Canale: Legends of the camera: Images of early baseball by Louis Van Oeyen

From Larry Canale at The National Pastime Museum on December 15, 2015:

In the first quarter of the twentieth century, few photographers framed baseball’s early legends as cleanly and classically as the Cleveland-based pioneer Louis Van Oeyen.

Like so many who rank among baseball’s best photographers, Van Oeyen (1865–1946) was anything but a one-trick pony. He was a news photographer first and photographed a variety of topics, politicians, and events. Fortunately, his path also took him to the baseball diamond, where he was able to focus his camera on our National Pastime’s key players during the Deadball Era, a pivotal time of growth.

Van Oeyen was born in Dayton, Ohio, on January 17, 1865, and while his early years aren’t well documented, we do know he married a woman named Edith MacDonald in 1886 and had two daughters with her. He got his start in the workforce creating commercial signs in Detroit, but after that short-lived stint, he felt the tug of his home state and moved his family back to Ohio, opening a photography studio in Cleveland.

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Originally published: December 18, 2015. Last Updated: December 18, 2015.