Baseball BeatApril 13, 2007
Foto Friday #5
By Rich Lederer

Foto Friday #1 (with Follow-Up)

Foto Friday #2

Foto Friday #3

Foto Friday #4

As in the first four contests, name the date, location, and subjects in the wire photo below, which was part of my Dad's collection. The players should be the easiest part. Bonus points for the umpire.

Unlike the first four, I'm not sure about the date and location but am wondering if readers, through knowledge or research, can help me out here.

Good luck!


Ted Williams-Roy Campanella Spring Training.jpg

Comments

Wow, Ted Williams hitting and Campy catching. It's certainly not Holman Stadium, but it doesn't look like Ebbets Field, either. Roosevelt Stadium, maybe?

Or it could be an All-Star game, and not an exhibition. D'oh!

Williams and Campanella are the stars in the photo. Probably not Roosevelt Stadium though.

I am going with the 1954 All Star Game at Cleveland Stadium.

http://retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1954/B07130ALS1954.htm

It looks to me like Williams' jersey says "Boston" and Campy's says "Dodgers", which, IINM, means that the National League team is the home team. If that is true, then the only All-Star games that qualify are '49, '53 and '55

Great call - back to the drawing board. '49 was at Ebbets and that's not Ebbets and Williams did not appear in the '53 game.

Yes, if the photo is taken at an All-Star Game, 1949 (Ebbets Field in Brooklyn), 1953 (Crosley Field in Cincinnati), or 1955 (County Stadium in Milwaukee) are all possibilities based on the uniforms.

However, I don't believe 1953 is possible because Williams didn't play in the ASG that season. Campy played in ASG from 1949-1956. Williams was a member of the AL team from 1949-1951 and 1953-1956 but didn't play in '53.

As far as I can tell, the photo doesn't look like Ebbets Field or County Stadium, leaving me to think it was either taken at a spring training or barnstorming game sometime during the 1950s.

Keep digging as I am more curious than ever.

Looking at Retrosheet, Williams didn't get into the game in '53 (just back from Korea-threw out first pitch), and it looks like Campy didn't get in the game in '55. If it is an ASG, I think it might be the '49 game at Ebbets Field. TW flied out to center in the top of the 6th while Campy was catching and the ump was Bill Summers (AL). Game was 7/12. Given where they appear to be looking on a batted ball and when both TW and RC were in the ASG together and an AL ump behind the plate. OTOH, if its a spring training game, I have no idea.

There seem to be too many empty seats for this to be an All-Star game and too many filled seats for this to be a (circa 1950) spring training game.

Could it be one of the late spring "on the way north" games?? Any records of where those might have been?

Definitely not Roosevelt Stadium, as I went to number of games there...and almost flunked my drivers test outside the stadium (K-turns around rotting turnstiles is tough going for one so young!).

I notice the grass/dirt stain on Ted's knee...so it probably wasn't the 1st inning nor was he pinch-hitting.

I would think the picture is in spring training somewhere as the fans are all dressed for warm weather.

The men are not wearing jackets and ties. A lot of people appear to be wearing hats to protect against the sun. Everything appears to be casual, which would lead me to believe that it's in Florida.

Also the Dodgers did play some exhibition games against the Red Sox in Miami, according to the New York Times of that era. At least they did in 1954.

And the Dodgers were the home team.

I really think this is the former Miami Stadium, aka Bobby Maduro Stadium.

Compare to this photo:
http://www.digitalballparks.com/International/Miami_640_15.html

I really think this is the former Miami Stadium, aka Bobby Maduro Stadium.

Absolutely. No ifs, ands, or buts. Great job, Bob!

From the configuration of the seats to the tunnels to the railings to how far down the baseline the dugout is located to the circle around home plate with no paths to the on-deck circles (very prevalent in those days), the ballpark in question is definitely Miami Stadium (renamed Bobby Maduro Miami Stadium in 1987) as Bob so astutely pointed out.

Is there anyway of finding a box score for that game in order to determine the date and verify that both Williams and Campanella played? It's a longshot but perhaps the identity of the home plate umpire might also be revealed. I wouldn't be surprised if Williams deposited that pitch over the wall in right field for a home run and would love to know if that was indeed the case.

One of the neat things about the photo is that while Williams is already watching the ball fly off into the thin air, neither Campy or the ump have even had a chance to react yet.

According to wikipedia, the Dodgers played their Spring Training games at Miami Stadium between 1950 and 1958. So there were probably many Sox/Dodgers games played there with both Williams and Campy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miami_Stadium

DXM: Check the umpire's eyes. It's very subtle but he has already lifted his head above the cutout in the balloon chest protector and his eyes are looking skyward. Campanella has even dropped his catcher's mitt and appears to be tracking the flight of the ball, too.

The Dodgers did not play all their exhibition games in Miami during those years. Prior to the construction of Holman Stadium in Vero Beach in 1953, the poor field conditions dictated that the Dodgers play the majority of their major league exhibition games elsewhere. The Dodgers played three home games at Holman Stadium in 1953 and an increasing number through 1958 when the team no longer used Miami Stadium.

Here is a photo of Pee Wee Reese at Miami Stadium, circa 1949 (according to the website The Sneaky Kitchen, which is operated by Kurt Schweizer, who is responsible for many of the photographs in digitalballparks.

I can find one instance in the LA Times archive about these two teams playing at Miami Stadium.

The Red Sox played the Dodgers on March 11, 1956 at Miami Stadium. The defending champion Dodgers lost 17-5 to the Red Sox. (The Dodgers were the home team and the Red Sox were the visitors.)

Beginning of the AP wire story: "Ted Lepcio hit a grand-slam home run as the Boston Red Sox again humiliated the world champion Brooklyn Dodgers 17-5 before a crowd of 11,750 in Miami Stadium today. With the American Leaguers scoring in eight innings while the champs committed seven errors, the fans started to walk out early and very few were left at the finish."

Sadly, I don't see any explicit reference to Williams here and the article doesn't include a full box score so we can't tell what Williams did.

Thanks, Justin. If anybody else has the ability to check other sources to get a full list of games between the Dodgers and Red Sox in Miami, that would be great.

As a follow-up, the New York Times has an article on the game that includes the box score. They also played on March 10th too.

Williams only had a pinch-hit appearance in the 4th inning in the March 11th game - he flied out to left. In the March 10th game, Williams also had only one appearance and didn't record a hit - but he did manage to get on base - I can't determine exactly how he got on base without a hit and not a walk. Williams advanced to second in the first inning by an errant pick-off throw by the pitcher Templeton.

FWIW, the umps for both games were Crawford, Paparella and Goetz. I wouldn't know how to identify which one of those three it might be.

Rich,
I'd try asking SABR-L to see if anyone has a list of all spring training games between the Dodgers and Red Sox for the relevant years.

There is also a SABR research committee that is about spring training.

At Bob's suggestion, I posted a request on SABR-L and received a reply from Bill Nowlin. According to Bill, the Dodgers and Red Sox played the following games in Miami (although not necessarily at Miami Stadium):

1952

3/22 @ Miami FL: Boston 5, Brooklyn 2
3/23 @ Miami FL: Brooklyn 14, Boston 2

1953

3/21 @ Miami FL: Brooklyn 8, Boston 4

1954

3/12 @ Miami FL: Brooklyn 4, Boston 3
3/13 @ Miami FL: Brooklyn 5, Boston 0
3/14 @ Miami FL: Brooklyn 9, Boston 6

1956

3/10 @ Miami FL: Boston 8, Brooklyn 3
3/11 @ Miami FL: Boston 17, Brooklyn 5

1957

3/16 @ Miami FL: Boston 9, Brooklyn 4

The teams also played a game in 1958, about two months after Campanella's car accident which forced him to retire.

3/16 @ Miami FL: Los Angeles Dodgers 5, Boston 1

Based on the above, we are down to nine games. If anyone has access to the box scores, we might be able to reduce the number to less than a handful based on Campanella and Williams both playing and perhaps evidence that would explain the dirt on the latter's pants or a fly ball (and possibly a HR) hit by The Thumper.

Hello,

I was very pleased and flattered that some of my pics were used in determining that the above pic of Ted Williams batting is indeed from Miami Stadium. I just wanted to mention, though, that Sneakykitchen.com is operated by Bess Metcalf (and family) and I was only a contributor to their site.

Best wishes,
Kurt Schweizer