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"Key" Pathe pics return, plus baseball classics air online



Earlier this year, photos from the keysets of two of Carole Lombard's three Pathe all-talking feature films were put up for auction at eBay. Now they're back -- from the same seller as before -- so if you missed out the first time around, you've got a second chance. These indeed are originals from 1929; we know because both have snipes on the back.

At top is the front of the first, from "High Voltage," as Carole (or as Pathe referred to her, Carol) cuddles with William Boyd, many years before he became western favorite Hopalong Cassidy. Below, the back of the photo, followed by the snipe in close-up.




It's listed in fine/very fine condition, a single-weight 8 1/8" x 10". Bidding opens at $49.95, with the auction ending at 9:32 p.m. (Eastern) Nov. 17. To bid or learn more, go to https://www.ebay.com/itm/CAROLE-LOMBARD-ORIGINAL-KEY-SET-PATHE-PHOTO-HIGH-VOLTAGE-PRE-CODE-BOYD-1929/254771901485?hash=item3b5196b42d:g:eRcAAOSwDMtdswvG#viTabs_0.

Now for the other one, from Lombard's second "all-talkie," "Big News"...



Carole's sort of tucked away in the lower right-hand corner, so let's isolate and enlarge her image:



As we did earlier, the back of the photo in its entirety, followed by an enlarged snipe:




This 8 1/8" x 10" is in very fine condition. Bids begin at $39.95, with the auction ending two minutes earlier than its "High Voltage" counterpart. Check it out at https://www.ebay.com/itm/RARE-CAROLE-LOMBARD-ORIGINAL-PATHE-KEYSET-PHOTO-BIG-NEWS-PRE-CODE-VF-1929/254771900431?hash=item3b5196b00f:g:S6AAAOSw4cxcuNUq.



It was 13 days ago the Los Angeles Dodgers ended a 32-year title drought by defeating the Tampa Bay Rays in six games at Arlington, Texas, to take the World Series, bringing to a close this most unusual of seasons brought on by Covid-19 and ensuing disputes between management and the players' association. As a result, we experienced these anomalies:

* A 60-game season, shortest since the National League of the late 1870s.
* Atypical regular-season rules, such as the designated hitter used in both leagues, doubleheaders consisting of two seven-inning games similar to the minor leagues (the minors didn't operate in 2020) and an extra-inning rule placing a runner on second to start each half-inning, leading to the bizarre and not infrequent sight of two-run leadoff homers.
* These rules weren't used in the postseason, which was expanded from 10 to 16 teams. After the best-of-three first round, subsequent series (including the World Series) were played at neutral sites.
* Oh, and until the National League championship series and World Series -- both held at the Texas Rangers' new venue -- spectators weren't allowed in ballparks. A substitute employed by many teams, including the Philadelphia Phillies: Cardboard fan cutouts, sold to raise funds for team charities.



There's hope the public may be allowed back as spectators during the 2021 season, but much will depend upon how quickly a vaccine can be implemented on a widespread basis. Until then, baseball is in a bizarre, unsure condition. To compensate, this suggestion: Listen to archives of classic games broadcast on radio.

The Internet Archive has collected several hundred games through 1973, the oldest being the second All-Star Game from July 1934 at upper Manhattan's fabled Polo Grounds, where the New York Giants' Carl Hubbell struck out five consecutive Hall of Famers, including Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig:



There are All-Star and World Series games available, to be sure...but also many regular-season games with minimal impact on major-league history, providing an aural trip back in time to legendary venues (Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, Comiskey Park in Chicago, Tiger Stadium in Detroit and the original Yankee Stadium) and famed announcers such as Ernie Harwell, Mel Allen and Vin Scully.

To hear the games (for free), visit https://archive.org/details/classicmlbbaseballradio. A nice way to survive this uncertain off-season.
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