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Baseball's Golden Age: The Photographs of Charles M. Conlon Hardcover


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Baseball's Golden Age: The Photographs of Charles M. Conlon + The Big Show: Charles M. Conlon's Golden Age Baseball Photographs + Greats of the Game: The Players, Games, Teams, and Managers That Made Baseball History
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 198 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (September 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1419701975
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419701979
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 11.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #418,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

He was called "The Baseball Photographer," the man who put his camera away after the World Series and didn't unpack it again until Opening Day, but Conlon's work is not that simple. Though he had no artistic pretense, his images are certainly works of art, and if his subject, on the surface, was the "National Pastime," his focus was really on capturing depth of character; his characters just happened to be ballplayers. Conlon's stark, vivid, black-and-white photographs caught an era that spanned the turn of the century to the second World War, and some of the moments he froze remain breathtakingly stunning: the sad eyes of Babe Ruth in deep close-up, the hope in the smile of a rookie Lou Gehrig, the dignity of Walter Johnson, the impishness of Casey Stengel, the burdens of Honus Wagner, the arrogance of Nap Lajoie and Tris Speaker, and the concentration of Christy Mathewson. This is a magnificent collection, one capable of superimposing the past onto the present; it is visually arresting--and alluring--like the game itself. --Jeff Silverman --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

Review

"This is an invaluable volume for baseball fans and American history buffs alike."

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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This book is a must for anyone who appreciates baseball and photography.
scott cappelluti
For those interested, there is a collection of hundreds of baseball cards featuring the photographic genius of Conlon.
Grissum C. Smackerson
The pictures are beautiful, and enhanced by the description and stories behind them.
A.R.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Spencer K. Stephens on March 16, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Were Charles Conlon still alive, I would track him down and kiss his feet for capturing in such vivid detail the historic giants of baseball. The book features remarkable photos of the greatest baseball players of most of the first half of this century. Suitable for framing, the photos typically depict individual players and small groups, often in game action. The well preserved photographs provide an important window on a truly beautiful game and its players in an era when outfield fences were optional, and a "baseball club" was just that. My favorite of Conlon's gems shows Hall of Fame shortstop Honus Wagner gripping his bat. Under his fingernails is Pennsylvania coal dust. His chipped, oversized piece of lumber looks unwieldy by today's standards. And his sinuous forearms are testament to the power that we remember him by. Other photos are paired to show the dramatic impact of age and the outfield sun on players of yesterday. Picture Wes Chandler spunky at 25 and then battle weary at about 50 and you'll understand why so many players strive so hard for a moment in the sun: they want to enjoy it before it's all gone.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Orff on April 10, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This marvellous collection of the greatest baseball photographs ever taken qualify as one of the very best contributions to both baseball literature and serious photography. The consummate images of rough-hewn blue-collar stock named Wagner or McGraw or Overall silhouetted against rickety hardwood bleachers, rusty wire screens, and smoke-baptised brick houses; unmown grass and pock-marked infields beneath them; the smell of pancake mitts and hickory bats and unwashen wool uniforms in their nostrils; coal-dust and farm soil and blistering summer sun etching character into their faces. These, I say, seem to me the very breath and blood of the grand ol' game of baseball, all gloriously frozen in time in its purest splendor by the sensitive eye of Charles M. Conlon. These indelible images from the tool of a genius ARE NOT JUST BASEBALL PHOTOGRAPHS! Who can shake the documentary immediacy, mental peace, or aesthetic excitement aroused by the breath-taking images of Bob Rhoads warming-up his soupbone, shadowed by the hand-operated scoreboard at the wood-and-spit Hilltop Park? Or a flailing Tommy Leach squinting a pop-up into the merciless Brooklyn sun? Or Ty Cobb, his jaw curled into a fist, ruthlessly showering dirt and hellfire into a helpless third-sacker? Or muscular Tim Jordan gracefully balancing a heavy-weight stroke of his massive war-club? As the authors state, Conlon deserves to be ranked with Ansel Adams and Walker Evans, and compared with Eugene Atget. His undying images provide a unique look at a time and way of life gone by. P.S.: What I want to know is, WHERE IS THE SEQUEL? Conlon left 8000 negatives; and many of his most extraordinary--such as Russ Ford warming up by the Hilltop's trumpet-clutching "p.a.Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 20, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I have been a reader of baseball history for most of my 45 years, and I never heard of George S. Conlon. I know him now. This book is nothing less than fascinating. The photos are marvelous, but every printed word is interesting, starting with the preface. I could not put it down.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ohioan on October 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The cover photograph, featuring the hand of Chicago White Sox hurler Ed Walsh, indicates how great this book will be. Look at the dirt on the ball, the dirt on the hand and under the fingernails of Walsh, and you know that you are witnessing a baseball era very different from our own, an era when the words "players" and "pampered" would never be used in the same sentence.

I bought this book when it first came out in 1993, and I still enjoy looking at the photos and learning vicariously about a different era. If you love baseball and baseball history, and if you love photography that captures the unposed, this is a good book to own.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 21, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As great as the photos are the text is almost as good.
Very refreshing; especially in the winter and in light of $250 million player contracts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 29, 1998
Format: Hardcover
If you love old tyme baseball (turn of the 20th century), you'll cherish the revival of these Conlon Photos that the McCabe siblings have lovingly displayed for all (and the often glib repartee that accompanies them is the icing on the cake).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Grissum C. Smackerson on December 4, 1998
Format: Hardcover
The centerpiece of all baseball photography books. You read about them. You marvel at their feats and accomplishments. So few photographs exist about them. What do they look like? Charles Conlon did history a service by just following his hobby. Truly a magnificent masterpiece. Not just photo's...History! We are all so very lucky to be blessed with such a collection. For those interested, there is a collection of hundreds of baseball cards featuring the photographic genius of Conlon. They are out of print now, but can still be found. The Conlon Collection from the Sporting News. You owe it to yourself to check it out. You owe it to yourself to own this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 25, 1998
Format: Hardcover
A captivating, can't put down book. As previous reviewers have noted, this book is like a time machine that transports you into another world. You step through the looking glass and onto the Polo Grounds, Washington Park, or Yankee Stadium.
I have not enjoyed a baseball this much since the companion book to the PBS "Baseball" series!
The photographs here are truly amazing when you consider how poor the technology of the time was. Other books on old time baseball force one to suffer through really bad period photos. There isn't a bad one here. Conlon was truly an artist!
If you love history, baseball, or really good photography you will love this book.
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