See also: http://americanphotoarchive.photoshelter.com/image/I0000m5O3cKLXg5E
The above, according to my brief research, is a picture of the Buffalo Bisons and Brooklyn Tip Tops... or not.
The American Photo Archive alleges as much to be true, but it seems improbable. They suggest the photo was taken between 1908 and 1925 at Washington Park, in Brooklyn. The park seems to be correctly designated. A quick look at Wikipedia (I know, I know; I write about IMPORTANT stuff all the time and don't cite, and now when I do cite it's to Wikipedia...) reveals the following photo:
Wikipedia lists this date as April 10, 1915.
And that makes some sense, because (look out, another Wikipedia citation coming) the Brooklyn Tip Tops only played for a year in the now-defunct Federal League.
[Fun side note: The Federal League was the league that sued Organized Baseball--the National and American Leagues--back in 1915 under the Sherman Act. Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, then sitting on the Federal District Court in Chicago, essentially refused to rule on the case--well, he was a big Cubs fan! He is reported to have said that "Both sides must understand that any blows at the thing called baseball would be regarded by [T]his [C]ourt as a blow to a national institution." Kenesaw Mountain Landis, of course, went on to become the first commissioner of baseball. Check out a sweet book on him (look, a REAL citation!): Judge Landis and Twenty-Five Years of Baseball (1947), by J.G. Taylor Spink. Landis's refusal to rule, by the way, didn't stop the Federal League from making it to the Supreme Court eventually. There they lost, and the Supreme Court, acknowledging baseball's hallowed status as the American pastime, has maintained a somewhat ambiguous antitrust exception for MLB ever since. Well, that's the short story, anyway.]
So 1915 was an exciting time! Why do I doubt that this is a picture of the Tip Tops and the Bisons, then!? Well, there were a few Buffalo Bisons, but they didn't play during 1915, and they didn't play in the Players League. Egads.
Fortunately, we get an awesome scoreboard in that second shot. The teams in the league were apparently Brooklyn, Buffalo, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Chicago, St. Louis, Baltimore, and Newark.
Here are the ACTUAL team names, complete with links to their (largely awesome) logos, for enthusiasts of retro baseball memorabilia like myself. The "picture" link takes you to a cool olde tymey photo, the "logo" link takes you to the generic Google Images search; the other links take you to fun things.
The Brooklyn Tip-Tops [picture | logo | card (kinda)]
The Buffalo Blues [picture | logo | card]
The Baltimore Terrapins [picture | logo | card]
The Chicago Whales [picture | logo | card]
The Indianapolis Hoosiers [picture | logo | card] / Newark Peppers [picture | logo | tix! tix!]
The Kansas City Packers [picture w/ logo]
The Pittsburgh Rebels [picture | logo | card (I think?)]
The St. Louis Terriers [picture | logo | card (more of a portrait, but SO BADASS]
So it seems this game was not between the Tip-Tops and the Bisons, as previously believed, but rather between the Tip-Tops and the Buffalo Blues, who are pictured above in what must be alternate uniforms. Mystery solved!
Things to note:
1) The Baltimore Terrapins had an awesome logo. Everyone should buy Baltimore Terrapins stuff; preferably for me.
2) We need to bring back the old-school sweaters (as visible in the pictures above). Forget the athletic jackets and sweats and everything.
3) The sign in the original picture.
The sign was in fact the focus of the original FanGraphs post (which, by the way, is excellent and you should all read and re-read). A commenter was able to deliver the full text, which is as follows:
Baseball players are all human, and therefore, love applause. If you want a winning team root for them, speak well of them to your friends, and while we are here, let’s all be clean of speech, that the ladies may find it pleasant to come often.
THAT, my friends, is an awesome sign. Quaint, charming, and quietly badass. Let's all be clean of speech, indeed, gentlemen of leisure and masculine virtue, that the ladies might find it pleasant to come often.