Extremely rare 1923 New York Yankees original team photo with Ruth and Gehrig to be auctioned

Art Daily
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The 1923 New York Yankees team featuring Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- There are only two known orginal photos of the 1923 New York Yankees team featuring Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. One of these images will be auctioned by Huggins & Scott Auctions from October 9-October 22. Interested bidders may participate in the auction online.

The 1923 season was the birth of the Bronx Bombers. The House That Ruth Built was christened that year. It was the first of 27 World Series championships in franchise history. It was the season Babe Ruth nearly batted .400. In addition, it was the major-league debut of a 19-year-old Ivy League star named Henry Louis Gehrig.

On April 18, 1923, while the Bambino was inaugurating Yankee Stadium with an Opening Day homer, Gehrig took the mound for Columbia University, striking out 17 opposing batters. The Iron Horse’s moon-shot home runs caught the eye of Yankee scouts who signed him to a contract on April 30. Come June 15, the young Iron Horse was pinch-hitting in Yankee pinstripes and wearing the immortal number 4—his place in the batting order after Ruth. He ultimately appeared in 13 games and may have played in his first Fall Classic were it not for Giants manager John McGraw, who barred the way based on an eligibility loophole…and who still met his Waterloo anyway.

This time frame explains why only 2 of the 20 or so existing Type I examples (First generation photo from the original negative) of 1923 Yankees team photos actually picture Gehrig. Lou missed both the beginning and end of the season, when team shots are traditionally taken. Here, mid-summer, he dominates the front row, his brawny physique a stark contrast to Miller “Mighty Mite” Huggins seated nearby. Babe looms in the top row at upper right.

It bears mentioning that any of Gehrig’s early, pre-Streak collectibles from 1923 or 1924 are exceedingly scarce. A 1925 Exhibit rookie card in mid-grade condition can sell for $100,000+, how long will it take before a far rarer 1923 Type I photo such as this catches up?

Encapsulated as Type I by PSA/DNA. Full letter of authenticity from PSA/DNA.

Bidding on the photo begins at $2,500.