This is Herman A. "Germany" Schaefer, trying out the other side of the camera during the Washington Senators' visit to play the New York Highlanders, 102 Aprils ago. The picture is from the George Grantham Bain Collection at the Library of Congress. I have no idea what that camera is* [UPDATE: Hugh figured it out. See below], but you can't deny it's a handful even for an athlete.
Schaefer, a famous baseball clown in his day, is in the news because of the legends about him stealing first base from second. Rule 7.08i was allegedly inspired by Germany Schaefer (who—shades of "freedom fries"—changed his own nickname to "Liberty" Schaefer at the outset of WWI). The rule states in part that the runner shall not run the bases in reverse order "for the purpose of confusing the defense or making a travesty of the game."
On Friday a Milwaukee Brewers player, Jean Segura, did steal first from second...legally. As this article says, "The most important lesson baseball fans should learn is that you haven't seen it all and you likely never will."
(Thanks to Julius Welby)
P.S. In another little side note, this negative has the distinction of being the millionth item scanned by the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress.
*It looks something like a 5x7 Telephoto Graflex SLR but some of the details are wrong. Probably something similar made by a different company.
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(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Mandeno Moments: "The English monarchy was the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha until 1917, when it became the House of Windsor due to a contretemps involving their relatives in Deutschland."
Bill Tyler: "At first glance, Schaeffer's left hand, under the camera, appears deformed. Then you realize it's his glove. This is evidently a camera well-adapted for use by people with very large fingers."
Michael Steinbach: "The point-and-shoot of its day!"
Thomas Caverly: "Great post, I love this lighter side of life, after last week's dark side. Great start to a new week. Thanks, TOP!"
R. Edelman: "Looks like a 5x7 Herniaflex to me."
Hugh Crawford: "It's a Graflex Press 5x7, with some sort of fast lens adapted to it. Since it is a 'press camera,' the back does not revolve making vertical shots 'awkward' according to people who own them. A telephoto Graflex 5x7 is somewhat larger.
"The sidelines of NFL games would so much more entertaining if press photographers were still using these."
Mike replies: Yep, that's it all right.
Patrick Perez: "No articulated screen? EPIC FAIL!!!"