The legendary photographer with the tools he used to share thousands of fleeting moments in local and Little League history.
Winning Lineup of Little League Photos on Exhibit in College Gallery
Opening receptions were held late last week in The Gallery at Penn College, where “In the Field of Play: The Little League Baseball World Series through the lens of Putsee Vannucci” will be featured through Aug. 30. A well-timed collection honoring one of the acknowledged joys of summer, the exhibit includes photographs and camera equipment from Vannucci’s 60 years of Little League coverage. Invited guests previewed the show Thursday evening; the public opening followed on Friday. The gallery is open from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, 2-7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday and Friday (closed Saturday and Monday). The exhibit will be open extended hours for this year’s Series (Aug. 16-26): 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday.
The exhibit also prompted this video, which has been added to the college’s YouTube channel:
– Photos by Jennifer A. Cline, writer/editor-One College Avenue; Cindy Davis Meixel, writer/photo editor;
and Whitnie-rae Mays, student photographer
The “field” beckons gallery patrons.
A Little Leaguer examines photos of seasons past.
A wall is reserved for visitors to finish the sentence, “I love Little League because …”
Clockwise from left, Tammy Frederick, John Vannucci and Bonnie Jamieson join their mother, Maxine Vannucci.
Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour, chair of the Little League Baseball Inc. Board of Directors, welcomes guests.
Writer/video editor Tom Speicher, among those involved in the photo selection, gives an overview of the process and outlines Penn College’s rich history with Little League.
Baseball cookies and cupcakes replace “peanuts and Cracker Jack” as seasonal treats in gallery foyer.
A number of cameras are on display, including this 1940s-era Graphic View model. Bought for $97.50 in 1941, the camera was used to capture wide-angle views of the Little League Baseball World Series – including many of Vannucci’s iconic shots of the Original Little League Field and Howard J. Lamade Stadium.
Bonnie Jamieson, Vannucci’s elder daughter, offered remarks at both receptions.
Jamieson recalled her father using this United Press International Portable Telephoto Transmitter, which is part of the gallery display. She said he tried to impress upon her the marvel that photos were being sent around the world through a wire (although it could take up to 30 minutes to transmit a photo domestically and more than an hour to send one to Taiwan).
She also noted his meticulous nature in providing instruction, evidenced by this detailed typewritten documentation.
Vannucci’s widow, Maxine, listens intently to her daughter.
Vannucci captured not only big plays, but the essence of baseball and childhood.
Among his many honors, Vannucci was presented with the W. Howard Hartman Little League Friendship Award in 1990. The award, from Little League Baseball and Softball, offers special recognition to an individual who has demonstrated a generous and loyal relationship with Little League.
Mike Rafferty (left), editor of Webb Weekly and owner of Vannucci Foto and Video, was part of a small group of community members who lent their input during the exhibit’s development.
Billy Connors, now vice president of player personnel for the New York Yankees, practices in the mirror on the eve of the 1954 World Series championship game. His team, from Schenectady, N.Y., won.
Webb Weekly sports columnist Scott Lowery, another member of the exhibit committee, assesses an artisan’s life’s work. Executive director of the Lycoming County United Way, Lowery is a former director of Little League International’s Central Region.
“I love Little League because …”
Vannucci’s son, John (partly hidden), shares his memories with a group that includes Pam and Frank Wright, of Loyalsock Township (right foreground).
Williamsport native Charles “Chuck” Lucas, a longtime friend of Vannucci’s, traveled to the exhibit from Virginia. He was director of the European series teams during the 1960’s and wrote for Stars and Stripes throughout his time with Little League.
Among more than 100 priceless images from the Little League World Series is this photo of Cody Webster firing a pitch against Taiwan in the 1982 World Series championship game. By hurling a two-hitter and smashing a mammoth homer that afternoon, Webster became a Little League icon. His Kirkland, Washington, team shocked Taiwan, 6-1, before a then-record crowd of 40,000.
Cy Young, the winningest pitcher in Major League annals, spends time with a team during the 1951 Little League Baseball World Series. Young’s 511 career wins are nearly 100 more than anyone else in history.
Members of the Japanese team from Tokyo celebrate the first World Series championship for Asia after a 4-1 victory over Chicago, Illinois, in 1967.
Attendees listen to a gallery talk by Jamieson.
With friends and family looking on, Maxine Vannucci talks with Stephen D. Keener, president and chief executive officer of Little League International.
A visitor examines a display of some of Vannucci’s photo equipment.