Shieber: Identifying baseball cards in a pair of non-baseball photographs

From SABR member Tom Shieber at Baseball Researcher on January 19, 2016:

Baseball is everywhere … even where it isn’t. Let me explain.

The incomparable Prints and Photographs Online Catalog of the Library of Congress includes a treasure trove of baseball images. Go to the site’s search page, enter the keyword “baseball,” and the massive database will return over 7,200 results. While that sounds like a lot of baseball images, it’s a drop in the bucket when you realize that the Library has digitized well over a million images … and that there are more than 14 million items in their Prints and Photographs Collections in total.

Obviously, most of these images are not related to baseball at all. This means that the overwhelming majority of these items are not tagged with the keyword “baseball.” And yet, some of these “non-baseball” images actually feature baseball content. One such image, part of the Library’s National Photo Company Collection, is seen here.


At first glance the photo doesn’t appear to have anything to do with our national pastime. But take a careful look in the background and you’ll notice that amid the clutter of postcards and calendars, dozens of baseball cards are affixed to the busily-decorated walls.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: January 25, 2016. Last Updated: January 25, 2016.