It has been a century since owner Charles Comiskey and John McGraw organized a baseball world tour of five continents. Beginning at the conclusion of the 1913 World Series and spanning several months, members of the New York Giants, Chicago White Sox and other big league stars played a grand slate of exhibition contests from coast to coast in places like El Paso, Peoria, San Diego and Seattle. In December 1913, the squads boarded an ocean liner and then embarked on the most ambitious segment of their journey which landed them in the following countries: Australia, China, Egypt, France, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Italy, Philippines and British Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Several thousand fans thronged to the events at the small, often unkempt ball fields.
On January 20, 1914, following stops in Australia, the group arrived in Ceylon where they were greeted by tea tycoon Sir Thomas J. Lipton. The White Sox bested the Giants by a 4-1 margin over five innings at the Victoria Gardens (Colombo) racetrack before 5,000 spectators. During a break in the action at the Galle Face Hotel, the party posed for the offered photograph picturing the players, their wives, reporters and team personnel. Based on intensive photo analysis, fifteen subjects have been confirmed including: Jack Bliss, Nixey Callahan, Louis Comiskey, Sam Crawford, Mike Donlin, Mickey Doolan, Steve Evans, Red Faber, Bill Klem, Hans Lobert, John McGraw, Germany Schaefer, James Sheridan, Tris Speaker and Hooks Wiltse.
Period framed and matted to 15-1/2 x 13” dimensions by Gimbel Brothers of New York, the nearly 9x11 oversized original sepia photograph is remarkably preserved and includes editing crop lines. In bold black steel-tip fountain pen, Lipton (d.1931) etched his signature that is preceded by a Your Sincerely salutation. With deference to mild surface loss, the endorsement presents (“7”) in both strength and quality. A notation reading Giants and Red Socks [sic] Base ball teams and their wives Colombo, Ceylon, January 1914 is placed in an unknown hand. Despite moderate surface abrasions and other general wear, this historically significant piece of baseball history presents beautifully. The subjects in this photograph were examined and confirmed by Mark Fimhoff, a respected expert in pre-war baseball player identification. Full photo LOA from JSA. More on our website.
A complete list of personnel who went on the tour (and may be pictured) is as follows:
Gus Axelson (reporter), Jack Bliss, Buhl Family, H.P. Burchell (reporter), Nixey Callahan, wife and two children, Charles Comiskey and wife, Louis Comiskey and wife, Sam Crawford and wife, Tom Daly, Mike Donlin, Mike Doolan, Larry Doyle, Dick Egan, Steve Evans, Red Faber, F. Farrell (Owner of Yankees), J. Farrell, Dr. Finley (McGraw’s doctor), Bunny Hearn, Hughie Jennings, Blanche McGraw, Frank McGlynn (film producer), J. Hill, A.T. Kinney, Bill Klem, Walter Leverenz, Hans Lobert, Tom Lynch, N.E. McBride, John McGraw and wife, Rev. John McNamara, Fred Merkle, Victor Miller (camera man), J. Mullen, N.O. O’Neil (White Sox treasurer), Germany Schaefer, James Scott, Jack Sheridan, Andy Slight (minor leaguer), H. Sparrows (World Tour business manager), Ted Sullivan (Manager of World Tour), Jim Thorpe, Buck Weaver, Hooks Wiltse, Ivy Wingo;
The following links offer more information about the tour and the seating locations of the confirmed subjects;
Article about the 1914 World Tour with image of photograph
IDENTIFYING FACE LOCATOR FOR PHOTOGRAPH