Collectors will have a chance to acquire some of baseball’s most iconic images from its “golden age” during Heritage Auctions’ Vintage Sports Photography Catalog auction on May 20. It includes a 1927 original photograph of Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig, taken by iconic baseball photographer Charles Conlon. The photo would be used for the 1933 Goudey baseball card set.
“A large part of the sports collectibles hobby centers around baseball, and the images from the game’s ‘golden age’ are on the must-have list of every serious collector,” Heritage Sports Auctions Director Chris Ivy said. “Original photography represents one of the fastest growing segments of the industry and it has quite a bit of crossover appeal among our collector base from other categories.”
Another photograph shows Babe Ruth crossing the plate after hitting his 60th home run in 1927. It’s an original news photograph and shows Ruth accepting a handshake from Gehrig. The photograph also includes Yankees batboy Eddie Bennett, who doubled as a team mascot and good luck charm.
Gehrig figures prominently in another photograph that will be on the block. The July 4, 1939, “Luckiest Man” speech by the Yankees’ first baseman was one of baseball’s most poignant moments. This original news photograph captures the emotion as Gehrig, head bowed, struggles to keep his composure as he receives accolades.
Other key auction items include a 1949 original news photograph of Jackie Robinson, which was the model for his 1950 Bowman baseball card; and a 1955 news photograph of Pittsburgh Pirates rookie Roberto Clemente.