Fall Premier Auction 2019


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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 12/14/2019

ADDENDUM: This exact photo dates to 5/25/1920 according to Getty Images. More info below.

From 1907 to 1919, there was not a better player for that matter, than Ty Cobb. He batted .377 during that 13-year stretch, winning the batting title every season but one (1916, when he "slumped" to .370), the Triple Crown in 2009 and A.L. MVP in 2011. He averaged five homers a year in that dead-ball era span of his career, notching 410 doubles and 205 triples and leading the league in stolen bases six times, runs five times and RBI four times. On May 25, 1920, when this photograph of Cobb in action at the Polo Grounds was taken, the Tigers were in New York for their first series of the season against the Yankees. Writers pumped it up as a showdown between two stars of differing styles of play and persona: Babe Ruth, the affable slugger with an insatiable appetite for life; and Cobb, the hard-nosed grinder who treated every at-bat like a crusade on the battlefield. In the three-game series, Ruth hit two homers and a triple, while Cobb mustered just one single.

Even though Cobb would continue his onslaught and hit .400 for a third time in his career in 1922, the baton was certainly being passed to the Bambino as the greatest baseball player anyone had ever seen. The more Ruth's popularity grew, the more animosity Cobb had towards him, primarily due to Babe's disregard for physical conditioning and baseball tradition. Fans welcomed the live-ball era, thanks in large part to Ruth's majestic drives, and it stung Cobb. So much so that before a May 5, 1925 game against the St. Louis Browns, Cobb told a reporter that he would now try to hit home runs, mainly to prove he could be a power hitter like Ruth but simply chose not to. That day, the Georgia Peach proceeded to go 6-for-6, with two singles, a double and three homers. Simply legendary, and proof that Cobb's legacy will always survive as arguably the greatest pure hitter in history.

The 7" by 9" wire photograph by Original News Service captures Cobb charging a ball in the outfield in his 1920 Tigers road uni, spikes sharpened and ready for battle. No date stamp appears on the reverse, but this is the exact same photo archived by Bettmann on Getty Images (514906162) dated 5/25/1920. Cobb's name is written in pencil twice on the reverse along with a crossed out International News stamp. The photo presents in fantastic shape, indicating repairs to small chips in both the lower right and left corners, as well as showing a few light wrinkle creases. Encapsulated by PSA/DNA as Type I Authentic.

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $500
Final prices include buyers premium.: $1,562
Number Bids: 11
Auction closed on Saturday, December 14, 2019.
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