Extraordinary original news photo of Babe Ruth posing together with the four other members of the vaunted 1915 Boston Red Sox pitching staff. Certified as an original Type 1 news photo by PSA/DNA. This is only the third example of this photo we have seen at auction in the past ten years and just the second we have ever offered. The first appeared as Lot 11 in our October 2013 auction, where it realized $11,850. An Underwood & Underwood credit stamp appears on the reverse as do a few other proprietary stamps and a portion of the original paper news caption (dated in pencil "10-7-15"). Even though most of the news caption is missing, we know from the other example we sold that it originally read as follows: "BOSTON RED SOX PITCHERS WHO WILL PIT THEIR SKILL AGAINST 'PHILLIES' IN WORLD SERIES - That Boston will not be shy of pitchers when the Red Sox team faces the Philadelphia Nationals in the post season series is seen by five of the aggregation of pitchers on whom Manager Carrigan will call, to pit their ability and science against the cleverness of the pitchers of Manager Pat Morans' team."
The pitchers depicted here, left to right, are Rube Foster, Carl Mays, Ernie Shore, Babe Ruth, and Dutch Leonard. When this photo was taken, little could anyone have imagined what fate had in store for the youngest member of Boston's pitching staff as he posed here prior to taking part in his first World Series. Ruth fashioned an impressive 18-6 record during his rookie campaign, but unfortunately was passed over in the World Series as Foster and Shore handled most of the load, winning three games between them in Boston's quick five-game victory over the Phillies. Ruth's lone appearance in the Series was as a pinch hitter in Game 1, where he grounded out. Few quality images of Ruth exist dating to his 1915 rookie season and this example is undoubtedly one of the finest known. The photo, which displays remarkable clarity, is also notable in that it pictures a full-length image of Ruth, who, as one can plainly see here, was remarkably trim in his youth. The photo (9.5 x 6.5 inches) displays two tiny edge tears along the left border, a small diagonal crease in the lower left corner, and three small pieces of clear tape (not in repair of any tears) on the reverse. In Very Good to Excellent condition overall. This is simply one of the finest early Ruth photos extant and one that would be a worthy highlight in any advanced collection. Reserve $2,500. Estimate (open).
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