Babe Ruth Auction To Benefit Babe Ruth Foundation Closing February 18
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 2/18/2017
Talk about a career job for a young man! How about hanging around with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig almost every day for a couple of years – and getting paid for it?
Joe Glassenberg was the New York Yankee batboy from 1926-1928, and was the man responsible for making sure both Ruth and Gehrig had all their necessary pieces of equipment for each home game those seasons. And these weren’t just any seasons, but the only three consecutive seasons the Ruth-Gehrig led Yankees reached the World Series. Of course, the Yankees lost a tough seven-game series to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1926 before sweeping both the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1927 and Cardinals in 1928. It was that middle season of 1927 which tingles the senses of every New York Yankee fan, with the Murderer’s Row lineup and solid pitching staff. Young Mr. Glassenberg surrounded himself with six Hall of Famers, but none as important as the dynamic duo of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.
This amazing 11 x 14 inch oversized photo from that 1927 season shows young Joe in the middle of Gehrig and Ruth, all three portraying their fiercest “game on” looks, with Joe dressed in his “NY” jacket and the players in their home pinstripes. This image had to be taken sometime before a game. Interestingly, young Joe would collect wire images of game action in which he was in the picture! In our research, some images appear with Joe near the play at the plate, bat already in hand. In these images, Joe was wearing street clothes, as he is in this signed photo. If this was simply an ordinary original photo, this piece would still be fascinating and tremendously important. Primarily for the subjects involved, but secondly due to the impressive size as most photographs of that era were not produced to such grandeur. However, the beautiful black fountain pen signatures of the two greatest sluggers of that era improve the collecting appeal just a tad. Each slugger applied “To Joe From…” just before their signatures, each hand inscription and signature beautifully contrasting against the white pinstriped jerseys.
This is arguably the greatest signed photograph of all time! It derived directly from the family of Joe Glassenberg, and was originally sold at auction in October 2007 where it realized just under $39,000. The photo itself exhibits a few light scratches near the lower right corners, with some light corner touches and edge wear. The photo is mounted to a sturdy cardboard backing, which has superbly performed its task to keep major faults such as tears and creases from occurring. It must have be quite a few years for Mr. Glassenberg when he would interact almost on a daily basis with these legends of baseball. To put it mildly, he likely didn’t have to worry about making friends or having a date for the dance. What was his prized possession for decades could also become one of the key pieces of memorabilia in your collection. Signed and inscribed to their loyal batboy, the oversized format makes for a great display, and a truly wonderful conversation piece, especially if your name is Joe. Simply put, this is the greatest signed Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig item in the hobby. This photograph comes with full LOAs from PSA/DNA (S05688) and JSA (Z31469). Goldin Auctions will be donating 5% of the winning bid price of this lot and all lots in this auction to the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum.
Click above for larger image.