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More than meets the eye: ESPN helps Library of Congress launch “Baseball Americana”

Part 1 of 5: ESPN's Stats and Info Group helps tell story behind this 1925 Yankee Stadium photo

EDITOR’S NOTE: On Friday, June 29, the Library of Congress will open its latest exhibit “Baseball Americana” with help from ESPN’s very own Statistics and Information Group (SIG). The exhibit will explore baseball’s roots, its changing traditions and the state of the game today. SIG collaborated with the Library on more than 100 artifacts to develop original content in the form of statistics, trivia questions and historical comparisons to offer new insights into America’s game for everyone, from rookies to the most die-hard baseball fans. With this entry, Front Row starts a five-part series this week illustrating an artifact and providing some of the data SIG provided for the Library of Congress’ exhibit.

Opening Day at Yankee Stadium, 1925

    (Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress)
  • This photograph was taken on April 14, 1925, on Opening Day at Yankee Stadium. That afternoon, the Yankees beat the defending World Series champion Washington Senators, 5-1, behind a complete game from Urban Shocker. It marked Shocker’s only Opening Day start in six seasons with the team (he made four with the St. Louis Browns).
  • The 1925 Yankees went 69-85, their worst record in 12 seasons under manager Miller Huggins. Babe Ruth didn’t make his season debut until June 1 after undergoing a surgical procedure for an intestinal abscess that hospitalized him for weeks. That same day – also against the Senators – the Yankees called upon a pinch-hitter named Lou Gehrig. Though he didn’t reach base, he did remain in the lineup; that was the first of 2,130 consecutive games that Gehrig would play, a record that stood until Cal Ripken Jr. broke it in 1995.

EDITOR’S NOTE: On Tuesday, Front Row will publish Part 2 in this series.