While some would tell them to ‘stick to sports’, athletes and coaches have shared their political preferences for decades. Case in point, the RMY Auctions Photo of the Day, which shows members of the 1928 New York Yankees literally standing up for presidential candidate Al Smith.
The 7 ¾ x10” International News photo features some well-known Yanks, including Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, holding bats with letters attached to form a sign reading “For Al Smith.” The group also includes Tony Lazzeri, Earle Combs and Eddie Bennett, their famous bat boy.
While the players’ commitment to Smith isn’t known, Ruth did some campaigning for Smith, the Democrat who took on Herbert Hoover in the 1928 campaign.
Smith had also run for the Democratic nomination in 1924 but it wasn’t until four years later when he received the nomination. He was the first Catholic to run for president and opposed prohibition. Despite the support of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Hoover defeated Smith and in 1929, the Yankees lost, too, giving up their three-year reign atop the American League to Connie Mack’s powerhouse Athletics.
They wouldn’t return to the World Series until 1932.
The photo is among more than 1,300 up for bid during RMY’s Fall Premium Auction.