You’ll have no trouble finding photographs of the 1920’s era New York Yankees. One of baseball’s all-time powerhouses included Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and other Hall of Famers and early baseball photographers were constantly around, snapping photos of the stars. What you won’t find very often is a photo of the fringe players and others associated with the club.
Enter Eddie Bennett, the popular 1927 Yankees “hunchback” batboy. Eddie lived a hard life, suffering a spinal injury as a baby in an accident that involved his baby carriage, then losing both parents to the Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1918. He became friends with Oscar “Happy” Felsch of the White Sox and a result was invited to become the good luck charm of the team as its mascot.
After the 1919 Black Sox scandal, Bennett moved to the Brooklyn Robins and was there when they won the pennant in 1920.
Seeing how “lucky” Bennett was, Col. Jacob Ruppert convinced him to come to the Yankees, help the team as its batboy and good luck charm. Bennett became friends with the players and even sat beside Miller Huggins o the bench and as legend has it, helped him form strategies. Eddie is sometimes credited as being baseball’s first “bench coach”.
This week, RMY Auctions is offering a photo of Bennett and his New York Giants compatriot, Billy Craig before the 1922 World Series at the Polo Grounds. The wire photo was distributed to newspapers around the country and contains a caption attached to the back.
The photo includes full borders and a clear image. It has some mild creasing and some spotting but no damage.
The photo is among hundreds of original sports images from decades ago that were recently acquired by RMY Auctions. Most have never been offered publicly before. Bidding continues through Saturday at RMYAuctions.com.