adventures in baseball archeology: the negro leagues, latin american baseball, j-ball, the minors, the 19th century, and other hidden, overlooked, or unknown corners of baseball history...with occasional forays into other sports
Here’s a cool photo sequence from the Detroit Free Press (November 17, 1910) showing scenes from the Detroit Tigers’ fall 1910 trip to Havana.
(click to enlarge)
Especially interesting is the leftmost photo, which purports to show Grant “Home Run” Johnson batting left-handed. All sources I know about say he was a right-handed hitter, and all photos I’ve seen show him as such—though I don’t know of any in-game photos showing him actually at bat. This photo has definitely not been inadvertently reversed, as Oscar Stanage was of course a right-handed catcher, and his glove is shown here on his left hand. Unfortunately the printing-microfilming-digitizing sequence has so degraded the quality of what might have not been a very sharp photo in the first place that there’s no way to tell whether this is really Johnson, or maybe someone else on the Habana team, say Pete Hill or Carlos Morán, both left-handed hitters.
For what it’s worth, here are early photos of Hill and Johnson posing with bats (from the Philadelphia Inquirer, April 23, 1905). The photo of Johnson would later be reprinted in Sol White’s History of Colored Base Ball—I don’t think I’ve seen the photo of Hill elsewhere.
I don’t think I have seen a photo of Carlos Morán batting, but here’s Pete Hill, actually at bat in a game for the Leland Giants vs. the Cuban Stars, probably in late June, 1909.