Tuesday, December 18, 2018

"The Stroboscope Light Stops Hal Peck", 1940

This gorgeous nighttime photo was published in the Milwaukee Journal on June 28, 1940.

The stroboscope light stops Hal Peck in midswing and shows the arm pull which gives the young Brewer outfielder all his power. After a miserable start in Class AA baseball, Peck has found himself and pushed his average up to .280. Manager Mike Heath predicts that the youngster will be in the .300 class before the season ends. —Journal Staff
We have a review of Peck's career as "Bill Veeck's Good Luck Charm", originally published way back in February of 2010, when this blog was just over a year old.

Although this particular photo is credited to "Journal Staff", I can't help but wonder if it was taken by their pioneering staff photographer Frank J. Scherschel. In the early 1940s, Scherschel was experimenting with stroboscopic equipment, "making possible exposures at 1/100,000 of a second". It allowed him to freeze the action at a nighttime game, although all the photos I've seen have been like this one, staged for the camera.

The paper published a series of Scherschel's results, and we've looked at his stroboscopic photos of second baseman Barney Walczak (aka "Barney Walls") at the plate and right-handed fastballer Robert George Kline, Jr caught in mid-pitch.

Could this have been another in the series? The uniforms certainly match. That's the late 1930s look that would eventually be replaced by new president Bill Veeck before the 1942 season. Classic red "M", thick blue piping. And all three were taken about the same time, in 1940, during the period when the three men were on the Brewers roster.

If Scherschel didn't take this third photo, he must have worked with the person who did.

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