One of the most satisfying things about having a business that specializes in appraisals of sports artifacts is occasionally “discovering” interesting sports-related collections. Recently, I appraised the massive photograph collection of long time Washington, D.C. area photographer, Don Wingfield. The collection itself contains about 6,750 original negatives, most having never been published before. Although I was familiar with some of the late Mr. Wingfield’s photos through my friendship with Charlie Shoup, the previous owner, once I dug into this outstanding archive, I was awestruck.
I would like to introduce the readers of Baseball-Almanac.com to Don Wingfield, a man I never met but I feel like I know quite well! Although Mr. Wingfield was obviously a great photographer whose work is only now being fully appreciated, as I conducted the appraisal and uncovered information about his life, it was Don Wingfield the person that I became most intrigued with. He learned his craft initially during military service and perfected it in the 1950’s and 60’s. Because of his easygoing personality and a high degree of professionalism, Mr. Wingfield quickly became friendly with the ballplayers who were the subject of his photos. I interviewed baseball greats like Harmon Killebrew, Frank Howard, Jim Lemon and others, and each of them admired Don’s easygoing and friendly “way.”
During baseball’s “golden era,” Don worked for The Sporting News, the Washington Senators, and The Topps Company, Inc. He also freelanced for dozens of outlets including Life, Look and other major national magazines. The result of his labors produced outstanding photos of some of the most recognizable names in baseball including Hank Aaron, Ted Williams, Harmon Killebrew, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, and dozens of others. Also, it is noteworthy that Mr. Wingfield himself produced a series of highly collectible postcards of players from 1955 through 1960, and many of his images were featured on some of the most popular baseball cards issued by Topps.
The historical archive contains images of Hall of Famers in various poses and stances; players who have a substantial following and who may one day be enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame; common players whose image is rarely seen; historical events such as Presidential first pitches; and outstanding baseball-related subjects including full team and stadium photos. These examples are just a few of the great ones. For those of you who love great baseball photography, enjoy!
If you are interested in learning more about the collection, visit the website created by new owner, John Rogers, from Little Rock, Arkansas at www.legendsintime.com. John can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have a national treasure that you would like to share or have appraised, feel free to contact Frank Ceresi or Carol McMains or write to them at FC Associates, 1703 Belle View Boulevard, Suite B-1, Alexandria, Virginia 22307. To learn more about their consulting and appraisal business, visit www.fcassociates.com.