Babe Ruth was already paying major dividends for the New York Yankees by the time the 1921 World Series rolled around. His acquisition from Boston and the death of the deadball era put baseball on a new course and Ruth began making headlines coast-to-coast. He belted 59 homers during the regular season, driving in 168 runs. But the World Series? Well, that was something new.
The RMY Auctions Photo of the Day is a slice of Ruth and Yankees history. Taken during Game 1 of the series, the 7×9 photo shows Ruth leading off of second base in the club’s first appearance in the World Series. On the back, a photo editor used a pencil to inscribe that fact. The Underwood and Underwood news photo is dated October 6, 1921 and would have been used in newspaper coverage at the time.
It’s one of only a “handful” of Game One images from the 1921 Series that auction officials have ever seen and the only one that shows Ruth in action. It’s likely the photo was taken in the fourth inning after Ruth had walked and then advanced to second base. He reached base only one other time that day but was erased on a double play.
Ruth was hobbled by injuries and sat out the final game of the nine-game set with the New York Giants but still managed to lead the Yanks in on base percentage (.476) and hit .313.
The Yankees won that first game, 3-0 in a tidy 1 hour and 38 minutes in front of 30,203 fans at the Polo Grounds but the Giants would take the Series.
A portion of three corners is missing, but the quality still rates a 6.5 out of 10. It’s one of numerous Ruth photos being offered in RMY’s June Premier Auction, which closes Sunday, June 21.