You have to get to the ballpark early to watch the visiting team take batting practice but sometimes the road team has a must-watch kind of player. Prior to the homer-happy modern era, no one made BP appointment viewing more than The Babe.
A snapshot of one such moment, taken in the stands in Cleveland 85 seasons ago, has made its way to market, complete with hand-written identification on the back. The 3 1/4″ x 5 3/4″ image shows Babe Ruth, standing in the batter’s box, awaiting a pitch. While a good portion of the crowd appears to not yet be in the ballpark, there are hundreds of fans already seated with their eyes on the aging Yankees legend.
The RMY Auctions Photo of the Day is on the auction block now in an online catalog of more than 600 lots.
According to the identification, Yankees’ catcher Bill Dickey squats behind Ruth. Standing against the batting cage is a player wearing #1, which would be the team’s leadoff batter, Earle Combs.
There’s no date on the photo. The Yankees played in Cleveland several times during the 1934 season.
Ruth was in his last year with the Yankees. He’d finish with 22 homers but the days of MVP-like performances were over. The Yanks finished the season seven games behind the Detroit Tigers in the American League standings and The Babe would finish his career as a short-term member of the Boston Braves the following season.
Auction bidding continues through April 13 at RMYAuctions.com.