Amazing c.1924 Babe Ruth Real Photo Postcard from October 22, 1924 Barnstorming Game (SGC 20/1.5) – One of Only 2 Encapsulated Copies on ALL Population Reports
Babe Ruth's hallowed presence on the mighty New York Yankees elevated his stature to unparalleled heights in the early 1920's. Having already clubbed 58 and 59 record-setting round trippers in two successive seasons, the "Sultan of Swat" was not only the toast of the town, but arguably the most celebrated individual in America! Capitalizing on his popularity and against Judge Mountain Landis's wishes (MLB's stern commissioner), Ruth and fellow teammate Bob Meusel organized a barnstorming tour after the 1924 season that would see them manage two teams that would tour the Western U.S.
This was an ultra-special feature for avid baseball fans in the California state who had never had the opportunity of seeing the Bambino play. Major League baseball had yet to realize western expansion, with baseball enthusiasts geographically situated in those far western states only exposed to minor league professional games (e.g., the California Pacific Coast League). .
At that point in time, this was the most the Babe's most successful barnstorming tour ever took place that fall. Both his and Meusel's two teams traveled 8,500 miles and played in 15 cities before 125,000 people. They played a single game in each of those 15 cities with Ruth's team winning every game (15-0), and the babe slugging 17 dingers. We cannot even begin to over-emphasize the significance and popularity of these post-season tours. Over-anxious fans eagerly awaited the arrival of the sanctified George Herman Ruth to their small towns, with one of those captivated fans being renowned California photographer Paul J. Standar who showed up to the October 22, 1924 game in Dunsmuir, CA.
It was common practice for pre-WWII photographers to shoot photos of baseball players, and eventually place those images on what we now call in the hobby "Real Photo Postcards". That is exactly what Mr. Standar had in mind when he showed up to the small Northern California based stadium to watch Ruth and Meusel play a Dunsmuir local team on October 22nd. Tickets for the game cost $1.10 for adults and 25 cents fro children, with mayor Cornish actually declaring a "half-holiday" that day so town residents would be able to attend this magnificent event. This particular game is etched in our National Pastime's glorious history, and it was such an esteemed event that an original promotional poster of the event resides in Cooperstown's Hall of Fame shrine.
While photographer Paul Standar took many publicity photos that fabled day, his most monumental illustration portrayed the Babe in an exalted batting pose with the catcher, umpire, players and an exhilarated fan base all looking directly at the camera. It is this iconic image that is presented here on one of those highly coveted "real Photo Postcards" that has been graded an SGC 20/1.5. One of only two known encapsulated images by ANY grading service, its sheer existence, incomparable Ruth batting pose and unquestionable rarity place it as one of the most imposing and significant Babe Ruth cards on the planet! Indeed folks, while the cards utmost paucity level clearly speaks for itself, it is the mesmerizing image that literally transcends time. It certainly appears as if the thousands of fans have caught on to this seemingly iconic "moment in time", giving Mr. Standar their undivided attention as he took this breathtaking illustration.
It is such a compelling image that upon its creation, it rekindles a classic E.F. Hutton commercial promotional quote "when E.F. Hutton talks, people listen!" Such is the case for this miraculous photo that appears to have captured an entire stadium's exclusive attention and literally "freezes time", including Ruth's legendary Yankee teammate Bob Meusel who is situated at the end of the dugout. Ruth's "spine-tingling" sepia batting pose portrays immaculate-like contrast and clarity as he waves his mighty lumber in a virtual intimidating manner. No obtrusive surface flaws are evident and the moderate corner wear depicts a super eye pleasing uniformity. The overall aesthetics are easily consistent with a VG or better card, with the strict technical assessment due to a small "1924" notation on the reverse side. The postcard verso also reflects the following photographer information near the upper edge: "For enlargements of this photo, write to Paul J. Standar, Box 144, Dunsmuir, Calif.", and there are some negligible areas of mild surface toning.
An absolutely remarkable offering, its incredible obscurity stems from the fact that the immortal image was "snapped" by a private photographer who most likely only issued a handful of copies upon request. Therefore, unlike the myriad of National and even Regional baseball card/postcard issues, there was no mainstream distribution that typically resulted in thousands to millions of printed cards. Its near-impossible existence and early 1920's exalted Babe Ruth batting image place it as one of the hobby's most extraordinary cardboard images. Add the concept that it includes an original "real photo" illustration affixed to a cardboard back and it covers BOTH the baseball card and photo collecting angles. In closing, this offering's early 1920's historically significant provenance, extreme rarity and enchanting crystal clear original Ruthian image all combine to place it as one of the most momentous Babe Ruth artifacts extant, and a cardboard heirloom worthy of a final resting place in any world-class collection!
MIN BID $5,000