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Lot # 1195 (of 1866)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Nat Fein Signed Photograph - The Babe Bows Out - Pulitzer Prize Winning Photograph

Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $1,778

8 x 9.75-inch photo of The Babe Bows Out taken by noted photographer Nat Fein (1914-2000). The haunting image, capturing Babe Ruth during his final appearance at Yankee Stadium on June 13, 1948, has been inscribed by Fein in gold paint pen (grading "6") in the lower right corner: "Best Wishes Andy/Nat Fein." Encapsulated by PSA/DNA, with the photograph certified as "Type II" and the Fein signature certified as "Authentic." This image earned photographer Nat Fein the Pulitzer Prize for photography and is perhaps the single most famous sports photograph of all time. Today, it remains the most enduring image of Ruth ever taken, and is featured in both the Baseball Hall of Fame and at the Smithsonian Institute. This photo was taken on June 13, 1948, when the Yankees commemorated the 25th anniversary of Yankee Stadium by inviting all the members of the 1923 team to join them in the celebration. In conjunction with that ceremony, the team also chose to honor Babe Ruth by retiring his number. Ruth was gravely ill with the cancer at the time (he died just two months later); however, he was determined not to let the fans down. In this photograph he is captured for the last time in a New York Yankees uniform. Out of all the photographers present on that memorable day, one man captured the essence of the event in a single image: Nat Fein of the New York Herald Tribune. Fein knelt behind Ruth, aimed his Speed Graphic camera, and captured a priceless moment in American sports history. The Babe Bows Out ran on the front page the next day and later became the first sports photograph to earn a Pulitzer Prize. Fein was asked why he broke a fundamental rule of photography and took the shot without showing Ruth's face. "The retiring of No. 3 was the story. You didn't need to see the Babe's face to recognize him. You'd recognize his great hulk and spindly legs anyplace. No one else had that particular angle, so it was a little something different." Prints of this famous photo personally created and signed by Fein are extremely desirable and ideal for display. The photo displays both tape and adhesive residue on the reverse edges (probably from a former mounting in an album or frame) and is otherwise in Near Mint condition. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $1,778

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