Seideman: Collector’s detective work lifts eBay postcard to $50,000 Babe Ruth auction gem

From SABR member David Seideman at on July 2, 2018:

On July 16, 1914, a 19-year-old southpaw for the Boston Red Sox pitched the second game of his career. That day he took the Fenway mound, the park was just two years old. Babe Ruth, then a starting pitcher, lasted only three innings, surrendering two earned runs and taking the loss against the Detroit Tigers.

No one would possibly remember the uneventful game except for a startling discovery 104 years later that turned a pedestrian $300 purchase on eBay into a marquee, $50,000 auction piece.

“The image, blurry as it is, is the only confirmed game action photo of the Babe during his first major league season,” concluded Mark Fimoff in a comprehensive article he wrote for Pictorial History Newsletter of the prestigious Society of American Baseball Research (SABR) in July 2017. 

“This is one of the most amazing finds the hobby will ever see,” says Al Crisafulli, owner of Love of the Game Auctions.  The auction closes on August 11.

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Originally published: July 2, 2018. Last Updated: July 2, 2018.