Description1927-28 Babe Ruth & Lou Gehrig Dual-Signed Barnstorming Photograph, PSA/DNA NM-MT+ 8.5. It's one of the most common Ruth/Gehrig images in reproduction format, but one of the scarcest and most desirable as the original incarnation presented here, a thrilling relic from the American barnstorming tour that paired the greatest home run sluggers the sport had ever seen. Hardly a week goes by that we are not contacted by an excited potential consignor fooled by the ubiquitous copies, but this is just the second authentic example to reach the Heritage auction block, and easily the superior specimen.
While any artifact bearing the signatures of Ruth and Gehrig is properly considered a hobby treasure, the ideal vintage of this scarce photograph sets it apart from the pack. The Bustin' Babes vs. Larrupin' Lous barnstorming tour launched its first edition at the close of a 1927 season that saw Ruth set his single season home run record of sixty and Gehrig claim the American League MVP Award. The second and final tour came the following year, as the Yankees yet again concluded a dominant regular season with a four-game World Series sweep. For the Hall of Fame batsmen and the team they personified, it was the very best of times.
For the few who might not be familiar with this image, it finds the smiling pair wearing the uniforms of their eponymous squads, leaning on the instruments of their immortality. The photo was issued at the various stops of the tour with facsimile sentiments and signatures, but some fans were inspired to seek out authentic examples, and here we find those second, genuine autographs applied below the facsimile versions in 9/10 black fountain pen ink. The experts at PSA/DNA have rated the Ruth signature 8/10 and the Gehrig 9/10 for the composite grade as listed.
Light soiling is evident throughout the sepia image, and yellow cellophane tape appears at each of the four sides, as do a couple insignificant small tears and a chip at upper right corner. Reverse is stamped "Official Souvenir Photo, Home Run Tour, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, Christy Walsh Management," and exhibits the innocuous effects of scrapbook removal. Photograph measures 8x10" in size. Full Grading LOA from PSA/DNA, NM-MT+ 8.5. Full LOA from James Spence Authentication.
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