Can Anybody Here Play This Game? Cigarette card edition.

Fancy skater. Swiss wrestler. Cannonball Catcher. Heel & Toe Pedestrian. Juvenile Roller Skater.

Oh and by jiminy, four baseball players. We love the illustrations on the bottom of these four cigarette cards, the only ones in the 1888 W.S. Kimball Champions (N 184) that depict Players of Base Ball.

And pray tell what is the catcher doing? Where is he standing? Dell looks calm and focused in the portrait, and quite out of the zone in the game:

Rollie Fingers Precursor. Fielding glovelessly and apparently after shaving:
Uh oh. Someone is posing for the sketcher and is thus about to get beaned:
When men had facial hair in 1888, they certainly were fastidious about it. Was it Real Men who had facial hair, or were they spending a little too much time with little combs and wax tins?:

These resemble vintage hand-tinted linen postcards. The figures are all earnest and tidy and yet none of them seem to be playing the same game on the same field. They're all doing their own thing. It's freewheeling chaos, but in a pretty, soft focused, pleasant way. In the words of Tina Fey, I Want To Go To There.

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