Thorn: What’s your favorite baseball photograph?

From SABR member John Thorn at Our Game on March 2, 2015:

What are baseball’s greatest photographs? That question came up on Twitter over the weekend. Some fellow tweeps offered World Series highlights, others offered sterling Sandy Koufax moments, or inspiring Jackie Robinson shots. It all boils down to criteria, I countered. Do you mean a great moment captured by the camera? An evocative portrait? A sweeping landscape? A favorite ballplayer or ballpark? A favorite photographer? For me, any of these groupings is sensible–and large enough that to select a top ten would be tough. But I promised to offer my thoughts here at Our Game, where the 140-character limit holds no sway.

In a way, I have tackled this question previously through subsets, most recently “Lost Ballparks”. I devoted separate 15-picture portfolios to Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, and Jackie Robinson; another to the game in the 1880s; and yet another to women in baseball. At the site I created to accompany publication of Baseball in the Garden of Eden, I provided many of the best images (not only photographs) from the period covered in that book. So this subject has interested me ever since I became a fan, back in the Pleistocene Era.

But let’s return to that big question of the game’s greatest photographs, cutting across all imaginable subsets. For this, I think the criterion must be … beauty.

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Originally published: March 2, 2015. Last Updated: March 2, 2015.