The Winter of Baseball Life
Bill Veeck once said, “There are only two seasons – winter and baseball.” For many fans and players alike, there is no truer statement. Winter can be a cold and dark time, with snow and ice, freezing temperatures, and short days that contrast sharply with the warmer weather of the baseball season. Even though it seems like a portion of the country goes into hibernation during the winter, baseball is never far from the minds of those who love the game.
In the early 1920s, Ty Cobb and Ed Walsh were together in New York City at the Hotel Commodore. During this time, the two gentlemen found themselves outside and started to form snow baseballs in an attempt to show the other new curveballs. An article about the photo states that Cobb, who had not experienced snow in more than ten years, wasn’t thrilled by it. The native Georgian probably preferred the warmth of the south during the winter months.
One city that is hit hard by winter most every year, but loves baseball just as hard, is Boston. This photo of Frank Chance is from 1923, his only season as the manager of the Boston Red Sox.
While the stands are empty of people but full of snow, Chance stands ready for the upcoming season. The Red Sox would go 61-91 under Chance, finishing 8th in the American League.
So, what are fans and players supposed to do during the hard winter months? Well, they could just follow the advice of Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby, who once said:
“People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.”
Well, with less than 3 months from the first day of spring, they won’t have to wait much longer.
Cassidy Lent is the reference librarian at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum features a collection of nearly 250,000 photographs like this one. Reproductions are available for purchase. To purchase a reprint of this photograph or others from the Photo Archive collections, please call (607) 547-0375 or email email@example.com. Hall of Fame members receive a 10-percent discount.
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