From Detroit to Ann Arbor
The picture is undated and from an unknown newspaper. Above the photo is the enigmatic headline: "THEY PLAYED BALL UNDER CONDITIONS THAT NOW MAY RETURN." The caption goes on to explain: "Detroit Tigers of 1902 at Ferry Field--before it had been converted to its present magnificence--for the last game an American League [team] ever played in Ann Arbor." It identifies each of the posed individuals, concluding, "Sixteen players, no exclusively utility man and one mustache, the last in the American League."
To unravel this pictorial puzzle, some context is necessary. The Detroit Tigers had been established only in 1894. The American League itself had come into existence in 1900. Ty Cobb would not join the team until 1905. Navin Field (later Tiger Stadium) would not be constructed until 1912. The best-known Tiger in the photo is Kid Gleason, future manager of the infamous 1919 Chicago White Sox. (He's the one in the light cap with his left elbow on the ground).