It was as close to beefcake as a brother could get in 1928. The image of a smiling Babe Ruth, wearing a tank top, was one of five he personalized to his sister Mamie. This week, the photos, along with her copy of The Babe Ruth Story, also signed by the Babe, were sold by Schulte Auctions.
The famous image of Ruth showing off his upper body was accompanied by another photo of Mamie Ruth holding the signed photo. It generated 39 bids and sold for $25,928 including a 15% buyer’s premium. Dated in July of 1928, the photo featured a stunningly clear Ruth inscription.
The one-of-a-kind Gehrig picture brought $12,860 while other photos from various stages of Ruth’s life, all signed to his sister, sold for prices ranging from $7902 to $1292.
A 1958 Baltimore Colts’ team signed white football went for $8402, a book signed by eight early Hall of Famers including Honus Wagner, Paul Waner and Clark Griffith, sold for $4959 while a Mike Curtis game-used Colts helmet brought $4239.
The auction included dozens of autographed items from all sports.