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  #1  
Old 10-06-2006, 08:40 PM
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Default Photo of women players - Western Bloomer Girls?

Posted By: Joann

Just got this off ebay, and the dress, bat and catcher's mask all make me thing late 19th or early 20th century. But the glove on the one player makes me think twice - it looks kind of big (long fingers) for that era and I'm wondering if it may be a decade or two later.

Any thoughts appreciated. Regardless of era, I am THRILLED to have this. Joe G tipped me off to the auction, and I was beyond happy to pick it up.

Thanks in advance.

Joann

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  #2  
Old 10-06-2006, 08:56 PM
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Default Photo of women players - Western Bloomer Girls?

Posted By: steve f

Very nice pickup . Unusual dimensions for a cabinet. my guess 1890-1900. Tough to see the details. Were there any studio/photographer indicators on the cardboard?

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  #3  
Old 10-06-2006, 09:24 PM
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Default Photo of women players - Western Bloomer Girls?

Posted By: Dan Bretta

1890-1910. Hard to say. The mask is definitely 1890s era, but the glove looks more like right around 1900. Nice pickup.

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  #4  
Old 10-06-2006, 09:48 PM
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Default Photo of women players - Western Bloomer Girls?

Posted By: Anonymous

Mount and size felt 1900-1910 to me.

Adam B

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  #5  
Old 10-07-2006, 05:43 AM
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Default Photo of women players - Western Bloomer Girls?

Posted By: Joann

Thanks guys. No marks at all on the mount - just light pencil writing on back that may be ... phone numbers? Or something. Just strings of numbers.

The image is a little light, but no so much as to make it really difficult to see. The only thing in it that pulled me off of a ~ 1900 date was the size of the glove - maybe it just looks bigger on her hand than what I'm used to seeing.

Joann

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  #6  
Old 10-07-2006, 09:17 AM
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Default Photo of women players - Western Bloomer Girls?

Posted By: runscott

I'm going with 1890-1900 as well. leaning toward 1900. It wouldn't have been unusual to see an old mask used for many years after it was made.

Nice pick-up!

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  #7  
Old 10-07-2006, 09:27 AM
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Default Photo of women players - Western Bloomer Girls?

Posted By: Gilbert Maines

Joann: what is the phone number of the babe on the end - she seems about right.

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  #8  
Old 10-07-2006, 09:33 AM
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Default Photo of women players - Western Bloomer Girls?

Posted By: Joe D.

very cool item.

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  #9  
Old 10-07-2006, 12:19 PM
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Default Photo of women players - Western Bloomer Girls?

Posted By: steve f

Gil, I can't help you with that phone number, but you may be able to IM her;

http://www.thedeadballera.com/

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  #10  
Old 10-09-2006, 11:38 AM
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Default Photo of women players - Western Bloomer Girls?

Posted By: Joann

A friend of mine just forwarded a scan of a Western Bloomer Girls team just from googling around, and suggested I try to match photos.

DUH! I hadn't even thought about it, but the girls in the photo I picked up are all dressed the same - a uniform. So it's probably not women just playing pick-up ball.

If anyone out there has scans of WBG teams, could you send them to me at jmkline@juno.com? It's a long shot, but if I can even get a close match on one or two faces I can at least maybe narrow down where they are from. I'd really like to try to get any kind of detail on the picture I got, and this is the only place I can think of to start.

I've edited the title to reflect new question, and also included a scan in the original post instead of just the ebay link.

Thanks for any and all help.

J

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  #11  
Old 10-09-2006, 11:48 AM
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Default Photo of women players - Western Bloomer Girls?

Posted By: davidcycleback

The photo appears to be from the early 1900s. When I first saw the image, I thought they looked like Bloomer Girls-- and they likely are. As they are wearing identical baseball uniforms, they were part of a formal team-- and few if any college or high schools would allow women to use these types of uniforms or equipment. Women playing baseball casually in the back yard would wear their everyday clothes-- long skirts, blouses.

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  #12  
Old 10-09-2006, 11:58 AM
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Default Photo of women players - Western Bloomer Girls?

Posted By: Joann

I missed the ramification of the uniforms at first until someone called it to my attention. The WBG league wasn't formally started until 1911, but before then there were many teams going back into the late 19th century that loosely called themselves Bloomer Girls - from whatever town they were from.

I was hoping to catch lightening in a bottle and see a photo of a known Bloomer Girl team and maybe match up one of the people to get an idea of which town it is.

I was also thinking the numbers on the back could be phone numbers? 7 digits and added later. They are very light, but one seems to say 'Mother' and the other 'Cass'.

Joann

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  #13  
Old 10-09-2006, 12:02 PM
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Default Photo of women players - Western Bloomer Girls?

Posted By: davidcycleback

There were Bloomer Girls teams as early as the 1890s. Luckily for you, there were a limited number of teams, so you may be able to make a photo match with time.

Thinking about it, there were likely no formal women's college or high school baseball teams at the time. Presumably, these women are baseball players, as you don't have a catcher's mask for slow pitch softball (They wouldn't be playing fast pitch softball). So it's a safe bet these are Bloomers. And if there were period formal women's college or high school softball teams, they would wear much more feminine unoforms.

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  #14  
Old 10-09-2006, 01:53 PM
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Default Photo of women players - Western Bloomer Girls?

Posted By: Dan Bretta

I have a bloomer girls uniform from Blue Springs, Nebraska. Could have been used for baseball, basketball, softball, et cetera.

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  #15  
Old 10-09-2006, 02:04 PM
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Default Photo of women players - Western Bloomer Girls?

Posted By: Zach Rice

A collector friend of mine owns a postcard of the Western Bloomer Girls from 1906. Amongst the team is a very young Joe Wood.

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  #16  
Old 10-11-2006, 10:37 PM
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Default Photo of women players - Western Bloomer Girls?

Posted By: Jim Clarke

Not sure ofthe year on this card? I was told from an auction company that it was 1890...But I have my doubts... JC

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  #17  
Old 10-12-2006, 12:36 AM
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Default Photo of women players - Western Bloomer Girls?

Posted By: davidcycleback

Jim, it's newer but that likely has minimal detrimental effect on its value.

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  #18  
Old 10-12-2006, 11:27 AM
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Default Photo of women players - Western Bloomer Girls?

Posted By: runscott

I have had very little luck researching Bloomer Girls teams - I have a scorecard with two 1911 Bloomer Girl games played in Iowa, first names for all players, and can't find any evidence of such a team anywhere on the internet. I did; however, locate some microfilm mentioning games the team had played in various parts of Iowa.

Basically, there were a LOT of these teams. The one I'm researching was called the "College Bloomer Girls" on one of the scorecards, which implies to me that maybe it wasn't uncommon for a group of 'athletic' women in school to get together during the summers and play ball for some extra cash - this means there could have been literally hundreds of such teams around the country, temporary as their organization might have been. And yes, they call could have been posing for photos at various times.

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Old 10-12-2006, 12:38 PM
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Default Photo of women players - Western Bloomer Girls?

Posted By: davidcycleback

I had a handbill for a circa 1902 Bloomers game in Chicago. It was part of a three act show advertised for 'family entertainment.' I can't remember the other two acts, but it was on the order of 'Russian dancers' and 'Juggling act.' Even if they played hard and true, the Bloomers were essentially an act for entertainment purposes, like the others.

Of course, a modern MLB game in Chicago is also for entertainment purposes, with singers before and in the middle, and a mascot entertaining the fans Advertising also promotes the game as 'family entertainment.' The Bloomers required a chaperone, while Sammy Sosa had his entourage.

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