c.1920 Babe Ruth First Yankee Season PSA Type 1 Encapsulated Underwood & Underwood Photo Measures Approx. 5-1/2" x 6"
The Red Sox will forever feel the pain of selling a young and flamboyant southpaw to the New York Yankees before the start of the 1920 baseball season. In 1919, the Red Sox realized Ruth's unparalleled batting skills necessitated his appearance on a baseball field nearly every game, and not just as a starting pitcher every fourth or fifth day. The "Bambino" responded by walloping 29 home runs in 130 games (while appearing in only 17 games as a pitcher). It was now obvious that this brash young superstar hurler had so much more to offer than his left arm, with his 29 round-trippers easily setting a then single-season record. Unfortunately for Boston, Ruth would not continue his batting exploits with the Red Sox since he was sold to the Yankees by Harry Frazee to fund his "No, No, Nanette" theatre production before the start of the 1920 season.
Babe Ruth's new home was now the New York Polo Grounds (Yankee Stadium wasn't open until 1923), and he didn't disappoint his new fan base, slugging an unheard of 54 and 59 home runs in his first two seasons with the Yankees. Not only did Ruth double his previous record of 29 dingers, he was out-homering virtually every Major League ball club! His complete line of unfathomable 1920 statistics during that inaugural "Big Apple" season included 54 round-trippers, 135 runs batted in, a .376 batting average and nearly unheard of .847 slugging percentage! Artifacts from Ruth's inaugural Yankee campaign are few and far between, justifying why this c.1920 Underwood & Underwood PSA Type I photo is an extraordinary link to Ruth's Yankee origin. Measuring approximately 5-1/2" x 6", this iconic image portrays the Bambino signing autographs for two gentlemen before a game at the Polo Grounds.
Donning his renowned Yankee pinstripes, Ruth is also wearing the black armband on his left sleeve, with all MLB teams placing a similar armband on their uniforms following the tragic death of Indians shortstop Ray Chapman as a result of being beaned in the head by submarine hurler Carl Mays on August 16, 1920. The crystal-clear black & white image is absolutely remarkable, as the "Sultan of Swat" reveals his then thin waistline. The only notable flaws are some diminutive soiling spots situated on Ruth's jersey and pantaloons. The final superlative is the verso's critical Underwood & Underwood credit stamp, substantiating its Type 1 pedigree. Taken in the late summer of 1920, little did the youthful looking Ruth realize he was about to embark on a Yankee career that would place him at the top of every historian's list as the greatest player to ever grace a ball field. Babe Ruth mementos from his inaugural 1920 campaign are highly coveted by the most esteemed photo enthusiasts, and we cannot imagine a finer illustration of a boyish and innocent looking "Bambino" than this super scarce offering that has incredibly survived over a century of time!
MIN BID $2,000