Offered is an approximately 3-1/2"x5-1/2" real photo postcard of Jo-Jo White, pictured in his Detroit Tigers uniform circa 1934-36. The original photo was taken by George Burke in 1934-36, but this card was produced some time later (no earlier than the 1950's judging by the standard Kodak back). Comes from a large collection of such postcards, all having standard postcard backs but being postally unused. The vast majority of cards in this collection rate NM to NM-MT condition, but please see scans of the actual card for further details including condition.
Joyner Clifford White was born in Red Oak, GA and died in 1986 in Tacoma, WA. He played major league baseball from 1932 to 1944 as outfielder for the Detroit Tigers, Philadelphia Athletics and the Cincinnati Reds, and appeared in the 1934 and 1935 World Series. He was known as "Jo-Jo" because of the way he pronounced his native state of Georgia. He was the father of Mike White. White was roommates with Detroit slugger, Hank Greenberg, for five years. In his autobiograpy, Greenberg wrote that they had a great relationship and enjoyed being on the road together, though they "used to fight the Civil War every night." Greenberg noted that "no two people could be more different than me, coming from the Bronx, and Jo-Jo White, claiming he came from Atlanta." (Hank Greenberg, "Hank Greenberg: The Story of My Life," p. 46). White even confessed once to Greenberg that, "I thought all you Jews had horns on your head." (Greenberg, p. 190) In 1936, White lost the starting job in center field and remained a backup with the Tigers from 1936-1938. After playing in only 55 games in the outfield in 1938, White was frustrated with his limited playing time. After "a drink or two" on a train ride late in the 1938 season, White "decided to attack" a brand new felt hat purchased by manager Del Baker. Baker finally found out that it was White who had deliberately ruined the hat, and White was traded to the Seattle Rainiers for Fred Hutchinson in December 1938. (Hank Greenberg, "Hank Greenberg: The Story of My Life," p. 123)
A case of mistaken identity made by the Chicago Cubs resulted in George Burke becoming the official photographer for the Chicago Cubs. In 1929, Cubs manager Joe McCarthy and Gabby Hartnett sought out the ballclub's previous photographer. They could only remember his last name, Burke, so they looked him up in the phone book. A listing leapt out at them: studio photographer George C. Burke, whose office was near Wrigley Field. Thus began the baseball photography career of George Burke, who had no prior sports experience whatsoever, and thus ended the career of photographer Francis Burke - the Cubs' time-honored official cameraman and an unwitting victim of mistaken identity. To undertake his new "big league" endeavor, Burke hired the young (age 15) baseball-knowledgeable George Brace as his assistant, and the two soon became a Chicago institution. Ever-present at Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park, Burke and Brace shot not only for the Cubs, but also for the White Sox and football's Chicago Bears. They also endeavored to amass a complete portfolio of player portraits - a daunting task made possible by the fact that Chicago was the only city with both an American League and a National League franchise from 1929 all the way until Brace's retirement in 1993. As the official photographer for the Chicago Cubs, Burke quickly became renowned for his candid pre-game photos and thought-provoking portrait depictions, and his posed portraits and action photos were published in The Sporting News, Who's Who in the Major Leagues, and Baseball Digest as well as other publications, and provided the necessary photos for numerous 1930's and later baseball card and premium issues.
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