PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Twenty-five years ago, Teenie Harris showed us his catalog of photographs, spanning four decades of urban life for the Pittsburgh Courier.
When he passed away, his family donated 80,000 negatives to the Carnegie Museum of Art.
Harris archives manager Louise Lippincott sifted through 667 baseball photos, choosing 25 for a special exhibit called “Teenie Harris Photographs: Baseball in Pittsburgh.”
She had lots of help from Sean Gibson, great-grandson of the great Negro Leagues catcher, Josh Gibson.
“We needed somebody who understood who these players were,” Lippincott explains. “Why they were important, and how they related to Pittsburgh.”
“This person right here is my grandfather,” Sean Gibson says, pointing at the photo of a teenage boy in baseball dugout. “Josh Gibson, Junior, who was a bat boy for the Homestead Greys.”
Josh Gibson, Senior, played for the Homestead Greys and Pittsburgh Crawfords.
“Curtis Roberts,” he says, pointing at an other photo. “The first black baseball player for the Pittsburgh Pirates.”
It was 1954, seven years after Josh Gibson died — and seven years after Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier. Moments frozen in time, by Teenie Harris.
The exhibit includes rare film of Josh Gibson. The 16 mm film was shot by Teenie Harris. The Museum of Art found it in two of the 34 boxes of Harris archives.
But there are no photos of Teenie Harris, who once played shortstop for the Homestead Greys. He was on the other side of the camera.
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