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1927 Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig Signed Barnstorming Photograph With Superior Image Quality
Starting Bid - $5,000.00, Sold For - $14,100.00
Spectacular original photo of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, issued as a souvenir during their famous 1927 "Bustin' Babes and Larrupin' Lou's" barnstorming tour, signed by each in black fountain pen. This is a particularly outstanding example of the most classic of all Ruth-Gehrig signed photographs. The 8 x 10-inch photo captures the two stars posing together in their respective tour uniforms. This example is exceptional in that the photograph is obviously superior in terms of quality and contrast to all of the many other examples we have have seen. When produced for signing, these photos were not first-generation prints, but, rather, second-generation copies of an original. That is why all of these photos, which were produced specifically for signing and were actually sold to fans on the tour, include facsimile signatures of Ruth and Gehrig in addition to the actual signatures of Ruth and Gehrig which they almost always have (very few examples have been seen signed by only one star). The quality of the photograph on this print is noticeably superior to what is normally seen. This may be because this was a very early print. Later-produced examples may have even been made by taking a picture of an unsigned example of this superior style. Whatever the reason, the outstanding quality of the photograph makes this example particularly ideal for display. The actual signatures of both Ruth and Gehrig have been scripted by each directly below their respective facsimile autographs. Ruth has simply signed the photo "Babe Ruth" while Gehrig has also added the date, "Oct 23, 1927" below his name. Ruth's signature is the stronger of the two, grading a strong "8." Gehrig's signature fluctuates slightly in strength, but grades "6/7" overall. Based upon the date provided in Gehrig's hand, this photo was signed at one of the last stops on the tour, in Oakland, California. The 1927 Bustin' Babes and Larrupin' Lou's barnstorming tour was the brainchild of Christy Walsh, who was Ruth and Gehrig's longtime agent. Walsh, in order to capitalize on the excitement generated by the duo's season-long home-run duel, began the tour immediately after the World Series. The tour began in New York and continued across the Midwest, ending in California in the last week of October. Nearly all of the venues chosen were in cities without Major League clubs, thus providing those fans a rare opportunity to see the two stars in person. Walsh also arranged the tour so that Ruth and Gehrig were the only two players traveling to each town. Their respective teams at each venue were made up of local players. The tour was a huge success (most games ended prematurely due to fans rushing onto the field to get closer to their idols) and was repeated again in 1928. This is a simply an extraordinary Ruth and Gehrig signed photo from that legendary event, an example superior in photo quality to any other example we have seen, and one that would be a highlight for display in any world-class collection. The photo is in apparent Near Mint condition and has been handsomely matted and framed (to museum standards with archival materials, including ultraviolet-light filtered glass) to total dimensions of 15 x 17 inches. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $5,000. Estimate $10,000+. SOLD FOR $14,100.00
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