Extraordinary 1915 Babe Ruth Rookie PSA Type 1 Encapsulated Photo (Incl. Foster, Mays, Shore & Leonard) - Underwood & Underwood – Arguably the Finest Known Example - Measures Approx. 7" x 10"
It was only 4-5 months ago that a Babe Ruth 1915 Type 1 rookie photo sold for a staggering $174,000 record price at a public auction. Simply stated, it is no secret that early Babe Ruth Red Sox artifacts are currently realizing staggering price tags, spearheaded by his highly coveted 1916 rookie card that seemingly knows no boundaries with regard to its ultimate value. The floodgates have officially opened with regard to virtually all rookie season images representing some of America's most legendary Hall of Famers for any sport. A Jim Brown rookie photo realized a record setting $68,000 in our last auction, with rookie year and/or card images for the likes of Mantle, Mays, Namath, etc. rapidly approaching six-figures. Based on the Babe's aforementioned 1915 photo sale as well as an abundance of other significant Ruthian prices, the hobby is surely in the midst of a rapid value uptick for his earliest Boston images. Indeed, any PSA confirmed 1915 "Sultan of Swat" Type 1 photo is seemingly ready to experience another record setting sale. That said, we at Memory Lane are proud to present an extraordinary Babe Ruth "Rookie" illustration from the "Bambino's first full 1915 MLB season, with this breathtaking Underwood & Underwood PSA Type I photo depicting "The Babe" (second from the right) and four other Red Sox prominent hurlers posing for the camera before the start of the 1915 Fall Classic.
From left to right, the all-star pitchers include Rube Foster, Carl Mays, Ernie Shore, Babe Ruth and Dutch Leonard. All five pitchers are portrayed in stoic standing positions, donning their period style Red Sox uniforms. Measuring approximately 7" x 10", this remarkable Underwood & Underwood artifact from Ruth's rookie season was taken near the end of that championship 1915 season, with the verso including an outstanding caption dated "10/7/15", a day before the Series would open at Philadelphia's Baker Bowl. Having already capturing two world titles in 1903 and 1912, Boston would eventually claim their third World Championship in 1915 by besting the Philadelphia Phillies four games to one. Ironically, although Ruth would win 18 games and post a stellar 2.44 E.R.A. during his first full season in 1915, he did not throw a single pitch in the World Series. Unfortunately for Ruth, the dominating pitching trio of Rube Foster, Dutch Leonard and Ernie Shore were more than enough to capture the World Series, with Ruth's sole appearance being a single at-bat in a negligible pinch-hitting role.
Interestingly enough, it would be Jack Dunn's financial related issues that would eventually lead to Ruth being sold to the Boston Red Sox on July 4, 1915 along with Ernie Shore and Ben Egan. The Baltimore Orioles International League owner, Dunn simply could not compete with the new Federal League Baltimore Terrapins club, attendance dropped and Dunn was forced to sell off his premier players. History was now in the making with the iconic Babe Ruth now set to etch his unequivocal mark in baseball history. When you carefully consider the seemingly "faith driven" stepping stones resulting in Ruth's ultimate rise to Major League stardom, it soundly justifies why his rookie-era Boston Red Sox mementos fetch staggering price tags within the memorabilia circuit. The overall mystique of the "Sultan of Swat" still remains unprecedented; not only in America, but worldwide for it was Babe's lifetime achievements both on and off a baseball diamond that will echo for eternity. His "larger than life" stature among hobbyists stands second to none, and long before Ruth started testing the dimensions of a baseball diamond at an alarming rate in Yankee pinstripes, he was winning a myriad of games with the Boston Red Sox and widely regarded as the finest southpaw of his time. In fact, as Boston's pitching ace for 5 seasons, he led the Red Sox to 3 World Championships and set a record of hurling 29+ consecutive scoreless innings in World Series play (since then broken in 1961 by Hall of Famer Whitey Ford).
Regarding its condition, this superb sepia-toned photo depicts near-perfect clarity and contrast, with the perimeter edging and four corners completely intact. Standing "second from the right", you can literally feel Ruth gazing into an unknown future with serious apprehension, not realizing he would eventually become the greatest player to ever grace a baseball diamond. The relatively clean surface reveals no obtrusive flaws as this remarkable photo has somehow managed to withstand 105 years of potential wear to retain a majority of its originally issued attributes. The obverse side's awe-inspiring central image is soundly complimented by a verso that includes an ultra-significant (and super clean) original caption affixed over a majority of the Underwood & Underwood credit stamp. It is an ultra-rare occurrence when a century old photo's caption retains such spectacular aesthetics, and it literally appears the renowned Underwood & Underwood News Service has just attached this vital fixture on the flipside's surface. Vividly detailing the upcoming events of the 1915 World Series, the caption boldly reads as follows: "BOSTON RED SOX PITCHERS WHO WILL PIT THEIR SKILLS AGAINST "PHILLIES" IN THE WORLD SERIES.
That Boston will not be shy of pitchers when the Red Sox team faces the Philadelphia Nationals in the post season series is seen by five of the aggregation of pitchers on whom Manager Carrigan will call, to pit their ability and science against the cleverness of Manager Pat Moran's team. – Left to right: - Foster,-Mays,-Shore,-Ruth, and Leonard. – 10/7/15." Arguably the finest known example of this world-class keepsake, its brilliant eye appeal and extremely large size (most of the other examples of this image are smaller in size) place it as one of the most momentous 1915 Babe Ruth photos on the planet. Several years ago, a similar image much smaller in size sold in excess of $50,000 at a time when 1915 Ruth rookie photos were still in the early stages of their pricing escalation; substantiating why the value for this Cooperstown worthy image is virtually unlimited. Little did Ruth and his ardent fan base realize that when this iconic image was taken, "The Babe" was about to embark on an unparalleled career that will forever stand as our National Pastime's ultimate benchmark. Truly, any collectible from Babe Ruth's early Red Sox playing days portrays an incredible aura cherished by the hobby's most esteemed collectors, let alone one that unequivocally stands as a bona-fide 1915 Type I Rookie photo bursting with infinite-like pricing potential!
MIN BID $15,000