Over at Grantland.com, Jonah Keri wrote about the ongoing efforts of the Major League Baseball Film and Video Archive to digitize old baseball footage. Keri showcased a few of his favorite videos, such as some old New York Giants footage from 1905 and of course, some clips of the Montreal Expos.
Then Jonah and the MLB staff asked for readers’ help with the last video he shared.
The video starts with footage of Ted Williams (perhaps in Sarasota?) then quickly changes to a segment on the Cincinnati Reds. At the :30 point, you can see the minarets of the University of Tampa. The Reds trained in
Al Lopez Field from the 1940s to the 1980s. I tweeted Jonah to tell him the location.
(Correction: Thanks to friend of the site Clark Brooks, we now know the field in the video is Plant Field, where the Reds played until 1955. Al Lopez Field opened in 1955 and became the Reds home after that.)
But as for when the video was taken, I am thinking it was somewhere between 1948 and 1956. Maybe some eagle-eyed readers or long-time Tampa baseball fans/residents can pinpoint a player or a location that can help narrow down the timeframe.
If you know more about the video, please leave a comment or contact Jonah Keri and the MLB Video folks at grantlandfantasy(@)gmail.com.
Whether we solve this mystery or not, it is still a very interesting video of a Tampa spring training from yesteryear.