following its departure to Los Angeles, these images and drawings keep the memories alive for fans.
Architectural prints start at $120 each, plus shipping and handling. Digital prints of the photos are going for $45. You can explore the city’s full archive of baseball memorabilia here.
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All photos courtesy of NYC Municipal Archives