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Vintage Baseball News Photo Collection with Gehrig, Ruth, Cobb, Wagner, DiMaggio, and Robinson (35)
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $1,410
This diverse and significant collection is comprised of thirty-five different extraordinary baseball news photos dating from the 1920s through the 1950s. This is not a random group! Thirty-two of the photos picture one or more Hall of Fame players, both in and out of uniform, and many have a special historical significance. The outstanding subject matter of the photos offered here is directly related to their unique provenance. This entire collection has been consigned by a former newspaper employee who many years ago was given free access to the company's photo inventory when the paper he worked for went out of business. In choosing photos for his personal collection, literally saving them from the trash, he was strictly interested in quality over quantity, selecting a very modest number of images, but each of special note. Eighteen of the photos appear to be vintage, first-generation prints and feature the original newspaper caption affixed to the reverse (either all or in part). Nine of the photos are true wire photos in that the newspaper caption is embedded into the photo (these are not first-generation prints). The remaining eight photos fall somewhere in between (three appear to be wire photos that have had the embedded caption trimmed away), with a few displaying news service stamps on the reverse. Among the many highlights are a 1939 photo of Lou Gehrig taken on the day the Yankees announced his tragic illness (attached news caption is dated 6/21/39), a 1936 photo capturing Walter Johnson duplicating George Washington's feat of tossing a silver dollar across the Rappahanock (attached news caption is dated 2/22/36), a 1942 photo of Babe Ruth flashing the "V for Victory" sign as he attends a World Series game with his wife Claire (attached news caption is dated 10/3/42), a 1954 photo of Joe DiMaggio, Marilyn Monroe, and Lefty O'Doul as they prepare to leave for a trip to Japan (attached news caption is dated 1/29/54), a 1951 photo of Honus Wagner seated in his living room (attached news caption is dated 2/18/51), a 1941 photo of Joe McCarthy and other dignitaries at the unveiling of Lou Gehrig's monument at Yankee Stadium (attached news caption is dated 7/6/41), and a 1949 photo of Jackie Robinson and his wife, Rachel, as Robinson prepares to testify before the House Un-American Activities committee (stamped July 19, 1949, on the reverse; this appears to be a trimmed wire photo). The Hall of Fame players featured in this collection, as well as the number of photos for each player (noted in parentheses), are as follows: Lou Gehrig (1), Babe Ruth (4), Honus Wagner (1), Jackie Robinson (5), Ty Cobb (2), Joe DiMaggio (6), Walter Johnson (3), Cy Young (4), John McGraw (1), Jim Bottomley (1), Joe McCarthy (1), and Ted Williams (3). The remaining three photos picture, respectively, Eleanor Gehrig, Christy Mathewson Jr., and Mrs. John McGraw seated together with Mrs. Christy Mathewson. The majority of photos measure approximately 7 x 9 inches, while the remainder are slightly smaller (approximately 6 x 8 inches). Because these were working news photos, all display normal minor flaws related to their former use, including, but not limited to, minor border tears, light creases, editorial marks, stamped and written notations on the reverse, and editorial shadowing of images. In Very Good to Excellent condition overall. This is an extraordinary and unique group of photographs. Total: 35 photos. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,410
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