He hit 60 homers that season, but if you’d pulled his card out of an Exhibit Supply Company machine around that time, you might have seen Babe Ruth showcasing the other side of his game. On Wednesday, collectors had a chance to own an original copy of the same photo but you had to come with a fat wallet to be in the hunt.
The 6 1/2 x 8 1/2-inch International News photograph of the Babe in a fielding pose sold for $43,475 to pace Hunt Auctions’ Premier Live Internet Auction.
Hand-dated to October of ’27, the Type I photo was one of a few featuring Ruth in an auction that also included vintage cards. In fact, another 1927 image of Ruth, captured after hitting his 60th homer, sold for $11,750.
The second highest selling item was an important photo of another Yankee icon who came along 23 years after Ruth led the club to a World Series championship. The 7 x 9 image of Mickey Mantle was taken in September of 1950 when the 18 year old from Oklahoma worked out with the Yankees during a western road trip. One of only two known to PSA, the photo sold for $35,838.
A 1952 Topps Mantle topped the selection of vintage cards that were part of the sale. The PSA 3 example netted $32,313. A T206 Ty Cobb Green Portrait graded 6 by PSA sold for $28,200.
Other auction highlights included:
- Babe Bows Out photo by Nat Fein (newly discovered) $23,265
- E121 American Caramel Series of 80 Babe Ruth SGC 4 $22,325
- 1887 King Kelly Hastings Cabinet card $11,159