Another Bout of Geographical Confusion, a Really Bad One This Time

This is quite an odd photo. It looks to be three baseball players plus one football player. At least, he’s wearing a different kind of uniform and he seems to have a football tucked under his arm.

But where are they? I’ve looked at this until I’m almost dizzy and I’m still not sure. I think  the building under construction must be West Hall and they’re standing on its west side. That would make some sense, as the baseball field was quite near there. Here are a couple of construction pictures (obviously taken somewhat earlier in the process) where you can see the wooden wall:

That would mean that Main Street is behind them, which is plausible. But friends, I am deeply troubled by those gravel walks. They just don’t seem right. Just for some perspective, here’s an aerial shot of campus from the mid-1920s:

Someone please put me out of my misery and tell me what I’m missing.

Bonus: My last plea for memorabilia has yielded something both unexpected and totally awesome. Alert reader Jeff Ross realized that he had this amazing thing gathering dust in his garage and knew that it should be shared. He says he got it at a garage sale about thirty years ago, but I’d bet it’s significantly older than that.

Yes, that is a hand-carved wooden Rice Owl toilet seat. We’re still thinking about the best way to display it.

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8 Responses to Another Bout of Geographical Confusion, a Really Bad One This Time

  1. Gaylon Kent says:

    i like how you can just pull out an aerial photo of campus from 1920’s just like that…

  2. Melissa Kean says:

    Yeah, I have about a dozen of them from various eras stored on my laptop. I’m like the world’s expert on this tiny thing.

  3. Karl Benson says:

    The aerial photo in the post doesn’t show far enough west. On of the Pound photos appears to show two parallel paths similar to the one in this photo leading from West Hall towards the baseball field. You have another aerial which I can’t locate right now that more clearly shows the baseball field.

  4. Karl Benson says:

    I found the photo I was looking for. It’s in the December 6, 2011 post.

    This photo also shows that the geniuses at Rice have never known how to orient a baseball field. Every true fan knows on a real baseball field home plate is always in the west. That’s where the term “southpaw” to describe a left-handed pitcher comes from – the pitcher’s throwing arm is on the first base or south side of the diamond.

    As the photo shows, home plate at the original field was in the north, and the error was propagated when the present field was constructed. This results in such baseball anomalies as “glare delays” when the sun reflects off of the buildings in the Medical Center. On both fields home plate should be located approximately where first base is.

  5. Grungy says:

    That looks too round, rather than oblate, to be a football, which only makes this harder.

  6. Lou Ann Montana says:

    Could he be a rugby player??

  7. Bill Allison says:

    I think early footballs were rounder, like this one. From the Football Encyclopedia:

    A prolate spheroid had been required for the football’s shape as early as 1896, but specific measurements did not go into effect until 1912. Further specifications in the 1929-1941 period not only led to narrower, more bullet-shaped balls, ….

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