From his earliest moments as a big league star to his dying days, there was no greater ambassador for baseball than Babe Ruth. Two photos representing two distinctly different moments in his life reveal once again why he towers above all other players. Our Vintage Photo of the Day from RMY Auctions is a doubleheader of sorts.
The first image could well be titled ‘Babe and a Baby’, but it’s got a little more depth than that. Taken in 1920, it’s one of the first images showing Ruth with children after he arrived in New York from Boston. The baby is described on the back as belonging to ‘Chet Thomas’. It’s likely the boy is the son of the Chet ‘Pinch’ Thomas who had been Ruth’s teammate with the Red Sox at one point.
The photo measures 6 ½” x 9 ½” and carries a pre-sale estimate of $500-$1,000.
Ruth's own childhood impacted his affinity toward youngsters which was on display throughout his career . While there are thousands of images of Ruth with his young fans and children, this one is the earliest the auction house has encountered.
The second photograph was taken when a much less robust Ruth was in the final months of his life, still being mobbed by a group of youngsters, many of whom have pencils, pens, notebooks and baseballs at the ready, hoping for The Babe’s autograph. While the location isn’t noted, the 8x10 photo bears the stamp from noted photographer George Dorrill of St. Louis on the back.
In the last years of his life, Ruth traveled the country, making appearances on behalf of sponsors as well as American Legion baseball.
There are several other Ruth photos among more than 1,000 in the June Premier Auction now being conducted at RMYAuctions.com.