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Lot # 878 (of 1389)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Circa 1920s Babe Ruth Basketball Photo with Hall of Famer Benny Borgmann

Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $540

Of all the hundreds of thousands of photographs taken of Babe Ruth during is career, very few picture him playing a sport other than baseball. Offered here is one of those rare exceptions: an original circa 1920s photo of Ruth on the basketball court. Ruth is pictured posing for a team shot with six other players, including future Basketball Hall of Famer Benny Borgmann (second from the left). All of the players are dressed in the uniform style of the day (complete with knee pads) that features a "P" on the front of the jersey. Three of the players are identified in black ink along the base of the photo, with the same three individuals also identified in pencil on the reverse (Ruth, Borgmann, and one other whose name is illegible both times). There are also faint traces of first names written atop each player image. The name "Power Bros." also appears on the front and the reverse. The Patterson Power Brothers Five was a member of the Metropolitan Basketball League during the 1921-1922 season and this photo most likely pictures Ruth making a guest appearance with the club. Borgmann was considered one of the top basketball players of the 1920s, known for his scoring prowess (he often averaged 10 points a game at a time when most teams only averaged 30 points a game). While we cannot confirm that Borgmann was a member of the Patterson Power Brothers Five in 1921 (team rosters from that era are practically nonexistent), he did play for the Patterson Legionnaires during the 1920s. Borgmann was also a fine baseball player and enjoyed a long minor-league career beginning in 1929. All told, Borgmann spent nearly fifty years in professional sports, playing over 3,000 basketball games and 2,000 baseball games. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1961. This is the only photo we can ever recall picturing Ruth on the basketball court, making it both a rare and significant example. The fact that it also includes Borgmann makes it especially desirable. The photo (6.75 x 5 inches) displays slightly trimmed right and bottom borders, as well as minor creases and paper residue on the reverse as a result of having been mounted, and then removed, from an album. In Very Good condition overall. SOLD FOR $540

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