More than 360 original photos, including several rarely or never before seen images of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Jackie Robinson, Mickey Mantle, Roberto Clemente 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 late 19th century. 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 Sunday night.
The headliner is a rarely seen 1919 team photo of the Chicago “Black Sox.” Posed and smiling in the horizontal image, the team would go down in infamy when several players consorted with gamblers in the World Series, losing to the Cincinnati Reds. Joe Jackson, Buck Weaver and the rest of the squad are pictured. The back of the silver gelatin Western Newspaper Union photo shows decades of use by photo editors but the front remains in generally good condition. Bidding was over $2,200 as of Wednesday.
Multiple Type I photos of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig are also attracting interest including an artfully composed 1933 Acme Newspictures photo of Ruth taking a swing. Dated August 3, 1933 on the back, the image measures 7×9. A similar image of Gehrig dates to 1936.
Another photo shows Ruth, Gehrig, Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker posing on the field in 1928 while the legendary 1927 Yankees team is represented by another Type I image.
A seldom seen photo of Jackie Robinson leading off third base at Wrigley Field in September of 1949, is also among the offerings along with 1960s images of Roberto Clemente, taken during a Pirates-Cubs game.
The work of legendary photographer George Bain is headlined by his shot of Walter Johnson taken more than 100 years ago.
The auction continues through Sunday. You can see the entire list here.