Baseball players, Lena Blackburne, Chicago White Sox shortstop leaning on bat and Bil Killipher , St. Louis Browns catcher standing on field prior to game 1910 Photo SUMMARY
Portrait of American League's St. Louis Browns baseball player Bill Killipher and Chicago White Sox baseball player Russell Blackburne (leaning on a bat) standing on the field at Comiskey Park, which was located at 324 West 35th Street and bounded by West 34th Street, South Shield's Avenue (formerly Portland Avenue) and South Wentworth Avenue, in the Armour Square community area of Chicago, Illinois. The empty grandstands are visible in the background. SDN-008939, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago Historical Society.
An aggressive, intelligent playing shortstop, Lena Blackburne played during the Dead Ball Era of the early part of the 1900s. A standout amateur player in Philadelphia he worked his way up to the Chicago White Sox in 1910 and was the first player to get a hit in brand-new Comiskey Park in Chicago (July 1, 1910). The 5 ft 10.5 inch, 160-pound Russ Blackburne also went by the nickname of Slats.
After playing in 1919 Lena Blackburne managed in the minors and piloted the Kansas City team to a Junior World Series in 1923. He returned to the majors as the White Sox manager for two seasons, 1928 a sixth place finish and a seventh place finish in 1929. Later he was a coach for the White Sox, the St Louis Browns and the Phil A’s and much later a scout.
Special Type of Mud discovered by Lena Blackburne - Players, especially pitchers and catchers, can give credit to Lena Blackburne for discovering a variety of mud in the Delaware Valley that when rubbed on baseballs removes gloss without discoloring or harming the balls. And, umpires to this day still rub it on baseballs before games.