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  • "Baseball Memories" Photo Books

    Marc Okkonen, the author of 20th Century Baseball Uniforms, which detailed minute changes in each MLB team's home and road unifroms year by year, had another big project in the early to mid-1990s.
    He published a few books and possibly a whole series of photo books of players, by decades. I have seen a few of his "Baseball Memories" photo books, published by Sterling Publishing. While not publishing the photos of every single MLB player of a particular decade, I'd guess that his books are between 90 to 95 per cent complete. I know I have seen books for the 1900-1909 decade, the 1930s and the 1950s. I have a faint memory of seeing one in a bookstore for the 1940s also. I just wonder if any members know if his project was completed? Did Sterling Publishing publish an Okkonen book for each decade from the 1900s through the 1980s, and possibly even books on 19th Century players? Or was this a goal that was only partially realized, with only books on a limited number of decades reaching the marketplace?

    Also,I'm guessing that these books have been out of print for a while now. Who knows any book dealers that specialize in Sports books, where out-of-print works may be obtained?

  • #2
    Best I can tell there were the 00's, 30's and 50's. I have all three (bought on Amazon or e-bay for cheap). I am positive there are no more. They are wonderful photo resources. They aren't hard to come by at the above mentioned sites.

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    • #3
      There was a photo book on the 1940s but perhaps written by another author. i'll revise my original estimate. The 1930's and 1950s were pretty close to complete. They were probably 96-97 per cent complete, quite an accomplishment, but a few players always escaped the author's collection. The author was not as successful in obtaining photos from the 1900s decade.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by philliesfiend55 View Post
        There was a photo book on the 1940s but perhaps written by another author. i'll revise my original estimate. The 1930's and 1950s were pretty close to complete. They were probably 96-97 per cent complete, quite an accomplishment, but a few players always escaped the author's collection. The author was not as successful in obtaining photos from the 1900s decade.
        Its tough getting photos from that decade. Many players who were "up for a cup of coffee" were never photographed and some who were had there photos lost to time. I've made a documentary and looked for old photos for the Indians/Naps and for many players that weren't stars there isn't much if anything to choose from. Places like New York and Chicago and St. Louis (Sporting News) are pretty good with finding photos from their teams. Smaller cities like Cleveland, Cincy and Pittsburgh are harder. This is due to major wire services of the day being located there. Also, finding some teams in their home jerseys is next to impossible as everything seems to be shot in NY or Chicago.

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        • #5
          Unphotographed Players Are Much Less Common After 1925-
          In the early 20th Century Sports Public Relations 101 didn't exist. There were no ground rules. A standard PR practice as simple as making sure that a newly-acquired player, whether it be from a trade or from the minor leagues, was photographed in his new team's uniform as soon as possible after acquisition, either didn't exist or it was rather hit or miss.
          You mentioned that there were a lot of players who were never photgraphed in the 1900-1909 decade. I agree and I'd add that from my own collecting experience, 1924/1925 seems to be the cutoff. Before 1925 you'll find plenty of gaps in the photographic record. At that point Baseball PR practices became more established and that included getting newly-acquired players photographed in the new team's threads as soon as the new player "came on board". Beginning about 1925 there will be only a handful of players for whom photographs don't survive to the present day.
          Brace Photos (based in Chicago) was the official photographer of the major leagues for about 75 years or more. That's why many players were photographed in Chicago. They were still a good source for purchasing vintage photos of major leaguers a few years ago and may still be today. They still may be in operation, but I haven't contacted them for about the last four years.

          -philliesfiend55-
          philliesfiend55
          Registered User
          Last edited by philliesfiend55; 03-02-2010, 08:00 AM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by philliesfiend55 View Post
            Brace Photos (based in Chicago) was the official photographer of the major leagues for about 75 years or more. That's why many players were photographed in Chicago. They were still a good source for purchasing vintage photos of major leaguers a few years ago and may still be today. They still may be in operation, but I haven't contacted them for about the last four years.
            Here's a link to their website: http://www.bracephoto.com/
            X

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Gary Dunaier View Post
              Here's a link to their website: http://www.bracephoto.com/
              According to your link, Brace Photos sells a catalog or list of every player that is in their collection for $7. To any dedicated l collector its a bargain at that price to send for their catalog just to see what's available.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by philliesfiend55 View Post
                Marc Okkonen, the author of 20th Century Baseball Uniforms, which detailed minute changes in each MLB team's home and road unifroms year by year, had another big project in the early to mid-1990s.
                He published a few books and possibly a whole series of photo books of players, by decades. I have seen a few of his "Baseball Memories" photo books, published by Sterling Publishing. While not publishing the photos of every single MLB player of a particular decade, I'd guess that his books are between 90 to 95 per cent complete. I know I have seen books for the 1900-1909 decade, the 1930s and the 1950s. I have a faint memory of seeing one in a bookstore for the 1940s also. I just wonder if any members know if his project was completed? Did Sterling Publishing publish an Okkonen book for each decade from the 1900s through the 1980s, and possibly even books on 19th Century players? Or was this a goal that was only partially realized, with only books on a limited number of decades reaching the marketplace?

                Also,I'm guessing that these books have been out of print for a while now. Who knows any book dealers that specialize in Sports books, where out-of-print works may be obtained?
                Marc is one of the baseball writers in my Meet The Sports Writers.

                Here is my entry for him.
                ------------------------------------
                Marcus (Marc) Okkonen:

                Born: July 21, 1933
                Died: Still Alive

                Marc is one of the leading Ty Cobb historians/researchers/advocates of his times.

                Authored:
                Baseball Uniforms of the 20th Century: The Official Major League Baseball Guide, 1991, 1993
                Baseball Memories, (1900-1909), 1992
                Baseball Memories (1930-1939): A Complete Pictorial History of the "Hall of Fame" Decade, 1994
                Baseball Memories (1950-1959): An Illustrated Scrapbook of Baseball's Fabulous 50's: All the Players, Managers, Cities & Ballparks, 1993
                The Federal League of 1914-1915: Baseball's Third Major League, 1989
                MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL TOWNS OF MICHIGAN: ADRIAN TO YPSILANTI: THE TEAMS & THE BALLPARKS OF THE WOLVERINE STATE FROM THE 1880'S TO THE PRESENT, 1997
                The Ty Cobb Scrapbook: An Illustrated Chronology of Significant Dates in the 24-Year Career of the Fabled Georgia Peach, 2001
                ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                As you can see, his project wasn't completed. He only did the 3. I once wrote him and he confirmed for me that his project wasn't fully realized. I had used his photos of sports writers in my own project and was hoping for more. But alas, there were no more.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by philliesfiend55 View Post
                  Also,I'm guessing that these books have been out of print for a while now. Who knows any book dealers that specialize in Sports books, where out-of-print works may be obtained?
                  If you are searching for books, whether sports or otherwise, the best online search engine out there is:

                  www.bookfinder.com

                  It is massive and includes most of the other huge book databases like borders, Half.com, abebooks, amazon, A 1 Books, Alibris, Biblio.com, viabiblio, bookavenue and countless others.

                  For photos of the players, the 2 best books I know of are:

                  The Image of Their Greatness, by Lawrence Ritter and Donald Honig, 1979 and later editions

                  The American League: An Illustrated History, by Donald Honig, 1983
                  The National League: An Illustrated History, by Donald Honig, 1983
                  Bill Burgess
                  Registered User
                  Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-10-2010, 01:47 PM.

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                  • #10
                    [QUOTE=Bill Burgess;1701957]Marc is one of the baseball writers in my Meet The Sports Writers.

                    Here is my entry for him.
                    ------------------------------------
                    Marcus (Marc) Okkonen:

                    Born: July 21, 1933
                    Died: Still Alive

                    Marc is one of the leading Ty Cobb historians/researchers/advocates of his times.

                    Authored:
                    Baseball Uniforms of the 20th Century: The Official Major League Baseball Guide, 1991, 1993
                    Baseball Memories, (1900-1909), 1992
                    Baseball Memories (1930-1939): A Complete Pictorial History of the "Hall of Fame" Decade, 1994
                    Baseball Memories (1950-1959): An Illustrated Scrapbook of Baseball's Fabulous 50's: All the Players, Managers, Cities & Ballparks, 1993.

                    Mr. Burgess: If you are in contact with Mr. Okkonen, ask him how he was able to get copyright approval for all of the photos he used in his books on players of the '00s, '30s and '50s.
                    I had thought about turning my Phillies Collection into a photo book of some kind but the publishers I contacted have not been encouraging. They sited dificulties of getting copyright approval from photgraphers, players, or the estates of deceased players as the chief barriers to turning a photo collection into a published book.
                    - Dennis Orlandini - (philliesfiend55).
                    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    philliesfiend55
                    Registered User
                    Last edited by philliesfiend55; 03-11-2010, 07:40 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by philliesfiend55 View Post
                      Mr. Burgess: If you are in contact with Mr. Okkonen, ask him how he was able to get copyright approval for all of the photos he used in his books on players of the '00s, '30s and '50s.
                      I had thought about turning my Phillies Collection into a photo book of some kind but the publishers I contacted have not been encouraging. They sited dificulties of getting copyright approval from photgraphers, players, or the estates of deceased players as the chief barriers to turning a photo collection into a published book.
                      - Dennis Orlandini - (philliesfiend55)
                      You can contact him yourself at his email address, which is:

                      [email protected]

                      That is all I have for him.

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                      • #12
                        Thanks for the E-Mail address!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by philliesfiend55 View Post
                          Thanks for the E-Mail address!
                          It's always my pleasure to assist you, philliesfiend55.

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