Description

    1915 Babe Ruth & Father at Ruth's Cafe Original Photograph, PSA/DNA Type 1. Today it's a strip club called "The Goddess," nestled in the shadow of the Baltimore Orioles' home ballpark Camden Yards, but in 1915 the quaint little building at the corner of Eutaw and West Lombard Streets bore the name "Ruth's Cafe." It was an establishment financed by a rookie southpaw pitcher for the Red Sox and run by his doppelganger dad, who would perish from injuries sustained on the sidewalk just outside as he attempted to break up a drunken brawl between two of his brothers-in-law in August 1918.

    Only a single photograph of the interior of the Ruth Cafe is known to exist, taken in December 1915 as the Babe enjoyed the offseason in the town of his birth between a pair of World Championship seasons in Boston. The ceiling is festooned with greenery and ornaments in anticipation of the approaching holidays, and father and son regard the camera with dispassionate expressions as two other staffers, a patron and a seated hound populate the background.

    While the image has been widely reproduced in just about every biography of the Babe, known original examples of the photograph could be counted on a single hand with digits to spare. This sepia-toned beauty is one of that most endangered breed, the example that was once part of the public display at the Babe Ruth Birthplace Sports Legends Museum in Baltimore.

    The image measures just over 7.5x9.5" in size and presents nearly perfectly, with close inspection revealing only a clipped lower right corner and a wrinkle that begins near the center of the left edge of the mount and trails on a shallow diagonal to within a couple inches of the lower right corner of the image itself. The mount itself, as one can readily see, has lost portions of three corners, and rounding of the fourth, to the passage of time--as well as bearing the aformentioned crease--but such condition concerns must be forgiven in the context of the extraordinary rarity and significance of the piece. LOA from PSA/DNA, Type 1.


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    Auction Dates
    November, 2017
    16th-18th Thursday-Saturday
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