An original, never before offered 1915 photo of Babe Ruth and the rest of the Boston Red Sox pitching staff has arrived on the market through RMY Auctions and leads off the company’s latest online catalog.
One of only a small number of surviving examples of the image that shows Ruth as a rookie pitcher, the 6 1/2 x 10″ photo is the highest quality copy of those known to exist. The photo was recently encapsulated Type 1 by PSA. Bidding had already closed in on $22,000 as of Monday.
Originating the archives of Underwood and Underwood, the photo has a dated caption still attached to the back, with lingo of the time period in the description. Ruth and his teammates were preparing to meet Philadelphia in the 1915 World Series when the photo was prepared for publication.
Several other Ruth photos are part of the auction including the only known example of a 1920 profile image. Dating to April of that year, the 5 1/4 x 6 3/4″ photo may have been snapped during Ruth’s first game as a member of the Yankees following the offseason sale that sent him away from the Red Sox. It, too, is on the market for the first time.
There’s also a 1923 photo taken during spring training with a caption on the back alluding to the story of a woman who claimed the now world famous Ruth was the father of her child.
Others in the catalog include a color copy of the 1968 photo by John Domonis of LIFE Magazine showing American Olympic athletes Tommy Smith and Juan Carlos with gloved fists raised in the “Black Power” salute. It’s one of only a small number of full size original color copies and includes the handwritten caption from 1968 on the back.
A 1949 Jackie Robinson photo, another of a young Hank Aaron in 1955, a time lapse photo of Bob Cousy dating to 1953 and a 1908 horizontal action shot of Baseball Hall of Famer Wee Willie Keeler.
The auction runs through August 13 at RMYAuctions.com.