Hidden away for many years, a group of never-before-seen photos of sports legends Babe Ruth and Jim Thorpe, plus one of former major league baseball catcher Wally Schang, have been discovered.
The 1920s-era photographs were found in a storage locker tied to a prominent Louisville family. They were contained in several photograph albums chronicling the family’s travels and other subjects from 1908 thru the 1930s. Four photos are of Ruth, one is of Thorpe and one is of Schang.
PSA/DNA has deemed all five to be Type 1 original photos that are genuine and authentic and date to the 1920s. All six of the photos come with letters of authenticity. All will be sold as part of a larger auction conducted by Ripley Auctions of Indianapolis on Saturday, December 2.
The four Ruth photos are the expected stars of the collection. One shows him at bat, in full uniform, in what looks to be an exhibition or spring training game. The 4 ¾ inch by 6 ¾ inch photo is expected to change hands for $1,000-$2,000.
The family through which the photos originated were breeders of Greyhounds and the other three Ruth photos show him in uniform, with a dog named Hazel at his side. Two of the three photos are 4 ¾ inches by 6 ¾ inches and carry identical estimates of $1,000-$2,000.
The third photo, however, is torn in half and carries an estimate of $100-$300.
The photo of Thorpe depicts him on the football field, in full uniform, circa 1920s. The 6 ¾ inch by 4 ½ inch photo has an estimate of $700-$900.
Schang played for five major league baseball teams between 1913 and 1931, all as a catcher. Schang is shown in his 6 ¾ inch by 4 ¾ inch photograph on the playing field in his New York Yankees uniform, striking a pose, wearing his catcher’s mitt. That photo is expected to sell for at least several hundred dollars.
The auction opens Saturday morning. You can see the photos on the Ripley Auctions website.