Welcome Sign-In | Register
Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
includes Buyer's Premium (BP) 


Extraordinary inscription from subject to creator of Pulitzer Prize-winning image

1947 Babe Ruth Signed Photograph to Famed Photographer Nat Fein. One brief, heartwrenching moment has linked these two towering figures of their respective disciplines for all eternity, a photographic masterpiece that forms the far bookend of the Babe's storied career. It was New York Herald Tribune lensman Nat Fein who snuck behind the frail, dying legend as he gazed one final time upon a vast expanse of packed Yankee Stadium grandstands in June of 1948 and captured a shot that rates among the most famous in American sport. We must note that the largest known period example of this image, "The Babe Bows Out," is offered within this Platinum Night auction, deriving from the photographer's personal estate, as does this offered lot.

The presented image dates to "Babe Ruth Day" of 1947, the legendary slugger's second to last appearance on the field he consecrated throughout the first dozen seasons of its existence. His voice, ravaged by cancer, alternated from a croak to a whisper as he addressed the crowd:

"Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. You know how bad my voice sounds. Well, it feels just as bad. You know, this baseball game of ours comes up from the youth. That means the boys. And after you're a boy and grow up to play ball, then you come to the boys you see representing clubs today in your national pastime. The only real game in the world, I think, is baseball."

As the Babe struggled through his brief speech, Fein stepped beyond the iconic slugger's left shoulder and snapped this image, later presenting it to Ruth for his autograph. In black fountain pen ink, the inscription reads, "To my good friend Nat Fein From Babe Ruth 4-27-47." It would appear that the photo was actually signed three days later, as Ruth initially dated his inscription "4-30-47," but we suspect that Fein asked that he alter the date to that of the image, which Ruth does just above. The ink of Ruth's famous nickname has faded somewhat, but the bulk of the inscription rates an impressive 8/10 to 9/10 in strength.

Just over thirteen months later, these two men would meet again for the very last time, together creating an image that would claim the Pulitzer Prize and status as one of the most recognizable photographs in our shared cultural history. Included with this 8x10" photograph, tastefully matted and framed to dimensions of 12x14", is a letter of provenance from the curator and administrator of the Nat Fein Estate. Photo exhibits a couple light corner bends at top, but these are only apparent upon close inspection. Letter of provenance from Nat Fein Estate. Full LOA from PSA/DNA. Full LOA from James Spence Authentication.

1947 Babe Ruth Signed Photograph to Famed Photographer Nat Fein.

*A donation of $100 to the American Red Cross is required to attend the Live auction.

Service and Handling Description: Requires 3rd Party Shipping (view shipping information)

Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

Glossary of Terms

Auction Info

Auction Dates
February, 2013
23rd-24th Saturday-Sunday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 9
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 941

Buyer's Premium per Lot:
19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

Heritage membership

sold in the last year

Join Now - It's Free

  1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
  2. Bid online
  3. Free Collector newsletter
  4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
  5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your

Consignments wanted

Only 34 days left to consign to the 2016 February 20 - 21 Platinum Night Auction Sports - New York !

Learn about consigning with us

As you know we have other paintings and antiques, of which, when the time is right I will contact you, I will not even consider doing business with another company.
From the Consignor,
View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. To compare for yourself, visit:

Video tutorial

Getting the most out of search

Recent auctions

2015 November 5 - 7 Sports Collectibles Catalog Auction - Dallas
2015 November 5 - 7 Sports Collectibles Catalog Auction - Dallas
REALIZED $11,937,897

© 2015 Heritage Auctions | All Rights Reserved