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The Pittsburg Crawford Photo Album Just Went Off on Ebay

January 17 2007 at 7:14 PM
  (Login northviewcats)

 
Hello Everyone,

Was anyone else watching the auction of an old Pittsburg Crawford photo album that just finished on ebay? I wanted to get in on the bidding until it reached $800.00. Some neat photos but are they really worth over $3,000 bucks? Here is the link.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ih=007&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&viewitem=&item=170070108333&rd=1&rd=1

Best wishes,

Joe

 
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(Login JudgeDred2)

Re: The Pittsburg Crawford Photo Album Just Went Off on Ebay

January 17 2007, 7:27 PM 

Of bidders 14-17, only bidder 15 (the winner) is known. These last four bidders were placed in the last 11 seconds. It would be interesting to know who bidders 14, 16 and 17 are. There identity could provide a little insight about who know's who in the pictures.

My guess is that someone recognized a very important player(s) in the photos. I'd sure like to know who the players are. Unbeknownst to most of us I'd bet money that there's probably a Paige or Gibson or some other great player in that grouping. I can't wait to find out WHO!

 
 

(Login JudgeDred2)

Re: The Pittsburg Crawford Photo Album Just Went Off on Ebay

January 17 2007, 7:38 PM 

Greg,

Please don't keep us in suspense too long....

Does anyone want to tell us if they were bidders 14, 16 or 17?

 
 

(Login piaz)

Re: The Pittsburg Crawford Photo Album Just Went Off on Ebay

January 17 2007, 7:40 PM 

looks like maybe josh gibson on the team photo
2nd guy from the right kneeling

bill

 
 

Bottom of the Ninth
(Login BOTN)

Re: The Pittsburg Crawford Photo Album Just Went Off on Ebay

January 17 2007, 7:43 PM 

Fred,

I was going blind. I may very well have tossed 4K into the trash. I would also like to know who the other bidders were. Once I get it I will do the proper research on it and report back. It is an awesome looking item nonetheless.

Greg

 
 

(Login northviewcats)

Crawford pictures

January 17 2007, 7:51 PM 

I don't think you threw anything in the trash. I've been watching that auction for several days. The photos are in great shape and probably an important addition to the history of the negro leagues.

 
 


(Login slidekellyslide)
Network 54 Moderator

Re: The Pittsburg Crawford Photo Album Just Went Off on Ebay

January 17 2007, 7:59 PM 

I tried throughout the week to match faces and I think one of the guys might be Cool Papa Bell.

 
 

(Login Yankeefan51)

A Museum Quality Piece

January 17 2007, 8:02 PM 



For the past quarter century we have been active collectors and buyers
of rare Negro League items.

We have donated a cadre of special pieces to the Negro League
Museum in Kansas City, and recently spoke with a noted trustee
with regard to our additional ideas to promote the museum.

We were a bidder on this item, and were quite surprised to
see the flurry of last minute activity.

Several real photo post cards that we own of the Pittsburgh Crawfords
as well a McFarland Publishing book on the Crawford could be used
to identify a number of the players pictured in the album

It is our sincere hope that the winner donate, or at least loan, the
album to the Negro League Museum


Best,


Bruce Dorskind
America's Toughest Want List

 
 


(Login slidekellyslide)
Network 54 Moderator

Re: The Pittsburg Crawford Photo Album Just Went Off on Ebay

January 17 2007, 8:07 PM 


 
 

(Login kylebicking)

seller

January 17 2007, 8:52 PM 

According to a conversation my buddy had with the seller, no Paige or Gibson... the seller knew to check for each of them.

Crazy price though!
-Kyle-


 
 


(Login vajra1)

Crazy

January 18 2007, 12:17 AM 

The closing price on this album was outrageous. This is NOT the Pittsburgh Crawfords of the Negro Leagues. There is no one important in any of the photos. It is probably from the 1920s, not the 30s as stated, and is likely a local semi-pro team. If this is the case, I suppose you could say this is the team that eventually became the Pittsburgh Crawfords. It's possible a couple of those guys played for the professional Crawfords later on, but no one major.

It is also possible this is just a local team from Crawford, Texas or some other city named Crawford.

The lady who sold it deals in photos and knows nothing about baseball or the Negro Leagues. She did some rudimentary research over the internet and determined that it was the Pittsburgh Crawfords of the Negro Leagues. I don't believe there was any deception involved on her part, although I did make her aware that it was not the same Crawfords she mentioned in her description.

Having said that, I thought the images depicted on the photos were outstanding and I had a snipe in just based on that. Of course, it closed for four times what my snipe was set at.

Had it been the actual Crawfords I would have gladly bid over $5,000 on it. Probably a lot more. And I doubt I would have won it.

Very nice images, though. Definitely the most interesting item on ebay in the past few weeks, if you ask me.

-Ryan

 
 
ramram
(Login ramramram)

Re: The Pittsburg Crawford Photo Album Just Went Off on Ebay

January 18 2007, 2:11 AM 

This photo is from the birth of the Pittsburgh Crawfords. Ryan's estimation is correct. This photo would be from the 1920s when the team was still more of a town team. It soon would blossom into the professional team in the 30's. Probably nobody famous in the photo but still a VERY important image from the early years of this team.

If you look closely at the photo in the ebay auction note the "RC" on the left sleeve of the player in the middle row, left side (also the player in the front row). That stands for the Pittsburgh Crawfords Recreation Center. Check the link below and note the left side of their uniform sleeves as well as the title of the photo:

http://www.carnegielibrary.org/exhibit/neighborhoods/hill/hill_n255.html

Rob M.

(edited to get the website corrected)

 
 
ramram
(Login ramramram)

Re: The Pittsburg Crawford Photo Album Just Went Off on Ebay

January 18 2007, 2:39 AM 

Actually, I wouldn't totally rule out the possibility of a young Josh Gibson being in the team photo or in one of the other photos. He played for the semi-pro Crawfords from 1927 - 1929 when he was still a teenager (He was 16 when he joined them in 1927). A couple of the players in the back row look quite young, especially the two that are still in their street clothes. Gibson grew to be 6'-1" but was likely shorter than that when he was 16.

Rob M.

 
 


(Login vajra1)

Josh Gibson

January 18 2007, 3:43 AM 

Rob,

Actually, I think that's Jim Thorpe in the back row. Or Joe Jackson.

-Ryan

 
 
ramram
(Login ramramram)

Re: The Pittsburg Crawford Photo Album Just Went Off on Ebay

January 18 2007, 9:27 AM 

Ryan, I'd have to disagree. I don't see Thorpe or Jackson in that photo. :p

I don't necessarily see Gibson in the photo either but if he's not in the photo it's a shame. That was the team he played on in the late 1920's. Both of those teams are wearing the Crawfords Rec Center uniforms and that team, from the late 1920's, eventually became the Pittsburgh Crawfords.

Rob M.

 
 


(Login vajra1)

album

January 18 2007, 9:45 AM 

No Gibson there. I did take another look at those pics, though. Man, those are some great images. They really seem to capture the essence of the Negro Leagues. The fans in the background, the buildings, the condition of the fields, the guys in street clothes pitching, amazing!

I think I spoke too soon when I said the price was outrageous and crazy. Images like that have value even if they are anonymous. When they are a pre-Crawfords team, all the better.

I wouldn't have paid the closing price, but after looking at those great pics again it doesn't seem so high.

Whether the price was cheap or expensive, it's a great pick-up.

-Ryan

 
 

(Login barrysloate)

The Pittsburg Crawford Photo Album Just Went Off on Ebay

January 18 2007, 11:41 AM 

Now the question is will the album stay intact or be busted up?

 
 


(Login baseballart)
Chatlist

Re: The Pittsburg Crawford Photo Album Just Went Off on Ebay

January 18 2007, 11:46 AM 

Barry

You know where my vote lies. A document such as this has tremendous historical value if kept together. It's not cards, it's not real photo postcards.

Max

 
 

Bottom of the Ninth
(Login BOTN)

Huh?

January 18 2007, 11:46 AM 

The album's significance is primarily due to its completeness. It tells a story. This is not like a set of cards.

 
 


(Login calvindog)

Re: The Pittsburg Crawford Photo Album Just Went Off on Ebay

January 18 2007, 11:56 AM 

Greg, some of those pictures seem trimmed. Perhaps you could find someone to soak and stretch them a bit.....

 
 


(Login hobby_stump)

Re: The Pittsburg Crawford Photo Album Just Went Off on Ebay

January 18 2007, 1:18 PM 

It is difficult to tell from the shading and size of the auction pictures, but I can find two images that appear to capture some or many of Josh Gibson's facial and other physical characteristics. I, for one, would be interested in seeing larger scans of both pictures once Greg receives them.





 
 


(Login slidekellyslide)
Network 54 Moderator

Re: The Pittsburg Crawford Photo Album Just Went Off on Ebay

January 18 2007, 1:22 PM 

Gibson batted right handed...the fellow in the top picture is in a lefty stance.

 
 

(Login barrysloate)

The Pittsburg Crawford Photo Album Just Went Off on Ebay

January 18 2007, 1:22 PM 

Greg- I agree and I respect that you plan to leave it intact, but I have seen some ghastly things in the hobby. I know my 1872 Boston composite photo was broken up after I sold it, and a couple of years ago some nimrod tore apart a Harry Wright season scorebook and not only sold individual sections, but ripped pages out of the book and sold them one at a time because they had Wright's tiny pencil signature on them. You are doing the right thing by keeping it together.

 
 


(Login hobby_stump)

Re: The Pittsburg Crawford Photo Album Just Went Off on Ebay

January 18 2007, 1:32 PM 

<< Gibson batted right handed...the fellow in the top picture is in a lefty stance. >>

True enough but I can't tell from the picture which hand is on top (is it the right?) or whether the picture was printed from a reversed negative. In any case, I think it would be interesting (and perhaps revealing) to see a larger scan of the batter's face and uniform.

 
 

Bottom of the Ninth
(Login BOTN)

Re: The Pittsburg Crawford Photo Album Just Went Off on Ebay

January 18 2007, 3:18 PM 

Barry,

I would never consider breaking up the album. I now have it in hand and it is even more impressive than the scans depicted.

Greg

 
 

(Login barrysloate)

The Pittsburg Crawford Photo Album Just Went Off on Ebay

January 18 2007, 3:46 PM 

Greg- that's the spirit!!

 
 
Rob Fouch
(Login cubguy)

Re: The Pittsburg Crawford Photo Album Just Went Off on Ebay

January 18 2007, 3:58 PM 

Awesome album. Congrats on the pickup.


It does raise a question in my mind, however. What family would allow such an amazing piece of its history to just be sold like that? I imagine that if it came from an estate sale, it's the kids who are selling off the album that was owned by a grandparent or other older relative. It just amazes me what people will get rid of for a few bucks. To me, if that were in my family, there'd be no price worth parting with it.

 
 


(Login slidekellyslide)
Network 54 Moderator

Re: The Pittsburg Crawford Photo Album Just Went Off on Ebay

January 18 2007, 5:44 PM 

Early photo of Josh Gibson -circa 1932
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

 
 


(Login hobby_stump)

Re: The Pittsburg Crawford Photo Album Just Went Off on Ebay

January 19 2007, 1:19 PM 

From The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues, 1994:

"Born in Georgia, the eldest of three children, Josh completed five years of elementary school before moving North to Pittsburgh, where his father had secured employment as a laborer with Carnegie-Illinois Steel. After arriving in Pittsburgh, he enrolled at Allegheny Prevocational School to study to be an electrician. After the ninth grade he dropped out to become an apprentice in an air-brake factory. In 1927 he also began playing baseball with the Pleasant Valley Red Sox, a Pittsburgh sandlot team, before joining the Pittsburgh Crawfords (at that time a semipro boys' team) later in the season."

My note: the article goes on to state that Josh Gibson played for the semipro Crawfords until late in the 1930 season when he began catching for the Homestead Grays.

The time period seems to fit -- the pictures from the auction could very well be from this time period: 1927-1930. It is also conceivable that the photos of the Crawfords might precede this era but I am uncertain how much earlier the Crawfords began to play.

 
 

Bottom of the Ninth
(Login BOTN)

An update

January 19 2007, 2:23 PM 

I contacted the Negro League Museum and they did not recognize anyone in the photos. They did not even seem that interested in viewing the album from a historical standpoint. Still happy to own it.


 
 
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