1914 Providence Grays Imperial Cabinet Photograph with Babe Ruth. Perhaps the most convincing evidence in existence to prove the popular maxim, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again," this exceptional photograph finds a nineteen-year old George Herman Ruth upon a trip back down to the minors after failing to convince the Boston Red Sox, in twenty-three innings of pitching work, that he was ready for the Big Leagues just yet. Less than a year removed from his days at St. Mary's Industrial School for Boys, the baby-faced Babe towers over his teammates at back row center in one of the earliest known images of baseball's greatest star as a professional. It was with the Providence Grays of the International League that the Babe would swat his first professional homer, during a September 5, 1914 meeting with Toronto. Despite this early hint at his destiny as the greatest slugger of his age, Ruth would continue in his pitching role for the Grays, helping to lead them to the International League Championship with a personal eight and three record.

    One of just a handful of such images known to survive to this day, this spectacular specimen is almost assuredly the finest of that tiny supply. It comes to Heritage from the descendants of former Detroit Tiger Matty McIntyre, who had shared an outfield with Ty Cobb before a trade to the Chicago White Sox, eventually closing out his career in Providence before his early death in 1920 from tuberculosis. McIntyre stands second to right in the image, beside the boy in dark pants. With an image size of 10.5x13.5 (complete dimensions including mount 14.5x18.5"), this image would have been very costly to produce in 1914, and would have been issued only to players and VIP's, explaining the highly endangered status today. But again we must stress that this example has done far more than simply survive--it remains in

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    Auction Dates
    May, 2008
    3rd Saturday
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