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1923 Original Glass Negative - Babe Ruth Posing with Mascot at Grand Opening of Yankee Stadium
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $1,800
Original glass negative capturing Babe Ruth cavorting with "Little Ray" Kelly, Ruth's personal mascot, prior to the historic first-ever game at Yankee Stadium on April 18, 1923. This well-known image, which originates from the Culver Archives, is one that has been reproduced in countless books and periodicals over the years. Ruth, of course, christened Yankee Stadium on that date by hitting the first home run in the Yankees' new ballpark, with his three-run blast in the third inning, providing New York starter Bob Shawkey with all the runs he needed in the club's 4-1 victory over the Red Sox. Following the game, legendary sportswriter Fred Lieb, in his article for the Evening Telegram, dubbed the Yankees' new home "The House That Ruth Built," and it has remained so in the hearts and minds of fans ever since. Interestingly, Ray Kelly was not the Yankees mascot, but Ruth's personal mascot. As the story goes, Ruth was coming home from the ballpark one day and he noticed Ray Kelly, who was three years old at the time, having a catch with his father in the park. Ruth remarked how well the young boy threw the ball and took an instant liking to him. The next day Ruth received permission from the young's boy's father to take Ray to the stadium and have him sit on the bench during the game. Ruth fitted him with a uniform and for the next ten years he was a fixture at all Yankee home games. 5 x 4 inches. Accompanied by its original paper sleeve. Because this negative (like all the negatives in the Culver Archives) was leased out to other news organizations, it displays flaws commensurate with its age and former use, which include varying degrees of emulsion loss, chipping, scuffing, and scratching (nearly all of those flaws can be minimized or eliminated through digital processing). Reserve $500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,800
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