Photography Class: A Series Capturing the Nuances of Vintage Baseball Photography Collecting

One could argue that sports photography’s origins lie within the game of baseball. The desire of fans to see images of their favorite players spawned several collecting hobbies and including sports card collecting and a multi-million-dollar industry that relies heavily upon photography.  Holding a card of one’s favorite baseball player is difficult to convey to those who don’t understand the hobby but for those who “get it,” enjoy every aspect of the photo that is displayed on the card’s obverse. Collecting vintage baseball photography takes this feeling to an new level of satisfaction. Acquiring an image of a star baseball player from 70-80 years ago that was captured, developed and printed at that time stirs a significant fire within those afflicted with the passion.

As is the case with so many areas of collecting – especially those with the potential for significantly elevated values – the opportunity for sellers to create (vintage photograph) auction listings with erroneous, misleading information and details or are fakes (copies: modern reproductions of the original photographs) that are being sold as originals or vintage images, is a considerable minefield that can pose problems for even the most experienced and knowledgeable collectors. In addition, this genre can be challenging enough for novices or newcomers when trying to determine the differences between a Type-1, news, or wire photo. This section of Chevrons and Diamonds was created to provide an education to novice and veteran collector alike.


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