2023 February Finest Auction

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Babe Ruth’s arrival in New York in 1920 began his unprecedented ascension from an American sports figure to an international icon. This 1920 photograph, taken by renowned photographer Paul Thompson, is the second in a series depicting Ruth’s trademark swing that would set a record of 54 home runs that year. Thompson’s photo captures the power Ruth put behind every swing, his arms flexing after making contact with the ball and his legs struggling to regain an equal footing on the ground. The spectators in the stands are caught just as they are turning their attention from Ruth’s tremendous swing to the ball that has left his bat.

Babe Ruth’s reputation would soon spread across the Atlantic where Europeans became fascinated by the larger-than-life American. In a short period, Babe Ruth would come to embody everything Europeans assumed Americans to be: brash, self-made, hard-charging, and unabashedly full of life. This particular Type 1 photo was sold by Thompson to the Agence Trampus of Paris, France, where it was presumedly used to introduce the French public to America's Pastime and this budding icon named Babe Ruth.

This Type 1 photograph ranks among the finest ever taken of The Bambino in his first season with the Yankees. Measuring 6½” x 8½”, the crystal-clear image presents beautifully with no notable flaws to report. The reverse carries the Paul Thompson stamp as well as the Agence Trampus stamp and sticker. “Babe Ruth” is handwritten in pencil along with the caption, “#2 The ball has been met and started on its long journey.” There are other pencil notations and some light staining on the reverse, none of which distracts from the importance of the impeccable early Ruth image. The photograph has been encapsulated and graded a Type 1 by PSA/DNA.

1920 Babe Ruth Home Run Swing First Season With NY Yankees Original Photograph by Paul Thompson - PSA/DNA Type 1
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