Collecting was a big part of the opening of the Baseball Hall of Fame back in 1939. Proof of that can be seen in a rare photograph from the archives of The Sporting News.
The 5 ¾” x 7 ¼” image shows stacks of envelopes and a woman holding sheets of the new Baseball Centennial stamps as workers in the Cooperstown, New York post office piece together first day covers with the June 12, 1939 date.
The original photo is believed to be the only example ever to come to market and is adhered to a thicker piece of cardboard backing. Taken by William Greene, there is a pencil notation on the back describing what’s shown in the photograph.
Treasured today among collectors and autograph collectors, the covers celebrate the 100 year anniversary of baseball in Cooperstown and were sold for the first time on this day.
Eleven of the players elected to the Hall for that first induction day came to Cooperstown, including Babe Ruth.
The photo is one of 1,300 up in RMY Auctions’ Fall Premier event. Bidding will close tonight (Saturday).