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1915 Boston Red Sox Photograph Collection Including the Earliest Known Major League Photos of Babe Ruth (9)
Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $4,640.00
These nine original photographs capture members of the Boston Red Sox during spring training of 1915. The two photographs featuring Babe Ruth are especially significant as they represent what we believe to be the earliest known photos of Babe Ruth as a major leaguer. Although the photos are all undated, they can be definitively identified as dating from spring training of 1915. The photos originate directly from the estate of former Boston Red Sox president Joseph Lanin. All were taken in 1915 at the club's spring training facility in Hot Springs, Arkansas. There were originally forty-one photos in the entire collection, nine of which are presented in this lot. Within that original grouping of forty-one, three photos captured Ruth, two of which are offered here. The third Ruth photo is being offered in this catalog as a separate lot. Babe Ruth was purchased by the Red Sox on July 9, 1914; however, he only appeared in four games for the club before being sent down (on August 5th) to the minors for more seasoning. He did not rejoin the Red Sox until spring training of 1915, a return that is captured in two of the photos here. The first (4.5 x 2.5 inches) pictures Ruth as he poses together with ten of his teammates including Joe Wood. The second (3.75 x 2.75 inches) pictures Ruth at bat during either batting practice or a game. To the best of our knowledge there are no known photographs picturing Ruth as a member of the Red Sox during his one-month stay with the club in 1914. Thus, these two photos (along with the additional separately offered photo) represent the first glimpse of Ruth in a Red Sox uniform, and duly chronicle the start of what would become the greatest career in baseball history. As mentioned previously, these photos originate from the estate of Red Sox president Joseph Lanin, who is pictured in five of the nine photos (either alone or with members of the team). Included among the remaining photos is an image of pitcher Carl Mays in mid-windup, his classic submarine style of delivery on full display. Mays, like Ruth, was also in his rookie season with the Red Sox. However, while Ruth would go on to distinguish himself as the greatest sports figure in American history, Mays is best remembered by fans today for having delivered the pitch that killed Ray Chapman in 1920. Chapman's death remains to this day as the only on-field fatality in Major League baseball history. The photos, which range in size from 2 x 3 to 4.25 x 3.25 inches, have flawless clarity and are in spectacular Excellent to Mint condition. Total 9 photographs. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$2,000++. SOLD FOR $4,640.00
(Click the smaller thumbnails to the left and right (if any) to cycle through each photo in the gallery of images for this lot.)