Home | Sports | Baseball | ‘Deadball Era’ takes centerfold in new book by Waxahachie author, historian Jim Chapman
Waxahachie author and baseball historian Jim Chapman shows his new book "Baseball Photography of the Deadball Era" at the Baseball Hall of Fame Museum. (Contributed)

‘Deadball Era’ takes centerfold in new book by Waxahachie author, historian Jim Chapman

SPECIAL to Ellis County Sports

WAXAHACHIE — The Deadball Era of baseball has never looked better, thanks to a Waxahachie author and historian.

Jim Chapman has worked tirelessly to uncover, identify and find the story behind historic baseball photos of yesteryear. Those efforts resulted in the recent release of “Baseball Photography of the Deadball Era,” which is the definitive story of the rise of baseball press photographers in the early 20th century and a celebration of the visual splendors of the game they captured. 

Famous and rarely-released photos of Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Christy Mathewson, “Shoeless” Joe Jackson and other ballpark legends are all included — as seen in their glory days. The book even includes a special section on when Waxahachie hosted Cobb and the Detroit Tigers for Spring Training. 

“Chapman’s new book, ‘Baseball Photography of the Deadball Era,’ is Google Maps for the images that brought baseball into the national consciousness,” stated Rich Mueller, editor of Sports Collectors Daily.

As they have long been shrouded in mystery, the stories of the men behind the lens and the photo syndicates who distributed their work have yet to be appreciated. These photographers’ indelible images brought the game from the field to the fans and helped create the baseball legends we still revere. Chapman’s book lifts the veil on their previously untold stories.

Collectors have long admired the artistry of the beautiful sepia-toned baseball prints from the early 1900s. These images are visual time machines that transport us back to those halcyon days when we romanticized that baseball was pure. 

Chapman will host a book signing and presentation on “Baseball Photography of the Deadball Era” at Nicholas P. Sims Library in Waxahachie at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. 

The book is currently being sold at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum Book Store and online at chapmandeadballcollection.com

About Travis M. Smith

Travis M. Smith is the owner and content director of Ellis County Sports and has over a decade of award-winning sports coverage. He most recently served as the digital sports director for KBEC 1390AM/99.1FM. He is the former managing editor of the Waxahachie Daily Light, Midlothian Mirror and Glen Rose Reporter.

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