We tend to think of sports memorabilia auctions as a modern era development, but the truth is that people have been willing to pay for certain items long before the rise of huge catalogs. In the case of a special image at auction this weekend, it wasn’t Babe Ruth or Lou Gehrig attracting the attention of bidders, though.
The RMY Auctions Photo of the Day is a rare 6 ½ x 8 ½” International Newsreel image from May 22, 1922 showing President Warren G. Harding holding a baseball on a baseball during a Senators-White Sox game. The caption on the back of the photo indicates Harding signed the ball, was then spirited off to the highest bidder, with proceeds benefitting a local children’s hospital.
Who won the ball or what became of it isn’t known, but the caption is dated on the back and historical information lists Harding in attendance for all nine innings that day. Harding was a baseball fan who was making his second visit to the ballpark in six weeks and third as president.
The presidential picture is part of a 300+ lot auction of news and sports-related images at RMY Auctions. Bidding concludes Sunday night.