A New Look at the Men of Baseball’s Past- page 6 | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian
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(© Sporting News)

A New Look at the Men of Baseball’s Past

Charles Conlon’s classic photographs of baseball players from the early 20th century offer a glimpse into a familiar sport at an otherworldly time

Fred Blake

Fred Blake
(© Sporting News)
Fred Blake was a coal miner’s son from West Virginia. When his pitching career fizzled, he returned home to work in the mines. “One of the things that I find interesting when you look at historic images of ballplayers and compare them to contemporary players is that you realize that the modern ballplayers have benefited from good nutrition from birth,” says Conrad. “They’ve had weight training and personal chefs and personal trainers. Many of the old-time players came from mining towns or farming towns. Life was tougher, and they were hardened.”

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