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1936 Double X in Cleveland by Louis Van Oeyen

1936 Double X in Cleveland by Louis Van Oeyen

Louis Van Oeyen was the most underrated of all the great lab photographers. Van Oeyen was a staff photographer with the Cleveland Press in the early 1900's when sports photography was almost non-existent. Whatever sports action photos that were taken then were usually of very poor quality. Then, in the 1920's, Van Oeyen pioneered sports action photos with a new stop-action lens that allowed clear shots to be taken from fast moving action. In addition, Van Oeyen pioneered effective use of the optipod, a camera that he could turn to follow game action without having to move a tripod. Thus, as baseball was truly becoming America's Past-time, Van Oeyen's innovations brought Ruth, Gehrig, Cobb and Walter Johnson into vivid focus for the American public. Here we see a great Van Oeyen image of the Boston Red Sox slugger Jimmy Foxx at bat against Cleveland. Foxx, at his peak, hit .338, with 41 homers and 143 RBI in this season. Van Oeyen captures Foxx's weight on his back foot, flexed bicep and forearm, and eye on the ball. Superb lighting on Foxx in this outstanding example of Van Oeyen's skill.

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