• The Fantography Project

    Posted by on May 31st, 2010 · Comments (4)

    I never get tired of seeing great baseball photography. There’s some many things about baseball that lends to more interesting photography compared to the other “major” sports.

    Just yesterday, I was really enjoying the enshrinee photos in the National Baseball Hall of Fame 2010 Official Yearbook. (Really, great shots there.) And, later in the day, I saw a sick photo of Adam Wainwright’s fingers on Yahoo as he was throwing a pitch in yesterday’s game. (Yahoo has since removed the photo – hate when they do that! – but it was amazing to see the way Wainwright’s long fingers were wrapped around the ball.)

    Thinking more about baseball photography, I found this great (somewhat Yankees-related) story from the La Jolla Village News:

    As a testimony to one of America’s most beloved pastimes, the La Jolla Riford Library will display a collection of fan-captured snapshots that portray poignant moments in the last 100 years of major league, minor league and Negro league baseball throughout the month of June.

    Assembled by local baseball historian Andy Strasberg as part of his ongoing Fantography project, the exhibit eschews professional photography and focuses instead on the personal contribution of devoted fans. Strasberg, who worked in marketing for the San Diego Padres from 1975 to 1996, will be present in the library on June 5 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and again on June 22 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. to accept photo submissions and hear the stories behind the snapshots. He will collect photos of players, ballparks, mascots, scoreboards and “just about anything else that relates to professional baseball” as long as they are not taken by professionals and do not depict baseball game action.

    Strasberg’s project was influenced by a lifelong devotion to the sport. His father, a traveling pharmaceuticals salesman, took him to his first game and encouraged Strasberg’s passion during his childhood growing up in the Bronx. Later, Strasberg said, he developed a relationship as a fan with former New York Yankee Roger Maris.

    “I’d get to the games incredibly early and I was too nervous to say anything,” Strasberg said. “So I handed him a note expressing my support and my interest in his talent as a player. Over time, I lost the shyness and we developed a sort of friendship that probably impacted me more than anything else.”

    In 1973, Strasberg left New York for San Diego and met his wife, Patti, whom he married on home plate in San Diego Stadium three years later.

    Strasberg’s current collection includes about 4,000 snapshots gathered since 1997 from fans nationwide, and even a few from Japan. Eventually, he hopes to amass 250,000 by continuing to travel and visit with fans, then publish all the photographs in a book that will preserve professional baseball as seen from the eyes of fans everywhere. He lamented the fact that so many photographs shot before the invention of digital cameras have been discarded, and that today’s digital photos often disappear into the nebulous online world without ever being printed.

    The Fantography display is presented by B.H. Gold Insurance Agency of San Diego, and will run June 1 to June 30 before it travels to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s home in Cooperstown, N.Y. To learn more about the project, visit fantography.net.

    Click here to check out the Fantography site. (It’s a good one!)

    Related, what’s your favorite collection of baseball photography?

    Me, I’m a junkie for this stuff. So, whether it’s something like The Barry Halper Collection of Baseball Memorabilia or Baseball: A Celebration! or Baseball’s Best Shots or something else…I, again, just love outstanding baseball photography.

    Comments on The Fantography Project

    1. May 31st, 2010 | 2:22 pm

      The Library of Congress has an interesting collection of baseball and baseball-related photos. You can find it here: http://tinyurl.com/2ba5jva

    2. Raf
      June 1st, 2010 | 1:16 am

      Nice find!

    3. June 1st, 2010 | 8:35 am

      @ Sean McNally: Great link – thanks!

    4. June 1st, 2010 | 8:35 am

      Raf wrote:

      Nice find!

      FWIW, I submitted a photo. Let’s see if it gets chosen!

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