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Lot # 933 (of 1594)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1939 Cooperstown Hall of Fame Induction Photograph Archive (126)

Starting Bid - $200.00, Sold For - $11,750.00

Offered here is a spectacular collection of 126 previously unpublished black-and-white photos, taken by a local Cooperstown photographer, chronicling the day-long festivities at the dedication of the Baseball Hall of Fame on June 12, 1939, in Cooperstown, New York. When we received these photos from our consignor we were simply amazed that we had never before seen images from this significant archive. Here are Ruth, Cobb, Wagner, Young, Landis, and a bevy of other notable baseball stars from the era, captured both on and off the field as they partake in all of the day's ceremonies. The significance of these photos, aside from their historic subject matter, is the fact that they have never been published (with the exception of a few having been printed by the local town). These are moments in time that, until now, have been witnessed by very few. When leafing through the photos one can truly imagine what it must have been like to be there on that special day. Nearly every moment of the day's events is chronicled here, including views of the first inductees on the dais, the parade down Main Street, the players in uniform for the first Hall of Fame game, many "game action" shots from Doubleday Field, and the players relaxing afterwards with a round of golf at the local course. Among the many individuals featured in the collection are Babe Ruth (seen in approximately seven photos), Honus Wagner, Cy Young, Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, George Sisler, Eddie Collins, Nap Lajoie, Connie Mack, Commissioner Landis, Arky Vaughan, Dizzy Dean, Lefty Grove, Hank Greenberg, Joe DiMaggio, Charlie Gehringer, Lefty Gomez, Red Rolfe, George Selkirk, and Johnny Vander Meer. After our initial examination of these photos we were struck by the fact that, as wonderful as they were, they did not appear to have been printed in 1939. We then noticed that an accompanying newspaper clipping from a local Cooperstown newspaper (picturing one of the photos offered here) included the photographer's name. As part of our normal due diligence, we tracked down the photographer's family, who still reside in Cooperstown, and learned of the history of these photos. These are not the originals printed in 1939, but are prints made many years later directly from the original negatives. The offered photos were specially made by a neighbor of the photographer's family who always wanted a set. After the neighbor's passing, they were then obtained by our consignor from his estate. The family still owns the originals and, as mentioned previously, except for a few pictures that were featured in the local town paper, these photos have been seen by few other people over the years. The fact that these photos are not period prints (we believe they were made in the 1980s) does not detract in the least from the history they reveal. The value of a photo is ultimately measured by its visual appeal, and in that regard the offered group of prints remains the most impressive collection of baseball photos in existence relating to the 1939 Cooperstown Hall of Fame festivities. Of the 126 photos offered, all measure 3.5 x 5.75 inches with the exception of two 8 x 10 blowups. Thus, there are 124 separate and distinct photos. All are in Near Mint to Mint condition and have been mounted, by means of photo corners, in a beautiful album presentation. Many of the photos have handwritten notations next to them identifying the respective players. A few related newspaper clippings are included in the album. Total: 126 photos. Reserve $200. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $11,750.00

(Click the smaller thumbnails to the left and right (if any) to cycle through each photo in the gallery of images for this lot.)