A 20-year-old Babe Ruth looking at photos of himself as a rookie is a tantalizing start, but the new RMY Auctions catalog has plenty more where that gem came from.
The company that specializes in historic images culled from decades old newspaper archives has brought nearly 800 lots to market with its current sale and there’s not much doubt the emphasis is on old baseball pictures.
One of the more fascinating shots shows Ruth sitting with Red Sox teammates Ernie Shore, Ray Collins and Hick Cady inside the offices of Underwood and Underwood, the New York photography company.
The photo’s humorous caption on the back of the photo appears to have been taken October 4, 1915 when Boston was in town preparing for a doubleheader against the Yankees. The caption on the back of the 6 1/4″ x 8 1/2″ photo is dated the next day, when Ruth and Collins pitched the powerful Sox to a sweep.
The auction’s top bid thus far is for a familiar photo from that same year featuring Eddie Plank. Often used my various magazines and periodicals over the years, the 7 1/4″ x 9 1/4″ photo offered by RMY is the only vintage example known to exist.
A newly discovered 1919 photo shows Cleveland star Ray Chapman sliding into base during a spring training workout. The fresh to market image dates to a year prior to the tragic moment when the popular Chapman was struck in the head by a pitch from Carl Mays and died the next day.
There are a pair of Charles Conlon photos: one of Black Sox star Hap Felsch, pictured three years prior to the scandal and another of deadball era pitching star Ed Reulbach, taken in 1913. There’s a 1934 close up of Hank Greenberg–the same shot used to create his 1936 Goudey baseball card.
The online catalog has 23 images that feature Ruth and Gehrig including one of Ruth barnstorming in California following the 1924 season and a well-used action image dating to his famous 1927 season.
More modern offerings including a color snapshot of 1966 All-Star Game starters Sandy Koufax and Denny McLain, a pair of images of Walter Payton in action in the late 1970s and a color on-court photo of Michael Jordan from the 1991 season that’s signed on the back by photographer Stephen Green.
Bidding runs through July 9.