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1942 Babe Ruth Signed Pride of the Yankees Photo - Inscribed to Gary Cooper! - PSA/DNA MINT 9
Starting Bid - $5,000.00, Sold For - $11,850.00
Extraordinary Babe Ruth signed photo, relating to the classic 1942 baseball film Pride of the Yankees, inscribed to the film's star, Gary Cooper. The MGM publicity still captures the climactic scene in the film where Ruth embraces Cooper (as Lou Gehrig) following Cooper's moving rendition of Gehrig's "Luckiest Man Alive" speech. Ruth has boldly inscribed the photo in blue fountain pen "To my friend/Gary Cooper/A pleasure working with you/Sincerely/Babe Ruth." Ruth's inscription is nearly flawless in its execution and has received a grade of MINT 9 by PSA/DNA. Given the recipient, it's obvious that Ruth took great care when signing this piece, as noted by its exact placement upon his image and in the boldness of each carefully rendered pen stroke. This is one of finest Babe Ruth signed photos we have ever seen and we cannot imagine a more significant Ruth-signed Pride of the Yankees piece.
The Pride of the Yankees, which was a biography of Yankees star Lou Gehrig, is regarded by many to be the greatest baseball film of all time. It is certainly one of the most moving, due in large part to Gary Cooper's excellent portrayal of the legendary "Iron Horse." Ruth (along with a number of other New York Yankees players) signed on to play himself in the film and it marked the final cinematic appearance of his career. Unfortunately, the filming proved very difficult for Ruth. His own health was starting to deteriorate considerably at the time and it was also necessary for him to lose a great deal of weight prior to shooting so that he looked respectable in uniform. Once filming began, Ruth caught pneumonia and had to be hospitalized for an extended stay. Cooper too had his own problems, but they were related to his skills on the diamond. Cooper was not a baseball fan and had not played ball as a child. Therefore, he had serious reservations about taking the role and even balked originally. Even worse, Cooper was right handed, not left handed like Gehrig. To compensate for that fact the producers decided to have Cooper throw and bat right handed and then reversed the film. With hours of coaching and the cinematic reversal, Cooper was finally made to look passable in the role. Given their unique trials and tribulations on the set, both Cooper and Ruth were probably happy when the film finally wrapped. Nevertheless, the final result was nothing short of spectacular and Cooper's role as Lou Gehrig is still one of his most memorable. Cooper was actually nominated for Best Actor for his work in Pride of the Yankees but lost out to James Cagney's star turn in Yankee Doodle Dandy. The film itself garnered a total of eleven Academy Award nominations, with Daniel Mandell winning for Film Editing.
The photo (8.5 x 6.5 inches; visible dimensions) displays only a few extremely tiny surface wrinkles (only visible at certain angles) and is otherwise in apparent Near Mint condition. Matted and framed to total dimensions of 15 x 13 inches. Full LOA from James Spence/JSA and full LOA from PSA/DNA. Reserve $5,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $11,850.00
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