After signing a contract that made him the highest paid baseball player in history, Babe Ruth sputtered through the 1922 season. He fumed at umpires and railed against fans who heckled him. Partied too much and at times acted like an overpaid, arrogant prima donna.
His 35 homers and 96 RBI came in just 110 games, though, and it was enough to get the Yankees back to the World Series against the Giants. At the Polo Grounds prior to Game 2, some special guests came to watch what had become the nation’s biggest sporting event. Now, an original George Grantham Bain photo of that moment is headlining RMY Auctions’ June catalog.
The 5 x 6 3/4″ image shows a smiling Ruth with Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert and Lord and Lady Mountbatten.
“Mr. Ruth, I have guests I’d like you to meet,” you can imagine Ruppert saying in his German accent. Babe dutifully stopped at the owner’s box where photographers snapped images of the 27-year-old slugger meeting Mountbatten, the young British naval officer, and his wife who were on a honeymoon tour of the United States. Reports of the day indicated Mountbatten enjoyed himself at the ballpark, devouring six ice cream cones, two bags of peanuts and four sodas while yelling for Ruth and the Yankees.
The game itself ended strangely, called by umpires because of darkness even though there appeared to be enough light for at least another inning or two. The Giants would win all four completed games for the second year in a row.
The photo is one of over 400 at auction through June 17 at RMYAuctions.com.