Some rare and never before seen photographs of baseball stars like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle are among the 206 items offered in the final 2015 auction by vintage photo specialist Henry Yee.
The classic baseball photos are originals, with some taken by well-known lensmen like George Grantham Bain. Some are transparencies and negatives. Others are wire service or newspaper staff photos, with the date it was used stamped on the back. The photograph of Mickey Mantle collecting his 2,000th career hit in 1964, for example, was published on the back page of the New York Daily News.
Among them is a 5×7 Bain photo taken in Ruth’s second year with the Yanks. The silver gelatin image is a Type I, authenticated by PSA/DNA. The photo is a rarity in that it features all four borders surrounding the image (the majority of surviving Bain photographs are devoid of borders, having been made by Bain as contact prints off his glass plates or cropped for publication use). Bidding had topped $4,000 heading into the weekend.
Two composite shots of Lou Gehrig as he takes a swing during batting practice at Yankee Stadium on September 25, 1936, are drawing the most buzz. The two photos are sequential composite photos made by International News Photos and is accompanied by original press stamps on the reverse of both photos. A detached caption also is included.
Another item involving Ruth, Gehrig and DiMaggio is also getting a lot of attention. The event was the naming of the Babe Ruth All-American Baseball Team, sponsored by Ruth and his agent, Christy Walsh, who also was Gehrig’s agent. In the 8×10 photo, Walsh is kneeling in the row in front of Ruth. Gehrig and DiMaggio were named to the team, along with New York Giants Hall of Fame pitcher Carl Hubbell (standing to the left of the Babe).
The 8-by-10 inch black-and-white photo came from Walsh’s estate.
One photo that will look familiar to collectors of vintage baseball cards is a 1951 image of young New York Giants outfielder Willie Mays. It’s the same shot used on Mays’ 1952 Berk Ross card.
The Mays piece is Type I and originates from the noted photographer Irving Klaw and his Movie Star News archives.
There’s a Stan Musial photo from the September 1963 afternoon when he played in his last game for the St. Louis Cardinals. The photo shows Musial waving to adoring fans who reach out to him as he rides around Sportsman’s Park.
Others on the block include those of Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Sandy Koufax, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Rogers Hornsby, Hank Aaron, Roger Maris and Ted Williams.
There are boxing action shots and close-up, portrait-type shots, too. Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Sonny Liston, Rocky Marciano, Joe Frazier and Sugar Ray Leonard are among the featured fighters.
Even daredevil Evel Knievel isare part of the auction.
Click here to check out the entire collection.