An original news photo from the opening of the original Yankee Stadium is among the items up for bid this month at RMY Auctions. The 5 ¾” x 9 ¼” Underwood & Underwood photo depicts the moment Bob Shawkey began to deliver the first pitch to Boston Red Sox leadoff man Chick Fewster on April 18, 1923.
The photo is one of over 300 offered in the sale, which runs through Sunday, July 19. Auction officials say it’s the first time the photo has been seen or offered. It remains in generally good shape and carries a dated caption from that day stuck to the back . The photo also carries a 1930 file stamp from when it was likely committed to archive.
“Some ball yard,” Babe Ruth was said to have remarked when asked what he thought of the new stadium.
The ‘House That Ruth Built’ was paid for by Yankees’ owner Jacob Ruppert, who tired of sharing the Polo Grounds with the Giants and wanted his own facility. Ruth’s arrival as a gate attraction gave Ruppert the confidence to forge ahead with the $2.4 million project ($32 million today).
Governor Al Smith fired a strike for the ceremonial first pitch and Shawkey took the mound day. Thanks to a three-run homer by The Babe, the Yankees christened the ballpark that would become legendary with a 4-1 victory over their arch-rivals.
For more information about the photo and the auction, visit RMYAuctions.com.