Dozens of original photos, including several rarely or never before seen images of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Roberto Clemente , Sandy Koufax and other sports stars from the past are on the auction block this week.
Originating primarily in newspaper archives, the photos date as far back as the 1930s. Long-time dealer Henry Yee is offering them as part of a larger, quarterly auction that takes place on eBay. All are slated to close Wednesday night.
The image generating the most interest is an original copy of a 1946 photo that shows Bob Feller pitching to Joe DiMaggio during his 1946 no-hitter at Yankee Stadium. The silver gelatin 6×8 black and white Type I photo was distributed by International News on April 30, when Feller’s Cleveland team shut down the Yankees, 1-0.
Also among the premier lots is a well-known PSA/DNA encapsulated photo of Lou Gehrig, taken on the day he removed himself from the Yankee lineup after playing in 2,130 consecutive games. Taken by a photographer sitting behind Gehrig on the Yankees’ dugout bench, the image appeared on the cover of Baseball Magazine that season and has been published many times since. Bidding stood at $635 as of Monday afternoon.
Gehrig is shown in happier times, smiling as he shakes hands with Giants’ rival Mel Ott before the 1936 World Series.
There are several photographs of Babe Ruth, including a 1930s George Burke 5×7 of Ruth at the plate and one taken of Ruth and his former boss, Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert during Babe’s short time with the Boston Braves in 1935.
There is a classic image of Mickey Mantle, hands on hips in the outfield with dirt on his pants, blowing a bubble. Another, taken from the side, shows Mantle and Roger Maris at attention in the Yankee outfield during the early 1960s. One photo from 1967 shows Mantle’s swing progression as he belts home run #501. Another shows Mantle, just up from the minors in 1951 and posing with soon-to-be retired Joe DiMaggio.
There is also a 1950s photo of college basketball sensation Wilt Chamberlain posing with a ball while wearing a Kansas sweater.
Nearly 200 photos are in the sports side of the auction. You can see the entire list here.