May 5, 1961—I’m a freshman in high school. It’s 10:34 AM. We were all standing huddled around a small TV in the classroom. Many of the teachers brought in TVs’ that day to witness and historical moment. We watched in silence as Navy Commander Alan Shepard lifted off. Next, you could hear the excitement of that moment in the school building.

The New York Times May 6, 1961 America’s First Manned Space flight
New York Time May 6, 1961—Pictures From May 5, 1961

October 4, 1957, is when the Space age began with Sputnik 1 by the USSR. This event led to the Space Race.

I was already an avid reader of science fiction; I started reading all the articles in the newspapers on Space.

Then in 1959, America and the world were introduced to seven astronauts. There was soon a flood of books to choose from about them, and I read as many as possible.

The New York Times—Time Machine news clips and timely placed advertising reflected what we woke up to on May 6, 1961.

The New York Times May 6, 1961 Ads

I never lost my affection for science fiction or interest in Space.

A night game at San Francisco AT&T Park in Black & White. When I started in photography, all I could afford to shot was Black & White. A few years ago, I dusted off my Nikon F5 and started reshooting film. At first, I shot 35mm color slides, then next, color negative film, and finally Black & White negative film. Of course, slide and film processing was an issue that ironically was solved next door to the building where I worked from 1971 – 1993. Now, this particular picture was originally in color. I discard it for one reason the color balance was not appealing, the shot had no drama.
Shooting film and digital have reenergized my thinking of looking at shots and rethinking how I want them to look. My approach to pigment-ink printing has always been to recreate the color of Kodachrome. Now, I will again think of Silver Highlight Black & White prints.

Night Game AT&T Park San Francisco California

P.S. For Sale https://fineartamerica.com/featured/att-park-b-w-night-game-paul-plaine.html

As I did last year and followed Babe Ruth’s first year with the Yankees 1920 season, through The New York Times—Time Machine this year 2021, I picked the 1961 Yankees. This year marks the 60th anniversary of Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris home run chase to break Ruth’s record of 60 home runs. I was a freshman in high school, and for a class, we had to read The New York Times. It was also one of the many newspapers that were part of my daily reading at home. 1961 is my favorite baseball season. Baseball fans and none fans became involved in the daily news of did Mantle or Maris hit a home run. Lost in the home run chase was the battle for first place with the Detroit Tigers. It was in doubt until early September. But more on those storylines to follow this baseball season.

Reading the 1961 times stirs up memories. April 12, 1961, Yuri Gagarin becomes the first spaceman to orbit the earth. May 2 Alan Shepard space flight delayed until May 5. In the article, John Glenn was his backup and for breakfast, at 2 am they had, filet mignon wrapped in bacon, eggs, and tea. Besides tracking the Yankees, Mantle, Maris, and other base games, I read all sorts of articles and advertising ads. Today a few ads:

When a Yankee homered, Mel Allen called it a Ballantine Blast. He also would pour a glass of beer, and always with a perfect head to the top of the glass.

One of the original New York City sporting goods stores. Closed in the 1990s. I shopped there for sneakers, sweatshirts, etc.

Through The New York Times, Time Machine archives on Twitter, I’m recreating the Yankees 1961 season. Mickey Mantle hit 54 home runs, and Roger Maris hit 61, breaking Babe Ruth’s record 60. Also lost to time, the Detroit Tigers (101-61) incredible run and pressure they put on the Yankees (109-53) into early September.

But on this day, April 22, 1961, New York State approved the building of Shea Stadium in Flushing Queens, NY. Reading the articles reminded me of grandma.

Shea Stadium 2008

My grandmother loved the Dodgers, as did dad. In 1962 grandma pours her heart and soul into the Mets. She went to church every day, but when the Mets lost, and they lost a lot back then. I would talk baseball with her all the time, and when the subject hit the Mets, and they lost that day or evening, with a cigarette in hand or lip, “those dirty bastards lost again” would pierce through the smoke. Grandma went to church every day until she couldn’t; baseball can really grip one’s soul.

Shea Stadium November 2008

April 17, 1951, seventy years ago today, at Yankee Stadium, Mickey Mantle made his major league debut. It would also be Joe DiMaggio’s last opening day game. Since spring training DiMaggio has been hinting 1951 would be his last season. The Yankees, opening day opponent was the Boston Red Sox lead by Ted Williams.

Before the game: Joe, Mickey, and Ted were put together for a photograph by the photographers. As Joe and Ted greeted each other, Mantle shifted awkwardly, as Joe forgot to introduce him to Williams. It was Williams who stuck his hand. “You must be Mick,” he said. Does he belong in the same picture with such super-stars as DiMaggio and Williams? The next 153 games will go a long way toward deciding that question. Arthur Daley April 18, 1951.

Mickey Mantle’s first MLB game boxscore line in his first game, 4AB, 1R, 1H 1RBI.

Baseball-Reference

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYA/NYA195104170.shtml

Sixty years ago, the New York Yankees were on the eve of a new season. Last year on Twitter, I covered Babe Ruth’s first season with the Yankees, 1920, through The New York Times——Time Machine—— Archives. I heard from many how much they enjoyed reading daily articles. It was historic not only because of the home run chase of Babe Ruth’s home run record but also a battle for first place between the Detroit Tigers and the New York Yankees.

*That positive feedback inspired me to cover the 1961 season.

The 1961 baseball season was the start of expansion in MLB, first the American League was expanding to ten teams. A new team in Washington D.C. replacing the original franchise that relocated to Minnesota and is now known as the Twins. The other new addition is the Los Angeles Angels, the first west coast team in the AL. Another change is the 154 game schedule is now going to 162. The newly expanded schedule had already started many debates surrounding one recorded, Babe Ruth’s 1927 60 home runs in 154 games.
On April 10, 1961, the season of change in the AL started. With the Chicago White Sox defeating the (new) Washington Senators.

**April 11, 1961, The New York Time full page coverage.

Tomorrow April 11, the Yankees home opener vs.Minnesota Twins.
*Every morning, I read 1961, The New York Time sports coverage. I then prepare the articles for capture and create my Twitter posts.
** When I looked at the Times sports page today, I thought the full page deserved to be shared. Unlike last year I will add from time to time an extra element, the entire page.


Washington Senators 1971 Spring Training

Spring Training 2021 comes to an end on March 30, and the 2021 MLB season officially begins April 1, with the Yankees vs. Blue Jays at 1:05 at Yankee Stadium.

My archives are a series of Ozzie Sweet original film/pictures taken in 1971 at the Washington Senators Training camp. This year made it 50 years ago. Since 90-percent of those pictures have not been seen in public, I thought, time to share them. On March 22, I began posting pictures of Ozzie Sweets 1971, Washington Senators, photoshoot for Sport magazine on my Twitter page.

Why 1971? In February 1971, the Washington Senators spring-training camp opened, helmed by manager Ted Williams.

Ted Williams Ranked the fourth greatest ballplayer in the history of MLB

In camp is Curt Flood, who lost his challenge to baseball reserve clause in court. And Denny McLain, who broke baseball’s rules associating with gamblers.

Curt Flood, age 33, left the team 13 games into the season, never to play again. Denny McLain fought with Ted Williams all season, winning only 10-games, losing 22. By the age of 28, 1972 playing for two other teams, 2x Cy Young and 1x MVP, and last pitcher to win 30 games going 31-6 1n 1968, was out of baseball forever.

For more information:

Curt Flood https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/07/how-curt-flood-changed-baseball-and-killed-his-career-in-the-process/241783/

Denny McLain https://www.freep.com/story/sports/mlb/tigers/2018/09/06/1968-detroit-tigers-denny-mcclain/1195283002/

For 50-years, I have been involved in printing and making prints, a subject I will expand on in future blogs. Part of why I revised and updated my website was my desire to close down my fine art studio. Going into 2020, I was thinking about how to close down. As much as I love photography, I love printmaking. The shutdown allowed me to be away from the studio and think uninterrupted about what I wanted. Then one day, my inbox started dinging, with sales from images of mine on Fine Art America. I had not forgotten about them, just not thinking of them. There printing is excellent, and I visited my page and started looking at other artist’s works. Then I remembered Getty was on FAA selling images using their services. Then I discovered that the Daily News, a New York City newspaper, was also working with FAA printing service. Needless to say, lightbulbs were popping off, and pieces starting to come together. The next thing I knew, I was working with Squarespace, 99design, and Soda Creek.


Letting go of printing, in the end, was easier than I imagined.

Eleven months ago, as COVID-19 started to spread, we left Spring Training in Florida and drove home to Westchester County, NY. Shortly after arriving home, I wrote about our trip home, all the while thinking now’s my chance to become a more active writer while in shutdown. It did not happen. Writing has always been my Achilles Heel. But, because of COVID-19 and the shutdown of my studio for five months. It gave me the time to reset what I want to change. Though I enjoyed my second career working with other artists, it began to feel more like a job—something I did not want after retiring in 2006.
While the building/studio was closed, the 44″ Epson printer, printer heads dried up, clogging the lines. After extensive work on attempting to get the printer up and running. Between the expense of the repair kit, ink, and paper waste, in August, I gave up. I called 1-800-GOT-JUNK and felt a lot better. But, the shutdown has been far more devastating for the musicians, actors, and artists. Many artists I know and worked with lost their galleries here in the US and abroad that showcase their work.

Starting January into February 2020, I began printing the pictures for my project and purchased the inventory to complete it.

In August, having already given on my old printer, I decided I called B&H in Manhattan to purchase an Epson SureColor P5000 Standard Edition 17″ Wide-Format Inkjet Printer. This project was close to my heart. It has been something that I started thinking about a long time ago. Over the year’s I made changes to the concept. In 2010 I had 100-handmade boxes crafted. So, now 2021, it’s full steam ahead.

On Friday, I finished work on the last set of prints, and today, the last element the cover letter. So, now I will let the visuals speak:

The total amount of images, 2600. Every image had to be hand trimmed to fit correct in the boxes.

And today the last element

This Limited-Edition Box Set is a photographic history covering the span of Yankee Stadium I II and III. All of the fine art prints, also called giclee’s, are archival museum-quality, using pigment inks on 100% cotton rag paper. The custom-made box and interleaved buffered-paper to protect the prints are acid-free. This combination gives you the highest quality fine art printing available. 

Following a lengthy review of Yankee Stadium images, I found it daunting to create a visual story. I chose these 25 pictures as they show the stadium as it progressed and changed. They share a visual aspect, connecting the three Yankee Stadiums’ stories together. I chose to start with June 1, 1922, over earlier shots as it shows the construction’s beginnings. The 1922 photo’s perspective and the picture taken on March 19, 2010, are from the same camera location. August 16, 1937, the picture depicts the completed triple deck right-field stands, proving that Babe Ruth never hit a home run into the third deck. Other pictures are of all five scoreboards. One is from 1973, thanking the fans at the last game at Yankee Stadium on September 30, 1973, and another is the last game in 2008 with Babe Ruth on the screen. Also included are pictures capturing the last pitch at Yankee Stadium II in 2008 and the first pitch at the new Yankee Stadium III in 2009. 

This Limited-Edition Box Set is comprised of a vast archive of-one-of-a-kind pictures. The Black & White images are public domain. All the Color images were shot by Paul Plaine and are copyright protected and cannot be reproduced without written permission.

Paul Plaine

You can contact me at paul@ballparkprints.com or through Message on twitter for additional information.

https://www.instagram.com/ballparkprints/