Harry Lillis “Bing” Crosby had a hand in countless entertainment and business ventures including minority ownership of the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1946 until his demise in 1977. “Der Bingle” is shown with co-owner Frank E. McKinney and GM Roy Hamey in a signed 8x10 photo of the three Pirates executives intently perusing an edition of “The Sporting News”. This fascinating photo is signed and personalized to SN publisher “Taylor Spink” as follows: “To Taylor cordially, Bing Crosby” (“5”) with moderate ink migration; “With Grateful appreciation to my good friend Taylor Spink, Frank E. McKinney” (“8”); and “Warm Regards to my friend Taylor, Roy Hamey” (“7”).
Though Crosby’s “To Taylor” salutation overlaps parts of the date on the Sporting News edition pictured in the photo, the date is visible under magnification as “April 21, 1948”. The papers front page title “Yanks and Braves Picked by Experts” proved to be semi-prophetic, as the Braves who go on to represent the NL in the 1948 World Series against the Cleveland Indians, who prevented and all Boston Series that year by winning a one-game playoff to break a season tie against the Red Sox. The Yankees finished third in the AL, two and a half games back. While the exact date of the photo is undetermined it shows characteristics consistent with being a late 1940s-early 1950s period print. Auction LOA from JSA.