RMY Auctions has opened its Spring Premier Auction of vintage photographs with more than 1,000 lots up for bid through Saturday, April 9.
The auction leads off with an original 1918 photo of 23-year-old Babe Ruth pounding a ball for the Boston Red Sox. The 6 x 8 ¼” image shows the 23-year-old slugger who was rapidly becoming one of the world’s most famous athletes for his pitching—and raw power.
In fact, Ruth would lead the American League in home runs with what was then a prodigious total of 11. He was coming off a 24-win season as a pitcher and while he was still a part of the Sox rotation in 1918, it was his offense that was generating headlines. His mighty clouts had opened eyes in Boston during the 1917 season and the Red Sox finished in second place. Crowds of fans and reporters gathered as the Sox arrived to begin a new season with high hopes.
The photo, believed to have been taken at spring training in Hot Springs, AR, was taken during the same spring that Ruth blasted a home run estimated to have cleared the outfield fence by 200 feet according to newspaper reports. It rolled into a pond next to a pit on an alligator farm.
The silver gelatin photo was distributed by a stock photo service at the time and carries their stamping on the back.
Ruth and the Red Sox would win the American League pennant in 1918 and then dispatch the Cubs to win the World Series…their last, it turned out, until 2004.
The auction, which also includes numerous other Ruth photos, is live at RMYAuctions.com.