Fall Premier Auction 2013
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on:
Two months prior to his passing, Babe Ruth returned to Yankee Stadium for the last time on June 13th, 1948 as part of the 25th anniversary of the opening of “The House That Ruth Built”. Culminating the event, the Yankees retired Babe Ruth's number 3. One by one, his old friends and teammates were introduced to the nostalgic cheers of the capacity crowd. Finally, announcer Mel Allen’s voice boomed from the loudspeakers, “Ladies and Gentleman, George Herman Ruth…Babe Ruth!” Amidst a raucous ovation, the weakened Ruth, frail and ailing with throat cancer, stepped for the last time onto the infield grass, bat in hand, into “the cauldron of sound he must have known better than any other man.” Draped in his old uniform, he struggled forward, helped by the support of the bat borrowed from Bob Feller, to address the crowd of 49,647 as they showered their hero with one final roar of affection and an ebullient singing of “Auld Lang Syne”. Nat Fein was a Press Photographer for the New York Herald Tribune for thirty-three years. In that span he won more press photo awards than any of his contemporaries. Although considered to be one of the greatest human interest photographers in journalism, he carries the distinction of having taken "the most celebrated photograph in sports history." (NY Times, 1992). Fein’s dramatic Babe Ruth image, "The Babe Bows Out", captured at Yankee Stadium on June 13th, 1948 was the first sports picture to win a Pulitzer Prize. Though Fein’s famous image has been produced and reproduced thousands of times, both legally (by news agencies and the Fein estate) and illegally, original TYPE 1 examples such as the one offered here are extraordinarily rare. This exemplar is special because it was made by Fein himself at the newspaper in 1948. According to PSA’s photography expert Henry Yee, a true period TYPE I Nat Fein example of this famous image must have the all-important 'correct' Nat Fine credit stamping from the New York Herald Tribune along with the characteristics of the photograph paper employed by the New York Herald Tribune at the time. This rare exemplar has both, and while the credit stamping is light on the reverse, it is indeed present. As such, this is one of only a handful of "true" TYPE I original “Babe Bows Out” photos that Yee has authenticated in his nearly 25 years of experience with vintage photography. This 8” by 10” photo is a remarkable condition specimen, showing flawless contrast and remarkable clarity. Minimal traces of surface and edge wear are evident. Fein has added his signature to the back of the photo (9/10). The photo has been authenticated by Henry Yee as a TYPE 1 and encapsulated by PSA/DNA. EX-MT condition.