It’s one of those images you can stare at for an hour and find something interesting in every minute.
Wearing a sleeveless undershirt just a few weeks after winning the 1927 World Series, Lou Gehrig playfully pretends to listen in to a conversation between a young pitcher and his catcher on a local sandlot. Nearby, a group of other kids dressed in attire that ranges from shorets to overalls to sweaters, looks on. The scene plays out, presumably, in southern California, where the Larrupin’ Lous vs. Bustin’ Babes barnstorming tour was in full swing.
Ruth and Gehrig were mega stars, cashing in on the fame that came from the 1927 home run race and ensuing World Series title. The tour gave fans across the country the chance to see what the two actually looked like in person and they were met with crowds wherever they went. Organized by Christy Walsh and bolstered by the use of local players and minor leaguers who filled out the rosters, they played before 220,000 fans in nine states, travelling more than 8,000 miles. When they weren’t playing, Ruth and Gehrig were drumming up support and spending time in sandlots, offering freelance clinics and playing ball with youngsters.
The candid photo of Gehrig and his young pals on a dirt diamond is among the featured attractions in RMY Auctions’ July online catalog. It includes the original paper caption, still attached to the back.
The photo is file stamped October 27, 1927—one day before the Ruth and Gehrig teams played a game at Balboa Stadium in San Diego but the exact location of the image isn’t noted.
Bidding will continue through July 14 at RMYAuctions.com.