As the 1927 season got underway, Babe Ruth wasn’t optimistic about breaking his record of 59 homers he’d set six years earlier.
“I don’t suppose I’ll ever break that 1921 record,” he told reporters. “To do that, you’ve got to start early, and the pitchers have got to pitch to you. I don’t start early, and the pitchers haven’t really pitched to me in four seasons. I get more bad balls to hit than any other five men…and fewer good ones.”
Ruth didn’t homer until the fourth game of the 1927 season, but once he started, he was impossible to stop, belting 60 by season’s end, establishing a record that wouldn’t be broken until Roger Maris did it in 162 games in 1961.
The original glass plate negative and envelope from a photo taken just minutes before Ruth stepped into the batter’s box on April 15, 1927 is on the auction block. It’s among the featured attractions in RMY Auctions’ Winter Premier Auction.
The 4 1/4” x 5 ¼” negative still rests inside the original Underwood & Underwood envelope, which includes a caption referencing the homer was hit just after the image was created y the photographer’s camera.
Ruth’s first inning blast off Howard Ehmke helped the Yankees to a 6-3 win over Connie Mack’s Athletics—the Yanks’ third straight win over Philly in what would become the most dominant season in baseball history. Fans watching at Yankee Stadium didn’t know history was unfolding that day.
The Associated Press covered it this way:
There was nothing spectacular about Ruth’s home run, the bases were empty when it was made, and later developments proved it was not needed for the Yankees to win, but home runs are what the Bambino is paid for and in starting his 1927 string he brought satisfaction to the thousands who believe in his greatness.
Bidding continues through March 6 at RMYAuctions.com.