Pair of 1927 Ty Cobb "Sliding" Photos - Cobb's Return to Detroit!

Sold For: $823

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 1421

Item Year: 1927

Category: The Golden Age of Baseball Photography

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Pair of extraordinary vintage press photos, both culled from The Detroit News archives, capturing Ty Cobb sliding into first base. Each of these photos, which were obviously taken on the same date, picture Cobb as a member of the Philadelphia Athletics in a game against his former team, the Detroit Tigers. These photos are all the more unique in that they are reverse negative prints (the image on the negative has been reversed when making the photo). The first photo captures Cobb sliding into first base as Detroit first baseman Lu Blue stretches to receive the throw. The vintage, handwritten pencil notation on the reverse defines the action: "Ty Cobb safe at 1st on bunt (May 1927) - Blue at 1st Base." The date stamp "Scraparium June 13 1927" also appears on the reverse. The second photo pictures Cobb sliding back into first base on an attempted pick-off throw by the pitcher. Again, the vintage, handwritten pencil notations on the reverse describe the scene: "Ty Cobb safe at first - Whitehill to Blue - 3rd inning." Additional written notations on the reverse read "Reversal Print" and "3 Col Sport Wed 7 AM." The reverse is date stamped "Scraparium May 15 1927." Research indicates that Philadelphia traveled to Detroit for four games in May 1927, with the games taking place on the 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th. These photos obviously date from one of those four games. Cobb had been forced into sudden retirement at the end of the 1926 season by American League president Ban Johnson due to allegations brought forth by former pitcher Dutch Leonard that Cobb and Tris Speaker had conspired to "throw" a game in 1919. The matter was ultimately brought before Baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Landis, who reinstated both players after citing a lack of evidence. (Dutch Leonard refused to leave California to testify in the matter and it has always been rumored that his sudden reticence in the matter was because of his fear of what Cobb might do to him if he showed up in person.) After their reinstatement, both Cobb and Speaker signed with Philadelphia. These photos date from one of Cobb's first four games in Detroit as a member of the A's. The novelty of seeing Cobb in another uniform after twenty-two stellar seasons with the Tigers was obviously too hard to pass up for Detroit fans and over 40,000 people showed up for the first game of the series, on May 10th, to welcome back the "Georgia Peach." The photos (each 10 x 8 inches) each have a few very minor flaws common to nearly all working press photos, including minor creases, insignificant edge tears, and corner chips. Very Good condition overall. Total 2 photos. Reserve $300. Estimate $500++. SOLD FOR $823

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