Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    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.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2017
    16th-18th Thursday-Saturday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 14
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,527

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    20% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold on Nov 17, 2017 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    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
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 6 days left to consign to the 2021 August 21 - 22 Summer Platinum Night Sports Auction!

    Learn about consigning with us

    I thought that Peter Calderon was very pleasant and had a very professional attitude.
    Jerold G.,
    Dripping Springs, TX
    View More Testimonials

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search