Photographs of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig conversing or posing for the camera aren’t rare but newly discovered images that can be dated to a specific moment in time usually perk up the ears of collectors who appreciate them. In 1932, the two icons were sharing a conversation as the Yankees battled the White Sox in Chicago and the scene was captured by a local newspaper photographer. That 6×9 image is now on the auction block for the first time.
RMY Auctions is offering the newly discovered photo in its Winter Premier Auction.
Likely taken just prior to the Yankees’ first at-bat against the White Sox on June 15, 1932, the photo shows the duo holding bats just outside the Yankees dugout on a sunny day at Sox Park. The original photographer’s credit sheet remains attached to the back with notes from the man who snapped the photo. RMY calls it “one of the better photographs of the duo together we have ever seen.”
Moments after the photo was taken, Ruth’s bid for a hit was stymied thanks to a one-handed catch by Lew Fonseca. In the second inning, Gehrig would blast his 14th home run of the season, a leadoff solo blast in the second inning against Sad Sam Jones. It gave the Yankees a 1-0 lead they would hold for Herb Pennock until the eighth inning. That’s when the Sox rallied on a pinch hit triple by Bob Seeds, a single by Jack Hayes and a two-base error by Lyn Lary that held up for a 2-1 win.
Gehrig and Ruth were still at the top of their game in ’32. Ruth hit .341 with 41 homers and 137 RBI, leading the league in on base percentage and walks. Gehrig batted .349 with 34 bombs and a whopping 151 RBI. The Yankees would be back in Chicago a few more times that season, including a brief visit in the fall, where they swept the Cubs in four games to capture the World Series.
The photo is among over 1,400 in the auction catalog with bidding set to run through January 25.