Of the handful of known 1920 Cleveland Indians team photographs in the world, only a couple include star shortstop Ray Chapman. By mid-season the Indians were doing well, but nobody really considered them anything special. Their star infielder would be struck by a pitched ball and killed in August, prompting the world to cheer for the squad and his teammates to kick their efforts up a notch. They would sport black arm bands for Chapman and win the World Series. Today, all things "1920 Indians" are coveted by collectors. Photographers would flock to the city after Chapman's death to chronicle the teams rise in the face of tragedy, but almost no images exist of the squad with Chapman actually in the photo. The offered stunning silver gelatin photograph captures the squad as they started the season and includes Chapman in the front row (fourth from right) looking slightly to the side, almost symbolic as he was the only man in the image not looking directly at the camera! Issued by the Underwood and Underwood company of New York, this is one of the most historically important images of the era we have ever offered. Pulled directly from a newspaper archive and presented here for the first time ever to the public! The photo is clean and bold, presenting as well as anything we have seen, and it has a few pinholes from news-room use being the only real flaws.
Designation: Vintage 1
Overall Grade: 9/10