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WSI News - Sox Interviews

Flashing Back...

...with Leo Bauby.

Another EXCLUSIVE from White Sox Interactive!   

By Mark Liptak 

An interview with Leo Bauby, founder of www.chicago-baseball-photos.com 

ML: Leo, why don’t we start with some of your background. Where did you grow up and how did you become a Sox fan? 

LB: “I grew up about a hundred miles west of Chicago in DeKalb. My grandpa was a big Sox fan. He’s the one who passed it down in the family. I remember as a youngster seeing my dad and grandpa get excited watching the Sox in Rockford on TV44. I was close to him and whenever I’d come over to visit him we’d talk White Sox baseball. That’s what got me interested in the team. This was around 1973 or 1974. He and my grandma would save the Chicago newspapers for me as well so that when I came over I could read the stories and save the pictures. My family only got the Sunday Tribune so only way to follow the Sox in our area was WMAQ. Anytime I could read about or watch the Sox was very special.” 

ML: Some people collect baseball cards, some collect jerseys...have you always ‘collected’ Sox photos? 

LB: “Yes. Those first photographs that I got were out of the newspapers my grandparents saved for me. To this day I still have them in a scrapbook about two feet thick. I’d say there are hundreds of newspaper articles and photos in that scrapbook. Then I started getting the photos that Jewel Food Stores would give out. They had ‘picture packs’ that you could get in the early / mid seventies.” 

“As I got older and the internet came about I started watching on ebay for Sox photos and would do what I could to purchase them. From that I was able to contact the sellers and often they told me about people who had actual collections of photos and stuff. Eventually I was able to reach them and purchase collections or as much of their collection as they were willing to sell. Some of those people were professional photographers or had baseball connections.” 

ML: Just curious but how much money did getting these photos cost you? 

LB: “Thousands of dollars. Right now I have about nine thousand Sox related photos. At this date I’ve put on the web site about three thousand five hundred. I figure it will take me another year to scan and place the others.” 

ML: How did the idea for the web site come about? 

LB: “I had all these photos, many of historical nature and I wanted to share them with Sox fans and baseball fans in general. The internet seemed the logical way to do this since many Sox fans don’t live in Chicago itself. I contacted both the White Sox and Major League Baseball and they gave me a set of ground rules that I could use to air the photos without violating any copyright laws. It costs more of my own money to do the web site but I just think it’s worth sharing my hobby.” 

ML: So your purpose is to? 

LB: “Preserve the history of the White Sox and have a forum to show it to those interested. Sox owners from as far back as the Allyn’s just never had a very good grasp of what they had and how historical it was. I heard stories from people connected with the Sox that there was a storage room in old Comiskey Park where stuff like contract’s and uniforms were just dumped. In fact I was told that when Bill Veeck was owner sometimes when the Sox were out of town, the front office people would go out on the field and play baseball or softball games and wear the uniforms that were dumped in the storage area. You’d see somebody wearing Bill Melton’s 1971 jersey or someone had on Eddie Stankey’s jersey from the mid 60's then someone else would be wearing the early uniforms the Sox wore when Bill first had the team.” 

ML: What’s the ‘official’ name and site address? 

LB: “Chicago Baseball Photos. The web site address is www.chicago-baseball-photos.com  “ 

ML: Can you tell me a little about how the site is set up? 

LB: “We’ve got thousands of photos along with audio and even video highlights. It’s cross referenced by either the players name, like Nellie Fox, or by year, say 1962 or 1977 or 1990. When the main page comes up just click on a letter or year and you’ll go to that page. Then you can click on specifically who you want to see.” 

ML: Now your ‘gallery’ isn’t complete correct? 

LB: “Right. It’s a work in progress. For right now I just wanted to make sure I had at least something on site for every player that I have something about. Some of the greatest names in Sox history though have many, many photos. Dick Allen for example has about 75 right now. I’ve been putting in a large number of Wilbur Wood photos but everyone is at least represented. And remember it’s not just Sox stuff from the 70's. I’ve got tons of stuff on guys like Luis Aparicio, Billy Pierce and Early Wynn. And I also have numerous wire photos as well.” 

ML: For those who don’t know, what’s a ‘wire photo,?’ 

LB: “A wire photo is the pictures that were sent to newspapers around the country for use in their stories. The photo would have a ‘caption’ or explanation of what was going on printed off to the side. Usually these were action photos from a ballgame.” 

ML: Are you still looking for materials? 

LB: “Sure. If fans out there have things they’d like put on the site just send me a scan. I don’t need the original, or you can mail me a copy of any audio or video that you have. I’ll put it up and give credit to the person who sent it to me. I’m also looking for fan memories of the literally hundreds of players we have on the web site. There is a space on the site that you can e-mail any memories that you have of a certain player and I include those right next to their pictures.” 

ML: How about a way for fans to contact you with pictures, audio or video. 

LB: They can reach me at lebau@aol.com or call me at 773-991-6048. 

ML: Finally how about a ‘tease’ with some of the most special photos that you have posted. 

LB: “Well how about Dick Allen in a purple leisure suit standing next to Hank Aaron at the 1972 All Star Game in Atlanta...or Pete Ward at the hospital in the mid 60's, holding his newborn child or the fight on the field between the Tigers and White Sox from 1968 when Dick McAuliffe attacked Tommy John? Those are all there including thousands more and many are in color so you get a great historical view of how Sox uniforms have changed over the years.” 

        


Editor's Note:  Mark Liptak is an experienced sports journalist, holding several awards for both his electronic and print media work.  He has held numerous sports reporting positions for various TV and newspaper organizations, including Director of Sports for KNOE-TV (Monroe, Louisiana) and KPVI-TV (Pocatello, Idaho), and sports writer for the Idaho Falls Free Press, where his column "Lip Service" has appeared for for a number of years.  "Lip", his wife, and cats presently live in Chubbuck, Idaho, where they collectively comprise 100 percent of the Pocatello River Valley's long-time Sox Fan population.  

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