Hundreds of vintage baseball and other sports photographs have made their way into the modern hobby market for the first time via a new auction house.
Recently, Historic Images purchased a sizable collection of photos which had been held in private hands and locked away for several decades. Many of the boxes were still sealed and the contents unknown. Contained within were hundreds of original date-stamped sports photos; including long ago names like Shoeless Joe Jackson, Ty Cobb, Joe DiMaggio, Satchel Paige, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams, Walter Johnson and Bobby Jones. Many were shot by photography icons Charles Conlon and Louis von Oeyen and a large number have never been seen before.
They are not just amazing images, but amazing stories. Rhys Yeakley of newly-christened RMY Auctions has spent the last several months curating these photographs carefully describing the images and what makes them special. RMY is making its debut this fall, with bidding on over 1,100 lots now underway and scheduled to conclude October 5.
Among the photos is one of Ray Chapman, with a date stamp on the back from the day before he was struck in the head by a pitch from Carl Mays and died. RMY believes it may be the last known image of Chapman in the field.
Card collectors will be intrigued by the photo of Babe Ruth releasing a bird which was used to make one of his most iconic cards of all time, the 1922 E121 American Caramel. Mystery has always surrounded the circumstances behind the card but from the paper caption on the back we now know. The purpose of the publicity photo was to illustrate that carrier pigeons had been brought in to relay the inning-by-inning scores of the intense Cleveland v. New York Series in late 1921 to “Yankee fans on New York’s east side”.
There’s a photo taken the night Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak was snapped. There’s a photo of Christy Mathewson in streetclothes, posing with his wife and child and another of Jim Thorpe, clad in a leather helmet, playing for Rock Island against the Chicago Bears in a 1924 NFL game.
RMY expects items to sell at a wide variety of price levels, which should offer most collectors a chance to buy something of historic value, including famous names from the past like Harry Truman, Albert Einstein and John Dillinger.
RMY Auctions is a partnership between long-time hobbyist Rhys Yeakley and Historic Images, one of the worlds largest collectors and sellers of historic and vintage photos.
To register for the auction, visit their website.