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    Description

    A rare original print of the genre's leading masterpiece

    1948 "The Babe Bows Out" Pulitzer Prize-Winning Original Photograph, PSA/DNA Type 1. He called himself "just a human-interest photographer," snapping thousands of photos of life in the Big Apple during three decades as an employee of The New York Herald Tribune. But Nat Fein's prolific career would ultimately come to be defined by a single image, a haunting study of fame and mortality entitled "The Babe Bows Out." Today this shot of Ruth's final appearance in Yankee pinstripes ranks among the most famous sports photos in history.

    Leaning upon a bat transformed from the tool of his immortality into a cane to support his failing body, the Babe humbly accepts the honor of his jersey retirement this day, June 13, 1948. The vastness of Yankee Stadium extends toward the horizon, the grandstands packed with fans anxious for one final look at their dying hero. Near the right side of the image, two photographers prepare their cameras for another shot, but only Fein claimed this unique rear vantage point, explaining that he had considered the number "3" to be the story of the day.

    While this image has been reprinted countless times in the seven decades since its birth, first generation prints remain the most elusive of prey for the advanced baseball photography collector. This particular example bears the hallmark of top representations, the proper "Photo by Nat Fein, Staff Photographer, New York Herald Tribune," stamping on verso. Fein also inscribes the image to its recipient and signs at lower right in 9/10 ink.

    This is the rare large-format version, measuring 10x13" in size. We assume that these larger images were made specifically for presentation to VIP's rather than for use in period publications, but this is only conjecture. Certainly bigger is better when it comes to vintage photography, establishing this offering as one of the most desirable post-war sports photos on the planet. Minor handling and storage wear is most evident at the corners, but even here the distractions are minimal. LOA from PSA/DNA, Type 1.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2019
    23rd-24th Saturday-Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 18
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,140

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