North Side Elks Little League baseball team, front row from left: Sterling Smith, Ronnie Boyd, Emanuel Kelly, Harold Martin, Robert Hampton, Milton Swan; back row: Charles Haran, Jack Bishop, Noel Roach, William Long, Melvin Moore, Ronald Daniels, Wayman Johnson, Roger McCollum, Leonard Johnson, and managers Oliver Boyd and John McCollum, on Kennard Field with Terrace Village in background, May 1953, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund
Batter up! With this familiar phrase, the Teenie Harris Archive of the Carnegie Museum of Art is proud to announce the opening of our new exhibition, Teenie Harris Photographs: Baseball in Pittsburgh, March 22–September 22, 2014. Those of us who’ve struggled through a tough winter are especially anxious to hear those words, because with baseball season starting on the same date, warm weather will not be far behind. Nor will terms such as “wild pitch,” “no-hitter,” and “squeeze play.”
Group portrait of women’s St. Clair Village softball team with trophy, on playing field at night, c. 1950–1970, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund
The Teenie Harris Archive includes approximately 667 baseball images. The new exhibition will feature 25 highlights from the archive, including images of the Negro League teams such as the Pittsburgh Crawfords and the Homestead Grays, and the show is guest curated by Sean Gibson, the great-grandson of Crawford and Grays player Josh Gibson. Also featured will be Major League Baseball greats Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell, Donn Clendenon, Roy Campanella, Curt Roberts, Ted Williams, and Minnie Minoso, among many others. Teenie Harris himself was a co-founder and shortstop for the Crawfords when they were known as the Crawford Colored Giants. We also include photos of Little League teams, women’s teams, managers, umpires, and everyday folks attempting their own grand slams.
If you’re like me, you think of baseball season with delight. I often laugh to myself remembering George Carlin’s famous description of baseball as a happier sport than most others—the wearing of “caps” vs. helmets, that you’re always “up” at bat vs. asking “what down is it?”, that it has no time limit, and that baseball’s objective is to “go home” and “be safe”! As he describes a “kind of picnic feeling” you get while sitting in the stands, I’m reminded of my own sunny summer days spent at Forbes Field. My little legs would burn in the sun, but I didn’t mind a bit, because I had my bag of roasted peanuts and cold soda pop to enjoy the game. My Dad would cheer on his beloved Pirates, and we’d enjoy a day filled with him explaining base hits and double plays.
To whet your appetite for the kinds of images you’ll see at the exhibition, here are just a few of the many baseball-related photos Teenie took all over the Pittsburgh area.
Portrait of Charles A. “Little Teenie” Harris wearing St. Louis Cardinals’ baseball uniform kneeling with bat, outside home at 7604 Mulford Street, Homewood, 1936, black and white: unknown safety film; Heinz Family Fund
Bill Nunn Jr., Chicago Cubs baseball player Ernie Banks, Milwaukee Braves player Hank Aaron, and Mal Goode, examining baseball bat on Forbes Field for 1959 All Star game, July 1959, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund
Baseball executive Branch Rickey Sr. speaking about equal housing rights, in Wesley Center AME Zion Church, with another man on right, May 1959, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund
New York Yankees baseball players Elston Howard and Yogi Berra in front of dugout, at opening game of 1960 World Series, Forbes Field, October 5, 1960, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund
Baseball player Jackie Robinson speaking at podium at NAACP fiftieth anniversary event, c. 1959, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund
Pittsburgh Mayor David L. Lawrence swinging baseball bat in dirt lot with wood and screening batting cage, with man wearing suit acting as catcher, and children in background, c. 1946–1955, black and white: Ansco Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund
Woman wearing light colored dress pitching ball to elderly woman with bat, with another woman playing umpire, on baseball field, with elderly man and three other women seated on bench in background, another version, c. 1945–1955, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund
Washington Pennsylvania Pony League baseball players, from left, Harold “Pete” Vactor, Fred “Reggie” Bolden, and Don Ferrell, standing in yard on residential street, Washington, Pennsylvania, August – September 1955, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund
Portrait of boy wearing short sleeved shirt with jug and sun pattern, holding baseball bat and standing in front of tree in South Park for Pittsburgh Courier newsboys picnic, September 2, 1960, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund
Two boys and three girls, including one wearing plaid pants swinging baseball bat on fenced field with trees, June 1973, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund
Pittsburgh Pirates baseball player no. 39 Bob Veale, wearing eyeglasses and glove, posed throwing pitch on Forbes Field, August 11, 1964, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund
San Francisco Giants baseball player Willie Mays and Pittsburgh Pirates Roberto Clemente, posed on Forbes Field for 1965 season opener, April 1965, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund
Pittsburgh Pirates baseball player Al McBean wearing fireman’s hat, and unknown fire fighter wearing dress uniform, standing on Forbes Field for 1965 season opener, April 1965, black and white: Kodak Safety Film; Heinz Family Fund