Dubbed the "Father of News Photography," George Grantham Bain ranks among Charles Conlon, Carl Horner and Paul Thompson as one of baseball's pioneering master photographers. He founded the seminal Bain News Service in New York City in 1898, offering worldwide photographic coverage of arts, entertainment, politics, disasters, crime, sports and more. Indeed, Bain's towering influence and legacy were such that today his main archive is prestigiously housed in the Library of Congress!
The rare archive on offer here in our auction is extremely unique in that each original photo is a four-in-one portrait composite with oversized 11x14 dimensions and an intact newspaper-supplement caption. What's more, nearly every image boasts the stellar, crystal-clear image quality that indicates production direct from Bain's 4x5 glass negatives—hence, Type I photo status. We've never seen anything else quite like it. In terms of preservation, the century-old photo quartets exhibit their typical vintage usage/handling wear throughout, as well as filing holes from a ring binder. Likewise for the large, boldly printed paper captions.
Title: "Some of Washington's Best Players"
Subjects: 1) Walter Johnson ("The Banner Pitcher of the Entire World"); 2) Jack Bentley ("The Young Southpaw who is making good"); 3) Merito Acosta ("A Cuban who is Playing on the Outfield"); 4) Wally Smith ("Infielder, who is being Tried Out at Second Base").