1920 Miller Huggins Signed Studio Photo Inscribed to Harry M. Stevens

Sold For: $4,700

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 975

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Extraordinary professional studio photo of Hall of Fame manager Miller Huggins dating from the dawn of the New York Yankees' fabled baseball dynasty. This is the finest Miller Huggins signed photo we have ever seen, let alone handled. The photo, presented to famous baseball concessionaire Harry M. Stevens, is dated and inscribed in black fountain pen along the bottom white border "Feb 14/20 - With best wishes to Harry Stevens - From Miller J. Huggins." Both the inscription and signature contrast beautifully against the light background and grade "8/9." The photographer's name, "Sid Whiting," appears in the lower right corner (Whiting was a noted St. Louis photographer). This photo was presented to Stevens just before Huggins left for spring training in 1920. Huggins took over as manager of the Yankees in 1918, finishing fourth his first year and third in 1919. Although the Yankees once again finished in third place in 1920, the seeds of future championships had been sown in the winter of 1919 when the Yankees acquired Babe Ruth from the Red Sox. This professional studio photograph was signed and presented by Huggins to Harry Stevens at the very dawn of the historic Yankee dynasty of the new decade, with knowledge of Ruth's impending arrival and the promise of a new world order in baseball about to be ushered in. With the arrival of Ruth in New York, the balance of power in the American League was forever changed and the Yankees' dynasty was born. Beginning in 1921, Huggins won six pennants and three World Championships with the Yankees before passing away prematurely in 1929 at the age of fifty. Today, only five managers have won more pennants than Huggins. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1964. Because of his early demise, Miller Huggins signed photos are extremely rare, let alone of this unrivaled quality, provenance, and extraordinary significance with reference to date. The photo (11 x 14 inches) displays a tiny corner crease in the lower right and is otherwise in Near Mint condition. It is housed in what appears to be its original gilt wood frame (12.25 x 15.25 inches). LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $3,000++. SOLD FOR $4,700

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