Today's featured picture

Ira Aldridge in Titus Andronicus
An engraving made from a daguerreotype of Ira Aldridge (1807–1867) in the role of Aaron from William Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus. Aldridge was an African American actor who made his career largely in Europe due to persistent racism in the United States. He began acting with the African Grove theatre in New York City, and moved to London in the early 1820s, where he soon began receiving critical acclaim for his performances, most notably for Othello. He then was cast in several roles of specifically white characters, such as the title role in Richard III, and Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. He was so renowned that he is the only African American to be included among the 33 actors honored at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon.

Daguerreotype: William Paine;

Image: London Printing and Publishing Co;

Restoration: Adam Cuerden

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A gold-tanned leather baseball glove flanked by two golden baseballs affixed to a walnut trophy base

In Major League Baseball, the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards are presented annually to the players at each position judged to have exhibited superior individual fielding performances throughout each season. Since awards are presented in both the National League (NL) and the American League (AL), 18 Gold Gloves have been presented each year since 1958 after 9 awards were presented in the inaugural 1957 season. Because ties in the award voting are permissible, 19 awards have been presented twice when four outfielders won: in 1985, and again in 2007. The Gold Glove is presented to outfielders irrespective of their specific position, meaning that it is possible any combination of outfielders to win the award in the same season, rather than one left fielder, one center fielder, and one right fielder. Critics have argued that the three positions are not equivalent defensively, supporting other defensive recognition such as the Fielding Bible Awards. Pitcher Greg Maddux has won the most Gold Gloves of any player, capturing 18 awards—from 1990 to 2002, and again from 2004 to 2008. The only player ever to win Gold Gloves as an infielder and outfielder is Darin Erstad, who won Gold Gloves as an outfielder in 2000 and 2002 and as a first baseman in 2004, all with the Anaheim Angels. (more...)