When I first started sifting through images that I thought would best represent the company that I wanted to start, I was looking at classic players: Ty Cobb, Cap Anson, Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth, Satchel Paige, Christy Mathewson. I looked at photos of teams that represented some of the greatest in baseball history – 1934 Cardinals, 1927 Yankees. I thought of using collage images of football, baseball, basketball, and hockey players – to get across the idea that this is not just a baseball auction.
Ultimately, I kept going back to this image. It’s an amateur team from Long Branch, New Jersey, a beach town, circa 1920. In the background is what appears to be a beach house or small hotel. The players are lined up on the scraggly grass of a Jersey Shore ballfield, surrounded by stockade fencing of some sort.
They’re nobody special. No Hall of Famers. There’s nothing particularly scarce about the postcard. The guys in it are probably all lost to history at this point; there may not even be anyone alive who can identify any of them.
They didn’t play because they got paid. They weren’t in TV commercials, they didn’t have Twitter followers, they weren’t playing for big contracts. They played for a Love of the Game.
I didn’t pick up the postcard in hopes that an unidentified Shoeless Joe Jackson was in the back row, or because it was a scarce variation from some cool postcard set. I picked it up because I live in New Jersey and I like picking up pieces that document baseball in New Jersey. Amateur, professional, semi-pro, high school, whatever. I just like the artifacts, because I love the game.
Ultimately, that’s it. The picture represents the name of the company, that’s all.