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1924 Babe Ruth Barnstorming Photo
Starting Bid - $300.00, Sold For - $1,659.00
Photograph capturing Babe Ruth at the plate during a 1924 barnstorming game in Dunsmuir, California. The photographer's credit stamp ("Sponagel & Herrmann/Commercial Press Photographers/75 Third St. S. F. Calif.") appears on the reverse, as does the proprietary stamp of the "Helms Athletic Foundation." One of the most interesting aspects of this photo, and one that might not be apparent at first glance, is its perspective. This image is taken from the vantage point of the pitcher, and is the only such photo we can recall picturing Ruth from that angle. Ruth's visit to Dunsmuir in 1924 is well documented. That fall, Christy Walsh, in a move that would foreshadow the more famous Bustin' Babes and Larrupin' Lous tours of 1927 and 1928, took Babe Ruth and fellow slugger Bob Meusel on a cross-country barnstorming tour, with Dunsmuir representing one of the final stops. According to the published reports, Walsh made a special stop in Dunsmuir only after a local businessman and the Lions Club pooled their financial resources and were able to meet Walsh's $1,000 appearance fee for his clients. It was money well spent, as over 900 fans flocked to Dunsmuir Ball Park to watch Ruth and Meusel captain teams made up of local ballplayers. Ruth, like always, made the game memorable by hitting two home runs, one of which was later estimated to travel over 600 feet. Ruth and Meusel were struck by the grand reception they received and later wrote a letter to the townspeople: "To everybody (and that means everybody) in Dunsmuir, Calif. We do not know yet how to tell you what a wonderful time we had in Dunsmuir. When it comes to beautiful girls, wonderfully fine fellows, and the real two-fisted spirit of California — little Dunsmuir gave us more laughs, more hospitality, more thrills, and more things to remember than any place between Broadway & Shasta.” Ruth's visit to Dunsmuir is still one of the town's main claims to fame. Even today, nearly ninety years later, Denise Bailey, manager of the Dunsmuir Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center, was quoted in an article saying that she still receives about five to fifteen calls per year from people asking about Ruth's visit in 1924. The photo (8.75 x 6.5 inches) displays a tiny edge tear in the lower right and is otherwise in Excellent to Mint condition. Reserve $300. Estimate $500/$1,000.
SOLD FOR $1,659.00
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