The reason for the photo shoot has been lost to time but it wouldn’t have been unusual for photographers to want to snare a few minutes with the often cantankerous and sometimes violent Ty Cobb.
A superstar of the first right who was just entering his prime at age 27, Cobb managed a slight smile for the camera one day in 1913. While other images from this same photo shoot have been seen before, this particular image is uncommon. It’s the RMY Auctions Vintage Photo of the Day and is among more than 1,200 photos up for bid in the company’s Fall Premier Auction.
It was recently culled from a large newspaper archive.
Company officials call it the “best photograph of Ty Cobb ever taken” and it’s pretty clear collectors of rare baseball photos agree. With nearly two weeks remaining in the auction, bidding has already passed $3,000 for the 6 ½ x 8 ½” silver gelatin photo.
He’s pictured in the familiar collared button-down jersey, closed up at the neck with a pin. The striped old English “D” cap sits atop his head.
While taken in 1913, when Cobb hit .390 for the Tigers, the photo was issued by International Film Service around 1915 and bears various identification marks and stamping on the back.
For more information, visit RMYAuctions.com.