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Fabulous original wire photo of Al Capone in a front-row box seat during his bloody reign as Chicago’s crime boss - a common sight at both Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park in the late ‘20s, when “Scarface” was accorded all the amenities of any Chicago politician (all of which he owned). Capone liked to unwind from the rigors of ordering his enemies whacked by watching baseball, a game he loved and practiced regularly by, as legend has it, taking batting practice against certain rivals’ heads with his own bat. And he no doubt had a soft spot for those slickly turned “twin killings” that choked the life out of visiting teams’ rallies. The photo is a telling portrait of Capone’s power and the respect he was given. It shows an unidentified player in a Chicago uniform leaning over the rail to shoot the breeze with a smug looking and nattily dressed Capone. To Capone’s left is his young son and a man identified on the back of the photo as Roland Libonati, a Chicago attorney who regularly defended him in court - though he wouldn’t be able to keep him out of prison when Scarface was convicted of tax evasion in 1932. In the row behind, several spectators seem reluctant to be seen so close to Capone, slyly eyeing the cameraman with furtive looks on their faces. One can only imagine what Commissioner Landis’ reaction would have been seeing a photo of a player kissing Capone’s ring (among other things) in full view of a packed ballpark, just a few years removed from the Black Sox scandal in the same town. Photo is 8 x 10” and VG w/some bending damage along the outer edges though the core image is “untouchable.” Back has an affixed caption sheet that has been unfortunately torn away preventing further details of the picture to be known, as well as an editorial number marked in blue pencil. Great shot of the most infamous Goodfella of ‘em all.
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