Photo of the Week: Baseball

Boys Club, circa 1910, v1981.284.51; Emmanuel House lantern slide collection, ARC.136; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Boys Club, circa 1910, v1981.284.51; Emmanuel House lantern slide collection, ARC.136; Brooklyn Historical Society.

It’s officially spring, which also means the start of baseball season. The photo of the week depicts a portrait of a boys baseball club taken at the Emmanuel House in the Clinton Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn, around 1910. Brooklyn played a key role in baseball’s early history, in part because of the rapid growth of amateur clubs that developed within a decade after 1845. By 1858, there were 71 clubs in Brooklyn, including the Atlantics of Bedford, the Excelsiors of South Brooklyn, and the Williamsburg Eckfords. According an 1858 article in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, “Their games have been attended by large crowds of spectators and it became evident that a great popular want was being supplied by these clubs.” To learn more about this fascinating history, check out Brooklyn! An Illustrated History available at the Othmer Library.

This photograph comes from the Emmanuel House lantern slide collection comprised of 87 photographs from 1900 to 1914 that document children at the Emmanuel House, their activities, interior and exterior shots of the buildings. The majority of the photographs are group portraits of clubs, classes, and recreational activities at Emmanuel House. Emmanuel House was located at 131 Steuben Street in the Clinton Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn and served as a civic center and place of outreach run by the Young Men’s League of the Emmanuel Baptist Church. To see more photographs from this collection, check out this gallery.

If you haven’t seen the BHS Pierrepont baseball exhibition, Until Everyone Has It Made: Jackie Robinson’s Legacy, you have until June to check it out! This exhibition celebrates Jackie Robinson’s legacy and features an array of archival materials, photography, programs and memorabilia.

Interested in seeing more photos from BHS’s collection? Visit our online image gallery, which includes a selection of our images. Interested in seeing even more historic Brooklyn images? Visit our Brooklyn Visual Heritage website here. To search BHS’s entire collection of images, archives, maps, and special collections visit BHS’s Othmer Library Wed-Sat, 1:00-5:00 p.m. library@brooklynhistory.org

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