Shieber: Lillie Langtry at the ball game

From SABR member Tom Shieber at Baseball Researcher on October 15, 2017:

In the summer of 2010, I had the pleasure of traveling to London to attend the opening of an exhibit at the Marylebone Cricket Club Museum. In touring the prestigious club, I entered a room dominated by a magnificent painting of a cricket match. It absolutely bowled me over (pun very much intended). What stunned me was not so much the image itself, but the feeling that I had seen it before, and yet I knew that I had not. After a brief moment, however, I realized why it looked so familiar. Let me start at the beginning. Or, rather, two-and-a-half years after the beginning …

On a two-page spread in the August 31, 1889, issue of Harper’s Weekly you’ll find this gorgeous woodcut titled “A Collegiate Game of Base-Ball”.

Illustrated by Willard Poinsette Snyder, better known as W.P. Snyder, the image has been reproduced numerous times. But while the picture is a favorite of many baseball fans and historians (including myself), it has apparently never been researched to any extent.

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Originally published: October 16, 2017. Last Updated: October 16, 2017.