1948 "The Babe Bows Out" Pulitzer Prize-Winning Original P...Click the image to load the highest resolution version.
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Believed to be the actual print used for first newspaper publication the evening the image was shot!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.
Editorial markings on verso and an included letter of provenance from David Nieves, curator of "The Photographic Collection of Nat Fein," provide the most thrilling part of the tale, each suggesting that this is the actual print used by the New York Herald Tribune when it was first published on the evening of Sunday June 13, 1948, thus the most significant print in existence.
The condition on this stunning, original, vintage first-generation image of Ruth's final farewell is clean and sharp. Minor distractions on the front include two minute paper snags and paper remnants on the top border. The definitive example of the greatest artwork ever produced on a Major League diamond. Double-matted and framed 15.5x13.5", the image itself measures 8.25x10". LOA from PSA/DNA, Type 1. Letter of provenance from curator of The Photographic Collection of Nat Fein.
Guide Value or Estimate: $20,000 - up.
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