When Babe Ruth calls you his favorite photographer, you must be doing something right.
George Burke took a lot of photos of The Babe during his era but Burke also shot thousands of other big league superstars, stars and ordinary players during his long career that was sadly cut short by a stroke suffered in 1948.
One of the more well-known Burke images—a picture vintage baseball collectors will know—features Honus Wagner was still putting on a uniform many years after his final game as a player. An example of the decades old photo, one that bears Burke’s studio stamp on the back, is on the auction block this weekend as RMY Auctions closes out its May Collector sale.
The photo, which bears the rounded edges that was sort of a Burke trademark, was used to make Wagner’s 1940 Play Ball card. While the image is well-known, the 8×10 size is not common. In fact, RMY declares “This is the only specimen of this famous photo we have ever seen in this oversized format.”
Bidding continues through Saturday.
If there ever was a perfect example of a “baseball lifer”, Wagner was it. His playing career began in the 1890s and he was still active as a coach when Mickey Mantle arrived in the major leagues.