Erin Jang's 3D Collage for the Lebron Issue
3D Lebron Collage by Designer - Erin Jang
Today’s tennis balls can handle unreal pressure—as Samuel Groth proved when he unleashed a 163.4 mph serve. But they weren’t always so lively. In the early 1900s, balls were commonly packaged in paper bags, and the lack of air pressure made them flatten. It wasn’t until the mid-1920s, when companies began using pressure-packed metal containers, that balls became reliably zippy. Here are 12 historic containers from the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum in Newport, R.I. —MAYA A. JONES
Pennsylvania Rubber Co. - May 1947 & Elgee 1950s (post WWII) British
Pennsylvania Rubber Co. - Dec. 1939 & Wright & Ditson ca. 1920-1925
Sears, Roebuck & Co. - 1934 (or later) & Bancroft 1950s-1960s British
Johnny Callison's glove from the '64 All-Star Game. - he was a Philadelphia Phillies right-fielder 1960-1969
Johnny Callison ball from the '64 All-Star Game
Johnny Callison glove from the '64 All-Star Game
Johnny Callison ball and glove from the '64 All-Star Game
With the first modern World Series, in 1903, tied at three games apiece, editors of The Boston Globe promised to buy pocket watches for the Americans (precursors to the Red Sox) if they closed out the best-of-nine matchup against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Boston did, and a tradition was born. But in 1922—after pocket watches had fallen out of fashion because of their impracticality on the battlefields of World War I—the New York Giants started a new custom by bestowing rings upon their championship-winning players. Still, even as bejeweled bands became the gold standard in the late 1920s, watches were offered by a handful of clubs into the 1950s. Crafted by the country’s finest watchmakers and engraved in 14-karat gold, the keepsakes now fetch upward of $50,000 from collectors, according to Steiner Sports. So while rings are the standard now, these championship watches remain, well, timeless." —SARAH TURCOTTE
Group shot 01
1923 New York Yankees - Kenesaw Mountain Landis - MIB Commisioner - Gruen Watch Co.
1916 Boston Red Sox - Ban Johnson, Al President - Gruen Watch Co.
Elgin Watch Company
1903 Boston Americans -Freddy Parent - Shortstop - Waltham Watch Co.
1909 Pittsburgh Pirates - Vic Willis - Pitcher - Waltham Watch Co.
952 New York Yankees - George Weiss - General Manager - Wittnauer Watch Co.
It’s hard to imagine a time when the thrill of Cracker Jack wasn’t about using your inquisitive hands to sort through the sticky popcorn and peanuts to find the treasure within. But in fact, prizes weren’t added to the boxes until 1912, nearly two decades after the sugar bomb was introduced. Mini baseball cards were among the earliest trinkets; hundreds of toys have been sports-themed since. They are among the most coveted of the 18 billion prizes given away over the past century. You can see for yourself at the Cracker Jack Collectors Association convention—oh yes, it exists—which holds its 17th annual gathering this June in Bloomington, Minn. Or you can just check out this collection. —LIZZIE HALDANE
Boxer & BaseBall Player 1950s
Cross Bats Stud-Back Pin, 2nd Base & Catcher 1931
BaseBall Spinner game 1912-21 + Score Counter 1912-21
Mini PinBall Bowling game + Mini PinBall Football game 1970s
In 1933, the story goes, Charles Darrow plucked trinkets from his wife’s charm bracelet and used them as tokens for a prototype of Monopoly. Before long those charms were replaced by top hats, irons and thimbles. Years later, sports themed tokens were added to complement new editions of what had become America’s best- selling board game. No matter which sporty version you play, passing Go with any of these tokens—each requires 48 hours to mold from zinc—is still worth an always-welcome $200.
MLB edition, 2006 + Surfing edition, 2005
Surfing edition, 2005
Golf edition, 2002 + Snowboarding edition, 2004
NFL edition, 2007
NHL edition, 2010
Surfing edition, 2005
This is a collection of photography I have done for ESPN the Magazine and ESPN.com since 2011. The range has been from tiny, sports-themed Monopoly pieces to antique tennis ball cans and pocket watches from World Series baseball teams. All of it was a blast to shoot!
Type still life, editorial, collectors, baseball, tennis, Monopoly, Cracker Jack, memorabilia, Johnny Callison, Piladelphia Phillies, 1964 All Star Game, Lebron James, Erin Jang