Seventy-five years ago last spring, a 20-year-old ballplayer from San Diego, CA drove across the country, arriving at the Boston Red Sox spring training camp a few days late. Ted Williams was their best prospect and to those who knew baseball talent , it was obvious he had the skill to play at the major league level.
He made his debut in April, posing for a photograph that would become famous. The Charles Conlon image has been published countless times but it pictures a frowning Williams, apparently ill at ease being the focus of attention.
Not until now, however, has a different image, taken by another well-known photographer on that same day, come to light. Herman Seid’s photograph of “The Kid” was recently culled from an old newspaper archive by RMY Auctions and is up for bid in the company’s Premier Auction.
The back is stamped with Seid’s photography business information and carries a pencil identification made by a photo editor decades ago.
The current high bid for the RMY Auctions Photo of the Day, is $1,179 but is expected to run much higher, considering its historical significance. The auction closes November 15.
“With a deep black background and wonderful use of light tones to accentuate his face, Herman Seid has outdone the master and this is a superior image to that taken by Conlon,” reads the auction description. “Ted is on the verge of super-stardom and the glance he gives is a mix between confidence in his abilities and uneasiness about the grand stage he now finds himself on.”
The pressure, if it existed, didn’t bother the cool California tough guy. He hit .327 with 31 home runs and 145 RBI, becoming the first rookie to lead the American League in the latter category. The performance earned him twice the yearly salary for 1940: from $5,000 to $10,000.
To see the listing for this photo and see more than 1,200 others up for auction, visit RMYAuctions.com.