Family Photo Friday

My grandmother. Jessie Cook Sain, had given me many of her family photos and I have been scanning them off and on over the last few years. Probably more off than on. Yesterday while cleaning I found a little pile of the last group of photos I had been scanning. And in that pile was this picture:

Cook 1911

At the bottom of the photo someone has written Cook 1911 and on the back I have written: “Joseph pitched Pittsburg Pirates. ” I do not know when I wrote this, but it is my handwriting.  I am assuming the photo is of my great uncle, Joseph Edward Cook (1888-1976). He would have been 23 in 1911. I tried to research if there was every a Joseph Edward Cook playing major league baseball. I looked up Cook in the Baseball Almanac, but there was no Joseph, Joe or J.E.  At I did find a J.E. Cook that pitched in the minor leagues in 1911. He was on the roster for two teams: Topeka Jayhawks and Omaha Rourkes. There was no personal information about him, just his batting and pitching statistics.  I do know that by 1920 my great uncle was married, living in Peoria, Illinois and had two children. His occupation was a salesman for an automotive dealership.  And in the 1930 census he owned dealership.

So my question is, why is he wearing a Cubs uniform and why on the back have  I written that he pitched for the Pirates? Were the teams he played for farm teams for these organizations? So I guess I need to read some baseball history.  It is amazing how one old photo can  open up a bunch of questions.



  1. Mark said,

    April 3, 2016 at 11:50 pm

    Have you gathered any additional information since this post? Would like to share findings. Joe Cook played in 1909 for Helena, AR in the Arkansas State League. The league folded in July 1909 and Joe apparently went up north to pitch.

    • mkaymac said,

      April 4, 2016 at 11:00 pm

      No I haven’t, in fact the info you shared is more than I knew.

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