He was a superstitious sort and so it’s no surprise Babe Ruth immediately considered the diamond-studded charm he received from the Knights of Columbus during his first season with the New York Yankees to be “lucky.”
Even then, he was also more than willing to pose for photographers and spend a few minutes with well wishers.
A rare photo from The Babe’s historic first season in New York on the day he received the little piece of jewelry is now on the auction block.
The 6 x 8 3/4″ image shows Ruth posing with the charm held in front of his chest at the Polo Grounds as a group of Detroit Tigers look on. The caption on the back of the photo dates it to July 10, 1920 and newspaper coverage of the day confirms the charm had been a gift from the Knights of Columbus the day before. A member of the presenting committee is also shown standing next to him.
Ruth, as usual, was the center of attention as he continued on a record setting home run pace. After the photo was taken, he got down to the business of belting homers, knocking out his 25th of what would be a record-setting season of 54 in a 9-3 Yankees win.
The photo, which has some pinholes and a crease, has been encapsulated as a Type I by PSA and includes a full, dated caption on the back.
It’s part of an auction featuring nearly 700 historic sports, news and entertainment images that runs through October 9.