The Charles “Teenie” Harris Archive consists of the life work of Pittsburgh photographer Charles “Teenie” Harris (1908–1998). Among its more than 70,000 black-and-white negatives and nine reels of 16 mm film are more than 600 photographs and several minutes of film about baseball and softball in the Pittsburgh region.
Harris’s view of Pittsburgh sports was unique in his time. Dedicated to the representation of African American life, he focused on teams with racially integrated or all-Black lineups. He was a superb athlete and founder of the sandlot Pittsburgh Crawfords in the 1920s, so his knowledge of the sport was based on experience. When the Crawfords and Homestead Grays joined the Negro League elite teams in the 1930s and 1940s, Harris attended big events such as the 1945 Negro League World Series, and photographed players after hours in the Hill District’s famous Crawford Grill. After the Pirates integrated in 1954, he shifted his attention to Forbes Field and Three Rivers Stadium. Characteristically, he photographed women’s softball teams and Little League openers with the same skill and dedication he brought to images of the pros.
The museum would like to thank guest curator Sean Gibson, Executive Director of the Josh Gibson Foundation, for sharing his expert knowledge of baseball in Pittsburgh and guiding the selection of images for this exhibition.