The Yankees had Ruth and Gehrig. The A’s had Jimmie Foxx. As the 1934 season played out, there was a new star American League, grabbing a few headlines of his own: Hank Greenberg. Now, an important early photograph of his career—one card collectors might recognize—is on the auction block.
The RMY Auctions Photo of the Day is a full-length image of Greenberg taken in the early stages of Greenberg’s career by legendary photographer Charles Conlon.
The 6 x 9 ½ image was distributed to news organizations by Underwood & Underwood in the 1930s. There is an October 9, 1934 date stamp on the back but the photo almost certainly to his rookie season of 1933.
The same photo was used a few years later in the 1937 O-Pee-Chee baseball card set.
Greenberg was just 22 years old and in his first full season with the Tigers in 1933, when he began a streak of eight consecutive years hitting over .300. In ’34, he led the American League in doubles and extra base hits, helping the Tigers to the World Series, where they lost to the Cardinals in seven games. The next season, he would win the first of his two American League MVP awards and lead the Tigers to a World Series championship over the Cubs.
Considered one of the greatest hitters of all-time, Greenberg’s career numbers would have been even more impressive had he not missed 47 months of his career to military service.
The photo has been certified as a PSA/DNA Type 1 and has a full letter of authenticity. It’s among the lots offered in RMY’s current online auction, set to close this Saturday night.